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    Ethical Hacker

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    Loopholes are every major Security,Just need to Understand it well.

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    Web Developer

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Showing posts with label Walkthrough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walkthrough. Show all posts
  • TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough


    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    What Is Content Discovery?

    Firstly, we should ask, in the context of web application security, what is content? Content can be many things, a file, video, picture, backup, a website feature. When we talk about content discovery, we're not talking about the obvious things we can see on a website; it's the things that aren't immediately presented to us and that weren't always intended for public access.

    This content could be, for example, pages or portals intended for staff usage, older versions of the website, backup files, configuration files, administration panels, etc.

    There are three main ways of discovering content on a website which we'll cover. Manually, Automated and OSINT (Open-Source Intelligence).

    Start the machine and then move on to the next task.

    1) What is the Content Discovery method that begins with M?

    Ans- Manually

    2) What is the Content Discovery method that begins with A?

    Ans- Automated

    3) What is the Content Discovery method that begins with O?

    Ans- OSINT

    Manual Discovery - Robots.txt

    There are multiple places we can manually check on a website to start discovering more content.


    The robots.txt file is a document that tells search engines which pages they are and aren't allowed to show on their search engine results or ban specific search engines from crawling the website altogether. It can be common practice to restrict certain website areas so they aren't displayed in search engine results. These pages may be areas such as administration portals or files meant for the website's customers. This file gives us a great list of locations on the website that the owners don't want us to discover as penetration testers.

    Take a look at the robots.txt file on the Acme IT Support website to see if they have anything they don't want to list: http://MACHINE_IP/robots.txt

    1) What is the directory in the robots.txt that isn't allowed to be viewed by web crawlers?


    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough


    Ans- /staff-portal



    Manual Discovery - Favicon


    The favicon is a small icon displayed in the browser's address bar or tab used for branding a website.

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    Sometimes when frameworks are used to build a website, a favicon that is part of the installation gets leftover, and if the website developer doesn't replace this with a custom one, this can give us a clue on what framework is in use. OWASP host a database of common framework icons that you can use to check against the targets favicon https://wiki.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_favicon_database. Once we know the framework stack, we can use external resources to discover more about it (see next section).

    Practical Exercise:

    Open the website https://static-labs.tryhackme.cloud/sites/favicon/ here you'll see a basic website with a note saying "Website coming soon...", if you look at your tabs you'll notice an icon that confirms this site is using a favicon.

    Viewing the page source you'll see line six contains a link to the images/favicon.ico file. 

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    If you run the following command it will download the favicon and get its md5 hash value which you can then lookup on the



    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough


    1) What framework did the favicon belong to?

    HINT- Visit this link https://wiki.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_favicon_database

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    Ans- cgiirc



    Manual Discovery - Sitemap.xml


    Unlike the robots.txt file, which restricts what search engine crawlers can look at, the sitemap.xml file gives a list of every file the website owner wishes to be listed on a search engine. These can sometimes contain areas of the website that are a bit more difficult to navigate to or even list some old webpages that the current site no longer uses but are still working behind the scenes.

    Take a look at the sitemap.xml file on the Acme IT Support website to see if there's any new content we haven't yet discovered:

    1) What is the path of the secret area that can be found in the sitemap.xml file?

    Ans- /s3cr3t-area



    Manual Discovery - HTTP Headers

    HTTP Headers

    When we make requests to the web server, the server returns various HTTP headers. These headers can sometimes contain useful information such as the webserver software and possibly the programming/scripting language in use. In the below example, we can see the webserver is NGINX version 1.18.0 and runs PHP version 7.4.3. Using this information, we could find vulnerable versions of software being used. Try running the below curl command against the web server, where the -v switch enables verbose mode, which will output the headers (there might be something interesting!).


