[WEB SECURITY] Tool Update Announcement >> WhatWeb v0.4.6 Released. Now with over 900 plugins!

YGN Ethical Hacker Group lists at yehg.net
Sat Mar 26 11:41:59 EDT 2011

Version 0.4.6 of WhatWeb is now released. Enjoy scanning the web.

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Readme for WhatWeb - Next generation web scanner.
By urbanadventurer aka Andrew Horton from Security-Assessment.com
Version: 0.4.6. March 25th, 2011
License: GPLv2


This product is subject to the terms detailed in the license
agreement. For more information about
WhatWeb visit:

       Homepage:       http://www.morningstarsecurity.com/research/whatweb
       Wiki:           https://github.com/urbanadventurer/WhatWeb/wiki/

If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding WhatWeb,
please consult the documentation
prior to contacting one of the developers. Your feedback is always welcome.

       1.  About WhatWeb
       2.  Example Usage
       3.  Usage
       4.  Logging & Output
       5.  Plugins
       6.  Aggression
       7.  Recursive Spidering
       8.  Performance & Stability
       9.  Optional Dependencies
       10. Release History
       11. Credits
       12. Updates & Additional Information

1. About WhatWeb

WhatWeb identifies websites. It's goal is to answer the question,
"What is that Website?". WhatWeb
recognises web technologies including content management systems
(CMS), blogging platforms,
statistic/analytics packages, JavaScript libraries, web servers, and
embedded devices. WhatWeb has
over 900 plugins, each to recognise something different. WhatWeb also
identifies version numbers,
email addresses, account ID's, web framework modules, SQL errors, and more.

WhatWeb can be stealthy and fast, or thorough but slow. WhatWeb
supports an aggression level to
control the trade off between speed and reliability. When you visit a
website in your browser, the
transaction includes many hints of what web technologies are powering
that website. Sometimes a
single webpage visit contains enough information to identify a website
but when it does not, WhatWeb
can interrogate the website further. The default level of aggression,
called 'passive', is the
fastest and requires only one HTTP request of a website. This is
suitable for scanning public
websites. More aggressive modes were developed for in penetration tests.

Most WhatWeb plugins are thorough and recognise a range of cues from
subtle to obvious. For example,
most WordPress websites can be identified by the meta HTML tag, e.g.
'<meta name="generator"
content="WordPress 2.6.5">', but a minority of WordPress websites
remove this identifying tag but
this does not thwart WhatWeb. The WordPress WhatWeb plugin has over 15
tests, which include checking
the favicon, default installation files, login pages, and checking for
"/wp-content/" within
relative links.

       * Over 900 plugins
       * Control the trade off between speed/stealth and reliability
       * Plugins include example URLs
       * Performance tuning. Control how many websites to scan concurrently.
       * Multiple log formats: Brief (greppable), Verbose (human
readable), XML, JSON, MagicTree,
RubyObject, MongoDB.
       * Recursive web spidering
       * Proxy support including TOR
       * Custom HTTP headers
       * Basic HTTP authentication
       * Control over webpage redirection
       * Nmap-style IP ranges
       * Fuzzy matching
       * Result certainty awareness
       * Custom plugins defined on the command line

2. Example Usage

Using WhatWeb on a handful of websites (standard WhatWeb output is in colour):

$ ./whatweb slashdot.org reddit.com
http://reddit.com [302] HTTPServer[AkamaiGHost],
Via-Proxy[1.1 bc1], IP[], Akamai-Global-Host,
http://slashdot.org [200] Script, HTTPServer[Unix][Apache/1.3.42
(Unix) mod_perl/1.31],
Google-Analytics[GA][32013], Via-Proxy[1.1 bc5],
HTML5, IP[], OpenGraphProtocol[100000696822412],
X-Powered-By[Slash 2.005001],
Title[Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters],
Email[canadaboy at nOspam.gmail.com,jbort at nww.com], Country[UNITED STATES][US]
http://www.reddit.com/ [200] Frame, PasswordField[passwd,passwd2],
Script, HTTPServer['; DROP TABLE
servertypes; --], IP[], JQuery, Cookies[reddit_first],
Title[reddit: the voice of the
internet -- news before it happens], Country[NEW ZEALAND][NZ]

3. Usage

WhatWeb - Next generation web scanner.
Version 0.4.6 by Andrew Horton aka urbanadventurer from Security-Assessment.com
Homepage: http://www.morningstarsecurity.com/research/whatweb

Usage: whatweb [options] <URLs>

 <URLs>                Enter URLs, filenames or nmap-format IP ranges.
                       Use /dev/stdin to pipe HTML directly
 --input-file=FILE, -i Identify URLs found in FILE, e.g. -i /dev/stdin
 --url-prefix          Add a prefix to target URLs
 --url-suffix          Add a suffix to target URLs
 --url-pattern         Insert the targets into a URL. Requires --input-file,
                       e.g. www.example.com/%insert%/robots.txt
 --example-urls, -e    Add example URLs for each selected plugin to the target
                       list. By default will add example URLs for all plugins.

 --aggression, -a=LEVEL The aggression level controls the trade-off between
                       speed/stealth and reliability. Default: 1
                       Aggression levels are:
       1 (Passive)     Make one HTTP request per target. Except for redirects.
       2 (Polite)      Reserved for future use
       3 (Aggressive)  Triggers aggressive plugin functions only when a
                       plugin matches passively.
       4 (Heavy)       Trigger aggressive functions for all plugins. Guess a
                       lot of URLs like Nikto.

