Enhancing Security with Open Source Vulnerability Scanning Tools

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In the current digital Environment, safeguarding your infrastructure against potential attackers is a critical priority. As cyber threats continue to evolve, implementing robust security measures becomes indispensable. This blog presents a comprehensive approach to securing your infrastructure using penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, supported by a range of open-source tools. Let’s delve into the best practices and steps you can take to defend your digital assets.

Vulnerability Scanning: A Crucial First Step

1. Understanding Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning is the initial step towards identifying weaknesses within your system. It involves assessing if your systems are up to date and properly configured according to established documentation.

2. Importance and Benefits

Vulnerability scanning provides invaluable insights into potential system weaknesses and misconfigurations. By pinpointing these vulnerabilities, you can take corrective actions to enhance overall security. This practice is not just recommended – it’s necessary to ensure your infrastructure’s resilience against potential attacks.

Exploring Open Source Vulnerability Scanning Tools

1. OSV-Scanner

osv-scanner is a dependency scanner tool designed to detect outdated and vulnerable packages of apps (node.js,react.js etc..).


Ubuntu 22 or later version required and golang latest version

How to Run:

# Install golang
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:longsleep/golang-backports 
sudo apt update
sudo apt install golang
# Install osv-scanner
go install github.com/google/osv-scanner/cmd/osv-scanner@v1
# Scan for vulnerable dependencies
sudo ~/go/bin/osv-scanner -r /path/to/yourapp/


2. Wapiti

Wapiti is a tool for scanning URLs and databases for vulnerabilities, generating comprehensive reports.


Ubuntu 22 or later version required

How to Run:

# Install wapiti
sudo apt install wapiti
# Run wapiti scanner
wapiti -u <URL>


From the below output, You should have received a similar location of where the result is stored.


 OWASP ZAP is an advanced tool for uncovering vulnerabilities through website penetration testing, providing detailed reports and solutions.


 JRE 11 or above, python3-pip

How to Run:

Option 1 : Using Command line Interface

Download and Install OWASP ZAP: To download and install OWASP ZAP from the official website:

·         Click the below link https://www.zaproxy.org/download/

·         Click download button from the Linux package

Extract it and open a terminal window

Launch OWASP ZAP in Daemon Mode: To use OWASP ZAP in the CLI, you can start it in daemon mode, which allows you to control it via the command line. Then, execute the following command to Install zap-cli using pip,

pip install --upgrade zapcli --break-system-packages
zap.sh -daemon -host -port 8080 -config api.disablekey=true

Note: –break-system-packages will either update dependencies or downgrade them as needed, please make sure to take note of any changes.

Open another terminal in the same folder and type the following commands to start scanning your web application.

zap-cli -p 8080 spider <target_url>

Note : If you are running a Node/React application, it is recommended to run Ajax spider method. 

zap-cli -p 8080 ajax-spider <target_url>

Zap cli will start scanning your web application to produce results enter the following command,

zap-cli -p 8080 report -o <output_filename> -f json

For the output we can specify the html format, enter the following command

zap-cli -p 8080 report -o <output_filename> -f html

Option 2 : Using Desktop UI Environment

Download and install from the official website


After the Download completes, navigate to the Downloads folder in a terminal window.

Here use ‘ls’ command to make sure the downloaded file is there

Now enter the following command

# Make sure the filename match
sudo chmod +x <filename>.sh

Now execute it in the terminal,

sudo bash <filename>.sh

An installation wizard will open up

Click next,

Click I accept the agreement and click next,

Here custom installation will let you install the app in a separate directory if you want.

Otherwise click next and next again It will start installing

Click finish you have successfully installed ZAP

Now open the application ‘OWASP ZAP’

If you want, you can persist the current session and click start

Click on the automated scan,

Enter the appropriate URL and check the option Use ajax spider for more accurate results and also it is recommended to use chrome headless in the drop down list.

Click on the attack button and the ZAP will start scanning your app. After the scan is done, the results will be displayed in the ‘Alerts tab’ ,

Also Utilize features like active scans, passive scans, AJAX spider attack, etc.


In conclusion, bolstering your cybersecurity defenses through a comprehensive strategy that includes Vulnerabilities App scanning and penetration testing using open-source tools is paramount. By diligently identifying weaknesses and taking proactive measures, you can fortify your digital assets, ensuring robust protection against potential threats. Your commitment to vigilance and best practices is the key to securing your infrastructure in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

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