    └─$ curl -v
    *   Trying
    * Connected to ( port 80 (#0)
    >  GET / HTTP/1.1
    >  Host:
    >  User-Agent: curl/7.74.0
    >  Accept: */*
    > * Mark bundle as not supporting multiuse
    < HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    < Server: nginx/1.18.0 (Ubuntu)
    < Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 16:44:21 GMT
    < Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
    < Transfer-Encoding: chunked
    < Connection: keep-alive
    This page is temporary while we work on the new homepage @ /new-home-beta


    1) What is the flag value from the X-FLAG header?




    Manual Discovery - Framework Stack

    Framework Stack

    Once you've established the framework of a website, either from the above favicon example or by looking for clues in the page source such as comments, copyright notices or credits, you can then locate the framework's website. From there, we can learn more about the software and other information, possibly leading to more content we can discover.

    Looking at the page source of our Acme IT Support website (, you'll see a comment at the end of every page with a page load time and also a link to the framework's website, which is https://static-labs.tryhackme.cloud/sites/thm-web-framework. Let's take a look at that website. Viewing the documentation page gives us the path of the framework's administration portal, which gives us a flag if viewed on the Acme IT Support website.

    1) What is the flag from the framework's administration portal?


    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Content Discovery Walkthrough





    OSINT - Google Hacking / Dorking

    There are also external resources available that can help in discovering information about your target website; these resources are often referred to as OSINT or (Open-Source Intelligence) as they're freely available tools that collect information:

    Google Hacking / Dorking

    Google hacking / Dorking utilizes Google's advanced search engine features, which allow you to pick out custom content. You can, for instance, pick out results from a certain domain name using the site: filter, for example (site:hackingtruth.in) you can then match this up with certain search terms, say, for example, the word admin (site:hackingtruth.in admin) this then would only return results from the hackingtruth.in website which contain the word admin in its content. You can combine multiple filters as well. Here is an example of more filters you can use:



    Filter Example Description
    Site site:tryhackme.com returns results only from the specified website address
    inurl inurl:admin returns results that have the specified word in the URL
    filetype filetype:pdf returns results which are a particular file extension
    intitle intitle:admin returns results that contain the specified word in the title


    More information about google hacking can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_hacking

    1) What Google dork operator can be used to only show results from a particular site?

    Ans- site:

    OSINT - Wappalyzer


    Wappalyzer (https://www.wappalyzer.com/) is an online tool and browser extension that helps identify what technologies a website uses, such as frameworks, Content Management Systems (CMS), payment processors and much more, and it can even find version numbers as well.

    1) What online tool can be used to identify what technologies a website is running?

    Ans- Wappalyzer

    OSINT - Wayback Machine

    Wayback Machine

    The Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) is a historical archive of websites that dates back to the late 90s. You can search a domain name, and it will show you all the times the service scraped the web page and saved the contents. This service can help uncover old pages that may still be active on the current website.

    1) What is the website address for the Wayback Machine?

    Ans- https://archive.org/web/

    OSINT - GitHub


    To understand GitHub, you first need to understand Git. Git is a version control system that tracks changes to files in a project. Working in a team is easier because you can see what each team member is editing and what changes they made to files. When users have finished making their changes, they commit them with a message and then push them back to a central location (repository) for the other users to then pull those changes to their local machines. GitHub is a hosted version of Git on the internet. Repositories can either be set to public or private and have various access controls. You can use GitHub's search feature to look for company names or website names to try and locate repositories belonging to your target. Once discovered, you may have access to source code, passwords or other content that you hadn't yet found.

    1) What is Git?

    Ans- Version Control System

    OSINT - S3 Buckets

    S3 Buckets

    S3 Buckets are a storage service provided by Amazon AWS, allowing people to save files and even static website content in the cloud accessible over HTTP and HTTPS. The owner of the files can set access permissions to either make files public, private and even writable. Sometimes these access permissions are incorrectly set and inadvertently allow access to files that shouldn't be available to the public. The format of the S3 buckets is http(s)://{name}.s3.amazonaws.com where {name} is decided by the owner, such as tryhackme-assets.s3.amazonaws.com. S3 buckets can be discovered in many ways, such as finding the URLs in the website's page source, GitHub repositories, or even automating the process. One common automation method is by using the company name followed by common terms such as {name}-assets, {name}-www, {name}-public, {name}-private, etc.

