Nikto is an Open Source (GPL) web server scanner which performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 6700 potentially dangerous files/programs, checks for outdated versions of over 1250 servers, and version specific problems on over 270 servers. It also checks for server configuration items such as the presence of multiple index files, HTTP server options, and will attempt to identify installed web servers and software. Scan items and plugins are frequently updated and can be automatically updated.
Nikto is not designed as a stealthy tool. It will test a web server in the quickest time possible, and is obvious in log files or to an IPS/IDS. However, there is support for LibWhisker’s anti-IDS methods in case you want to give it a try (or test your IDS system).
Not every check is a security problem, though most are. There are some items that are “info only” type checks that look for things that may not have a security flaw, but the webmaster or security engineer may not know are present on the server. These items are usually marked appropriately in the information printed. There are also some checks for unknown items which have been seen scanned for in log files.
Here are some of the major features of Nikto. See the documentation for a full list of features and how to use them.
- SSL Support (Unix with OpenSSL or maybe Windows with ActiveState’s
- Full HTTP proxy support
- Checks for outdated server components
- Save reports in plain text, XML, HTML, NBE or CSV
- Template engine to easily customize reports
- Scan multiple ports on a server, or multiple servers via input file (including nmap output)
- LibWhisker‘s IDS encoding techniques
- Easily updated via command line
- Identifies installed software via headers, favicons and files
- Host authentication with Basic and NTLM
- Subdomain guessing
- Apache and cgiwrap username enumeration
- Mutation techniques to “fish” for content on web servers
- Scan tuning to include or exclude entire classes of vulnerability
- Guess credentials for authorization realms (including many default id/pw combos)
- Authorization guessing handles any directory, not just the root
- Enhanced false positive reduction via multiple methods: headers,
page content, and content hashing
- Reports “unusual” headers seen
- Interactive status, pause and changes to verbosity settings
- Save full request/response for positive tests
- Replay saved positive requests
- Maximum execution time per target
- Auto-pause at a specified time
- Checks for common “parking” sites
- Thorough documentation