OAT-014 Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability Scanning is an automated threat. The OWASP Automated Threat Handbook - Web Applications (pdf, print), an output of the OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project, provides a fuller guide to each threat, detection methods and countermeasures. The threat identification chart helps to correctly identify the automated threat.


OWASP Automated Threat (OAT) Identity Number


Threat Event Name

Vulnerability Scanning

Summary Defining Characteristics

Crawl and fuzz application to identify weaknesses and possible vulnerabilities.

Indicative Diagram

Indicative diagram for OAT-014


Systematic enumeration and examination of identifiable, guessable and unknown content locations, paths, file names, parameters, in order to find weaknesses and points where a security vulnerability might exist. Vulnerability Scanning includes both malicious scanning and friendly scanning by an authorised vulnerability scanning engine. It differs from OAT-011 Scraping in that its aim is to identify potential vulnerabilities.

The exploitation of individual vulnerabilities is not included in the scope of this ontology, but this process of scanning, along with OAT-018 Footprinting, OAT-004 Fingerprinting and OAT-011 Scraping often form part of application penetration testing.

Other Names and Examples

Active/Passive scanning; Application-specific vulnerability discovery; Identifying vulnerable content management systems (CMS) and CMS components; Known vulnerability scanning; Malicious crawling; Vulnerability reconnaissance

See Also


CAPEC Category / Attack Pattern IDs

  • -

CWE Base / Class / Variant IDs

  • 799 Improper Control of Interaction Frequency

WASC Threat IDs

  • 21 Insufficient Anti-Automation

OWASP Attack Category / Attack IDs

  • -

Return to OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project.