    1) What URL format do Amazon S3 buckets end in?

    Ans- .s3.amazonaws.com

    Automated Discovery

    What is Automated Discovery?

    Automated discovery is the process of using tools to discover content rather than doing it manually. This process is automated as it usually contains hundreds, thousands or even millions of requests to a web server. These requests check whether a file or directory exists on a website, giving us access to resources we didn't previously know existed. This process is made possible by using a resource called wordlists.

    What are wordlists?

    Wordlists are just text files that contain a long list of commonly used words; they can cover many different use cases. For example, a password wordlist would include the most frequently used passwords, whereas we're looking for content in our case, so we'd require a list containing the most commonly used directory and file names. An excellent resource for wordlists that is preinstalled on the THM AttackBox is https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists which Daniel Miessler curates.

    Automation Tools

    Although there are many different content discovery tools available, all with their features and flaws, we're going to cover three which are preinstalled on our attack box, ffuf, dirb and gobuster.

    Open the THM AttackBox using the blue Start AttackBox button and then try the below three commands on our Acme IT Support website and see what results you get.


    Using ffuf:
    user@machine$ ffuf -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt -u
    Using dirb:
    user@machine$ dirb /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt
    Using Gobuster:
    user@machine$ gobuster dir --url -w /usr/share/wordlists/SecLists/Discovery/Web-Content/common.txt


    1) What is the name of the directory beginning "/mo...." that was discovered?

    Ans- /monthly

    2) What is the name of the log file that was discovered?

    Ans- /development.log





    All tutorials are for informational and educational purposes only and have been made using our own routers, servers, websites and other vulnerable free resources. we do not contain any illegal activity. We believe that ethical hacking, information security and cyber security should be familiar subjects to anyone using digital information and computers. Hacking Truth is against misuse of the information and we strongly suggest against it. Please regard the word hacking as ethical hacking or penetration testing every time this word is used. We do not promote, encourage, support or excite any illegal activity or hacking.

      - Hacking Truth by Kumar Atul Jaiswal


  • TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    Walking An Application

    In this room you will learn how to manually review a web application for security issues using only the in-built tools in your browser. More often than not, automated security tools and scripts will miss many potential vulnerabilities and useful information.

    Here is a short breakdown of the in-built browser tools you will use throughout this room:

    View Source
    - Use your browser to view the human-readable source code of a website.
    Inspector - Learn how to inspect page elements and make changes to view usually blocked content.
    Debugger - Inspect and control the flow of a page's JavaScript
    Network - See all the network requests a page makes.



    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    Exploring The Website

    As a penetration tester, your role when reviewing a website or web application is to discover features that could potentially be vulnerable and attempt to exploit them to assess whether or not they are. These features are usually parts of the website that require some interactivity with the user.

    Finding interactive portions of the website can be as easy as spotting a login form to manually reviewing the website's JavaScript. An excellent place to start is just with your browser exploring the website and noting down the individual pages/areas/features with a summary for each one.

    An example site review for the Acme IT Support website would look something like this:



    Feature URL Summary
    Home Page / This page contains a summary of what Acme IT Support does with a company photo of their staff.
    Latest News /news This page contains a list of recently published news articles by the company, and each news article has a link with an id number, i.e. /news/article?id=1
    News Article /news/article?id=1 Displays the individual news article. Some articles seem to be blocked and reserved for premium customers only.
    Contat Page /contact This page contains a form for customers to contact the company. It contains name, email and message input fields and a send button.
    Customers Login /customers/login This page contains a login form with username and password fields.
    Customer Signup /customers/signup This page contains a user-signup form that consists of a username, email, password and password confirmation input fields.
    Customer Reset Password /customers/reset Password reset form with an email address input field.
    Customer Dashboard /customers This page contains a list of the user's tickets submitted to the IT support company and a "Create Ticket" button.
    Create Ticket /customers/ticket/new This page contains a form with a textbox for entering the IT issue and a file upload option to create an IT support ticket.
    Customer Account /customers/account This page allows the user to edit their username, email and password.
    Customer Logout /customers/logout This link logs the user out of the customer area.



    Viewing The Page Source

    The page source is the human-readable code returned to our browser/client from the web server each time we make a request.

    The returned code is made up of HTML ( HyperText Markup Language), CSS ( Cascading Style Sheets ) and JavaScript, and it's what tells our browser what content to display, how to show it and adds an element of interactivity with JavaScript.

    For our purposes, viewing the page source can help us discover more information about the web application.

    How do I view the Page Source?

    While viewing a website, you can right-click on the page, and you'll see an option on the menu that says View Page Source.
    Most browsers support putting view-source: in front of the URL for example, view-source:https://www.google.com/
    In your browser menu, you'll find an option to view the page source. This option can sometimes be in submenus such as developer tools or more tools.

    Let's view some Page Source!

    Try viewing the page source of the home page of the Acme IT Support website. Unfortunately, explaining everything you can see here is well out of the scope of this room, and you'll need to look into website design/development courses to understand it fully. What we can do, is pick out bits of information that are of importance to us.



    At the top of the page, you'll notice some code starting with <!-- and ending with --> these are comments. Comments are messages left by the website developer, usually to explain something in the code to other programmers or even notes/reminders for themselves. These comments don't get displayed on the actual webpage. This comment describes how the homepage is temporary while a new one is in development. View the webpage in the comment to get your first flag.

    Links to different pages in HTML are written in anchor tags ( these are HTML elements that start with <a ), and the link that you'll be directed to is stored in the href attribute.

    For example, you'll see the contact page link on line 31:



    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


     If you view further down the page source, there is a hidden link to a page starting with "secr", view this link to get another flag. You obviously wouldn't get a flag in a real-world situation, but you may discover some private area used by the business for storing company/staff/customer information.

    External files such as CSS, JavaScript and Images can be included using the HTML code. In this example, you'll notice that these files are all stored in the same directory. If you view this directory in your web browser, there is a configuration error. What should be displayed is either a blank page or a 403 Forbidden page with an error stating you don't have access to the directory. Instead, the directory listing feature has been enabled, which in fact, lists every file in the directory. Sometimes this isn't an issue, and all the files in the directory are safe to be viewed by the public, but in some instances, backup files, source code or other confidential information could be stored here. In this instance, we get a flag in the flag.txt file.

    Many websites these days aren't made from scratch and use what's called a framework. A framework is a collection of premade code that easily allows a developer to include common features that a website would require, such as blogs, user management, form processing, and much more, saving the developers hours or days of development.

    Viewing the page source can often give us clues into whether a framework is in use and, if so, which framework and even what version. Knowing the framework and version can be a powerful find as there may be public vulnerabilities in the framework, and the website might not be using the most up to date version. At the bottom of the page, you'll find a comment about the framework and version in use and a link to the framework's website. Viewing the framework's website, you'll see that our website is, in fact, out of date. Read the update notice and use the information that you find to discover another flag.


    1) What is the flag from the HTML comment?

    HINT- Make sure you go to the link mentioned in the comment


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough



    2) What is the flag from the secret link?

    HINT- For example, you'll see the contact page link on line 31: 

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    3) What is the directory listing flag?

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough




    4) What is the framework flag?

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough





    Developer Tools - Inspector

    Developer Tools

    Every modern browser includes developer tools; this is a tool kit used to aid web developers in debugging web applications and gives you a peek under the hood of a website to see what is going on. As a pentester, we can leverage these tools to provide us with a much better understanding of the web application. We're specifically focusing on three features of the developer tool kit, Inspector, Debugger and Network.

    Opening Developer Tools

    The way to access developer tools is different for every browser. If you're not sure how to access it, click the "View Site" button on the top right of this task to get instructions to how to access the tools for your browser.


    The page source doesn't always represent what's shown on a webpage; this is because CSS, JavaScript and user interaction can change the content and style of the page, which means we need a way to view what's been displayed in the browser window at this exact time. Element inspector assists us with this by providing us with a live representation of what is currently on the website.

    As well as viewing this live view, we can also edit and interact with the page elements, which is helpful for web developers to debug issues.

    On the Acme IT Support website, click into the news section, where you'll see three news articles.

    The first two articles are readable, but the third has been blocked with a floating notice above the content stating you have to be a premium customer to view the article. These floating boxes blocking the page contents are often referred to as paywalls as they put up a metaphorical wall in front of the content you wish to see until you pay.


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    Right-clicking on the premium notice ( paywall ), you should be able to select the Inspect option from the menu, which opens the developer tools either on the bottom or right-hand side depending on your browser or preferences. You'll now see the elements/HTML that make up the website ( similar to the screenshots below ).


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    Locate the DIV element with the class premium-customer-blocker and click on it. You'll see all the CSS styles in the styles box that apply to this element, such as margin-top: 60px and text-align: center. The style we're interested in is the display: block. If you click on the word block, you can type a value of your own choice. Try typing none, and this will make the box disappear, revealing the content underneath it and a flag. If the element didn't have a display field, you could click below the last style and add in your own. Have a play with the element inspector, and you'll see you can change any of the information on the website, including the content. Remember this is only edited on your browser window, and when you press refresh, everything will be back to normal.


    1) What is the flag behind the paywall?

    HINT- https://assets.tryhackme.com/additional/walkinganapplication/updating-html-css.gif

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough






    Developer Tools - Debugger

    This panel in the developer tools is intended for debugging JavaScript, and again is an excellent feature for web developers wanting to work out why something might not be working. But as penetration testers, it gives us the option of digging deep into the JavaScript code. In Firefox and Safari, this feature is called Debugger, but in Google Chrome, it's called Sources.

    On the Acme IT Support website, click on the contact page, each time the page is loaded, you might notice a rapid flash of red on the screen. We're going to use the Debugger to work out what this red flash is and if it contains anything interesting. Debugging a red dot wouldn't be something you'd do in the real world as a penetration tester, but it does allow us to use this feature and get used to the Debugger.

    In both browsers, on the left-hand side, you see a list of all the resources the current webpage is using. If you click into the assets folder, you'll see a file named flash.min.js. Clicking on this file displays the contents of the JavaScript file.

    Many times when viewing javascript files, you'll notice that everything is on one line, which is because it has been minimised, which means all formatting ( tabs, spacing and newlines ) have been removed to make the file smaller. This file is no exception to this, and it has also been obfusticated, which makes it purposely difficult to read, so it can't be copied as easily by other developers.

    We can return some of the formattings by using the "Pretty Print" option, which looks like two braces { } to make it a little more readable, although due to the obfustication, it's still difficult to comprehend what is going on with the file. If you scroll to the bottom of the flash.min.js file, you'll see the line: 



    This little bit of JavaScript is what is removing the red popup from the page. We can utilise another feature of debugger called breakpoints. These are points in the code that we can force the browser to stop processing the JavaScript and pause the current execution.

    If you click the line number that contains the above code, you'll notice it turns blue; you've now inserted a breakpoint on this line. Now try refreshing the page, and you'll notice the red box stays on the page instead of disappearing, and it contains a flag.
    Answer the questions below

    1) What is the flag in the red box?

    HINT- The debugger tools might work differently on FireFox/Chrome. Follow the steps in the task to find the JavaScript flash.min.js file, prettifying it, finding the line with "flash[remove]" and adding a JavaScript break point to stop the red message disappearing when the page loads.

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough




    Developer Tools - Network

    The network tab on the developer tools can be used to keep track of every external request a webpage makes. If you click on the Network tab and then refresh the page, you'll see all the files the page is requesting.

    Try doing this on the contact page; you can press the trash can icon to delete the list if it gets a bit overpopulated.

    With the network tab open, try filling in the contact form and pressing the Send Message button. You'll notice an event in the network tab, and this is the form being submitted in the background using a method called AJAX. AJAX is a method for sending and receiving network data in a web application background without interfering by changing the current web page.

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    Examine the new entry on the network tab that the contact form created and view the page the data was sent to in order to reveal a flag.


    1) What is the flag shown on the contact-msg network request?

    HINT- When you find the contact-msg request, make sure you click on it to reveal the response of the request (there might be a response tab shown when you click it). After filling this form click on refresh button and see the contact-msg and double on click it.


    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough

    TryHackMe Walking An Application Walkthrough







    All tutorials are for informational and educational purposes only and have been made using our own routers, servers, websites and other vulnerable free resources. we do not contain any illegal activity. We believe that ethical hacking, information security and cyber security should be familiar subjects to anyone using digital information and computers. Hacking Truth is against misuse of the information and we strongly suggest against it. Please regard the word hacking as ethical hacking or penetration testing every time this word is used. We do not promote, encourage, support or excite any illegal activity or hacking.

      - Hacking Truth by Kumar Atul Jaiswal


  • TryHackMe Vulnerability 101


    TryHackMe Vulnerability 101




    Cybersecurity is big business in the modern-day world. The hacks that we hear about in newspapers are from exploiting vulnerabilities. In this room, we're going to explain exactly what a vulnerability is, the types of vulnerabilities and how we can exploit these for success in our penetration testing endeavours.

    An enormous part of penetration testing is knowing the skills and resources for whatever situation you face. This room is going to introduce you to some resources that are essential when researching vulnerabilities, specifically, you are going to be introduced to:

    • What vulnerabilities are
    • Why they're worthy of learning about
    • How are vulnerabilities rated
    • Databases for vulnerability research
    • A showcase of how vulnerability research is used on ACKme's engagement

    Introduction to Vulnerabilities

    A vulnerability in cybersecurity is defined as a weakness or flaw in the design, implementation or behaviours of a system or application. An attacker can exploit these weaknesses to gain access to unauthorised information or perform unauthorised actions. The term “vulnerability” has many definitions by cybersecurity bodies. However, there is minimal variation between them all.

    For example, NIST defines a vulnerability as “weakness in an information system, system security procedures, internal controls, or implementation that could be exploited or triggered by a threat source”.

    Vulnerabilities can originate from many factors, including a poor design of an application or an oversight of the intended actions from a user.

    We will come on to discuss the various types of vulnerabilities in a later room. However, for now, we should know that there are arguably five main categories of vulnerabilities:


    Vulnerability Description
    Operating System These types of vulnerabilities are found within Operating Systems (OSs) and often result in privilege escalation.
    (Mis)Configuration-based These types of vulnerability stem from an incorrectly configured application or service. For example, a website exposing customer details.
    Weak or Default Credentials Applications and services that have an element of authentication will come with default credentials when installed. For example, an administrator dashboard may have the username and password of "admin". These are easy to guess by an attacker.
    Application Logic These vulnerabilities are a result of poorly designed applications. For example, poorly implemented authentication mechanisms that may result in an attacker being able to impersonate a user.
    Human-Factor Human-Factor vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities that leverage human behaviour. For example, phishing emails are designed to trick humans into believing they are legitimate.


    1) An attacker has been able to upgrade the permissions of their system account from "user" to "administrator". What type of vulnerability is this?

    Ans- Operating System

    2) You manage to bypass a login panel using cookies to authenticate. What type of vulnerability is this?

    Ans- Application logic

    Scoring Vulnerabilities (CVSS & VPR)

    Vulnerability management is the process of evaluating, categorising and ultimately remediating threats (vulnerabilities) faced by an organisation.

    It is arguably impossible to patch and remedy every single vulnerability in a network or computer system and sometimes a waste of resources.

    After all, only approximately 2% of vulnerabilities only ever end up being exploited (Kenna security., 2020). Instead, it is all about addressing the most dangerous vulnerabilities and reducing the likelihood of an attack vector being used to exploit a system.

    This is where vulnerability scoring comes into play. Vulnerability scoring serves a vital role in vulnerability management and is used to determine the potential risk and impact a vulnerability may have on a network or computer system. For example, the popular Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) awards points to a vulnerability based upon its features, availability, and reproducibility.

    Of course, as always in the world of IT, there is never just one framework or proposed idea. Let’s explore two of the more common frameworks and analyse how they differ.

    Common Vulnerability Scoring System

    First introduced in 2005, the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (or CVSS) is a very popular framework for vulnerability scoring and has three major iterations. As it stands, the current version is CVSSv3.1 (with version 4.0 currently in draft) a score is essentially determined by some of the following factors (but many more):

    1. How easy is it to exploit the vulnerability?
    2. Do exploits exist for this?
    3. How does this vulnerability interfere with the CIA triad?

    In fact, there are so many variables that you have to use a calculator to figure out the score using this framework. A vulnerability is given a classification (out of five) depending on the score that is has been assigned. I have put the Qualitative Severity Rating Scale and their score ranges into the table below.


    Rating Score
    None 0
    Low 0.1-3.9
    Medium 4.0-6.9
    High 7.0-8.9
    Critical 9.0-10.0


    However, CVSS is not a magic bullet. Let's analyse some of the advantages and disadvantages of CVSS in the table below:


    Advantages of CVSS Disadvantages of CVSS
    CVSS has been around for a long time. CVSS was never designed to help prioritise vulnerabilities, instead, just assign a value of severity.
    CVSS is popular in organisations. CVSS heavily assesses vulnerabilities on an exploit being available. However, only 20% of all vulnerabilities have an exploit available (Tenable., 2020) .
    CVSS is a free framework to adopt and recommended by organisations such as NIST. Vulnerabilities rarely change scoring after assessment despite the fact that new developments such as exploits may be found.


    Vulnerability Priority Rating (VPR)

    The VPR framework is a much more modern framework in vulnerability management - developed by Tenable, an industry solutions provider for vulnerability management. This framework is considered to be risk-driven; meaning that vulnerabilities are given a score with a heavy focus on the risk a vulnerability poses to the organisation itself, rather than factors such as impact (like with CVSS).

    Unlike CVSS, VPR scoring takes into account the relevancy of a vulnerability. For example, no risk is considered regarding a vulnerability if that vulnerability does not apply to the organisation (i.e. they do not use the software that is vulnerable). VPR is also considerably dynamic in its scoring, where the risk that a vulnerability may pose can change almost daily as it ages.

    VPR uses a similar scoring range as CVSS, which I have also put into the table below. However, two notable differences are that VPR does not have a "None/Informational" category, and because VPR uses a different scoring method, the same vulnerability will have a different score using VPR than when using CVSS


    Rating Score
    None 0
    Low 0.1-3.9
    Medium 4.0-6.9
    High 7.0-8.9
    Critical 9.0-10.0


    Let's recap some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the VPR framework in the table below.


    Advantages of VPR Disadvantages of VPR
    VPR is a modern framework that is real-world. VPR is not open-source like some other vulnerability management frameworks.
    VPR considers over 150 factors when calculating risk. VPR can only be adopted apart of a commercial platform.
    VPR is risk-driven and used by organisations to help prioritise patching vulnerabilities. VPR does not consider the CIA triad to the extent that CVSS does; meaning that risk to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data does not play a large factor in scoring vulnerabilities when using VPR.
    Scorings are not final and are very dynamic, meaning the priority a vulnerability should be given can change as the vulnerability ages. Intentionally left blank.


    1) What year was the first iteration of CVSS published?

    Ans- 2005

    2) If you wanted to assess vulnerability based on the risk it poses to an organisation, what framework would you use?

    Note: We are looking for the acronym here.

    Ans- VPR

    3) If you wanted to use a framework that was free and open-source, what framework would that be?

    Note: We are looking for the acronym here.

    Ans- CVSS

    Vulnerability Databases

    Throughout your journey in cybersecurity, you will often come across a magnitude of different applications and services. For example, a CMS whilst they all have the same purpose, often have very different designs and behaviours (and, in turn, potentially different vulnerabilities).

    Thankfully for us, there are resources on the internet that keep track of vulnerabilities for all sorts of software, operating systems and more! This room will showcase two databases that we can use to look up existing vulnerabilities for applications discovered in our infosec journey, specifically the following websites:

    1. NVD (National Vulnerability Database)

    2. Exploit-DB

    Before we dive into these two resources, let's ensure that our understanding of some fundamental key terms is on the same page:


    Term Definition
    Vulnerability A vulnerability is defined as a weakness or flaw in the design, implementation or behaviours of a system or application.
    Exploit An exploit is something such as an action or behaviour that utilises a vulnerability on a system or application.
    Proof of Concept (PoC) A PoC is a technique or tool that often demonstrates the exploitation of a vulnerability.


    NVD – National Vulnerability Database The National Vulnerability Database is a website that lists all publically categorised vulnerabilities. In cybersecurity, vulnerabilities are classified under “Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures” (Or CVE for short). These CVEs have the formatting of CVE-YEAR-IDNUMBER. For example, the vulnerability that the famous malware WannaCry used was CVE-2017-0144. NVD allows you to see all the CVEs that have been confirmed, using filters by category and month of submission. For example, it is three days into August; there have already been 223 new CVEs submitted to this database.

    TryHackMe Vulnerability 101

    While this website helps keep track of new vulnerabilities, it is not great when searching for vulnerabilities for a specific application or scenario.



    Exploit-DB is a resource that we, as hackers, will find much more helpful during an assessment. Exploit-DB retains exploits for software and applications stored under the name, author and version of the software or application.

    We can use Exploit-DB to look for snippets of code (known as Proof of Concepts) that are used to exploit a specific vulnerability.

    TryHackMe Vulnerability 101

    1) Using NVD, how many CVEs were submitted in July 2021?

    Ans -

    2) Who is the author of Exploit-DB?

    Ans -

    An Example of Finding a Vulnerability

    In this task, I’m going to demonstrate the process of finding one minor vulnerability, coupled with some research of the vulnerability databases leading to a much more valuable vulnerability and exploit ultimately.

    Throughout an assessment, you will often combine multiple vulnerabilities to get results. For example, in this task, we will leverage the “Version Disclosure” vulnerability to find out the version of an application. With this version, we can then use Exploit-DB to search for any exploits that work with that specific version.

    Applications and software usually have a version number. This information is usually left with good intentions; for example, the author can support multiple versions of the software and the likes. Or sometimes, left unintentionally.

    For example, in the screenshot below, we can see that the name and version number of this application is “Apache Tomcat 9.0.17

    TryHackMe Vulnerability 101

    With this information in hand, let’s use the search filter on Exploit-DB to look for any exploits that may apply to “Apache Tomcat 9.0.17”.TryHackMe Vulnerability 101

    TryHackMe Vulnerability 101

    Great! After searching Exploit-DB, there are a total of five exploits that may be useful to us for this specific version of the application.

    1) What type of vulnerability did we use to find the name and version of the application in this example?




    All tutorials are for informational and educational purposes only and have been made using our own routers, servers, websites and other vulnerable free resources. we do not contain any illegal activity. We believe that ethical hacking, information security and cyber security should be familiar subjects to anyone using digital information and computers. Hacking Truth is against misuse of the information and we strongly suggest against it. Please regard the word hacking as ethical hacking or penetration testing every time this word is used. We do not promote, encourage, support or excite any illegal activity or hacking.

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