 --user-agent, -U=AGENT Identify as AGENT instead of WhatWeb/0.4.6.
 --user, -u=<user:password> HTTP basic authentication
 --header, -H          Add an HTTP header. eg "Foo:Bar". Specifying a default
                       header will replace it. Specifying an empty value, e.g.
                       "User-Agent:" will remove the header.
 --follow-redirect=WHEN Control when to follow redirects. WHEN may be `never',
                       `http-only', `meta-only', `same-site', `same-domain'
                       or `always'. Default: always
 --max-redirects=NUM   Maximum number of contiguous redirects. Default: 10

 --recursion, -r       Follow links recursively. Only follow links under the
                       path Default: off
 --depth, -d           Maximum recursion depth. Default: 10
 --max-links, -m       Maximum number of links to follow on one page
                       Default: 250
 --spider-skip-extensions Redefine extensions to skip.
                       Default: zip,gz,tar,jpg,exe,png,pdf

 --proxy               <hostname[:port]> Set proxy hostname and port
                       Default: 8080
 --proxy-user          <username:password> Set proxy user and password

 --plugins, -p         Comma delimited set of selected plugins. Default is all.
                       Each element can be a directory, file or plugin name and
                       can optionally have a modifier, e.g. + or -
                       Examples: +/tmp/moo.rb,+/tmp/foo.rb
 --list-plugins, -l    List the plugins
 --info-plugins, -I    Display information for all plugins. Optionally search
                       with keywords in a comma delimited list.
 --custom-plugin       Define a custom plugin called Custom-Plugin,
                       Examples: ":text=>'powered by abc'"
                       ":regexp=>/powered[ ]?by ab[0-9]/"
                       ":ghdb=>'intitle:abc \"powered by abc\"'"
                       "{:text=>'powered by abc'},{:regexp=>/abc [ ]?1/i}"

 --verbose, -v         Increase verbosity, use twice for plugin development.
 --colour,--color=WHEN control whether colour is used. WHEN may be `never',
                       `always', or `auto'
 --log-brief=FILE      Log brief, one-line output
 --log-verbose=FILE    Log verbose output
 --log-xml=FILE        Log XML format
 --log-json=FILE       Log JSON format
 --log-json-verbose=FILE Log JSON Verbose format
 --log-magictree=FILE  Log MagicTree XML format
 --log-object=FILE     Log Ruby object inspection format
 --log-mongo-database  Name of the MongoDB database
 --log-mongo-collection Name of the MongoDB collection. Default: whatweb
 --log-mongo-host      MongoDB hostname or IP address. Default:
 --log-mongo-username  MongoDB username. Default: nil
 --log-mongo-password  MongoDB password. Default: nil
 --log-errors=FILE     Log errors

 --max-threads, -t     Number of simultaneous threads. Default: 25.
 --open-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 60
 --read-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 120
 --wait=SECONDS        Wait SECONDS between connections
                       This is useful when using a single thread.

 --help, -h            This help
 --debug               Raise errors in plugins
 --version             Display version information. (WhatWeb 0.4.6)

 whatweb example.com
 whatweb -v example.com
 whatweb -a 3 example.com

4. Logging & Output

The following types of logging are supported:
       --log-brief=FILE        Brief, one-line, greppable format
       --log-verbose=FILE      Verbose
       --log-xml=FILE          XML format. XSL stylesheet is provided
       --log-json=FILE         JSON format
       --log-json-verbose=FILE JSON verbose format
       --log-magictree=FILE    MagicTree XML format
       --log-object=FILE       Ruby object inspection format
       --log-mongo-database    Name of the MongoDB database
       --log-mongo-collection  Name of the MongoDB collection. Default: whatweb
       --log-mongo-host        MongoDB hostname or IP address. Default:
       --log-mongo-username    MongoDB username. Default: nil
       --log-mongo-password    MongoDB password. Default: nil
       --log-errors=FILE       Log errors. This is usually printed to
the screen in red.

You can output to multiple logs simultaneously by specifying multiple
command line logging options.

5. Plugins

To list the plugins supported:

$ ./whatweb -l

WhatWeb Plugin List

Plugin Name               Description
1024-CMS                  1024 is one of a few CMS's leading the way with the i
360-Web-Manager           360-Web-Manager - homepage: http://www.360webmanager.
4images                   4images is a powerful web-based image gallery managem
... (truncated - there are a lot)

To view more detail about a plugin or search plugins for a keyword:

$ ./whatweb -I phpBB
WhatWeb Plugin Information
Searching for phpBB
Plugin Name               Details
       Author:              Andrew Horton
       Version:             0.3
       Examples:            16
       Matches:             7
       Passive function:    Yes
       Aggressive function: Yes
       Version detection:   Yes
       phpBB is a free forum phpbb.org

1 plugins found

All plugins are loaded by default.

Plugins can be selected by directories, files or plugin names as a
comma delimited list with the -p
or --plugin command line option.

Each list item may have a modifier: + adds to the full set, - removes
from the full set and no
modifier overrides the defaults.

Examples :

       --plugins +plugins-disabled,-foobar
       --plugins +/tmp/moo.rb
       --plugins foobar (only select foobar)
       -p title,md5,+./plugins-disabled/
       -p ./plugins-disabled,-md5

6. Aggression

WhatWeb features several levels of aggression. By default the
aggression level is set to 1 (passive)
which sends a single HTTP GET request.

--aggression, -a

       1 (Passive)     Make one HTTP request per target. Except for redirects.
       2 (Polite)      Reserved for future use
       3 (Aggressive)  Triggers aggressive plugin functions only when a
                       plugin matches passively.
       4 (Heavy)       Trigger aggressive functions for all plugins. Guess a
                       lot of URLs like Nikto.

If aggression is enabled the aggressive plugins will guess more URLs
and perform actions that are
potentially unsuitable without permission.

With the passive matches we know that smartor.is-root.com/forum/ is
running phpBB version 2:

$ ./whatweb smartor.is-root.com/forum/
http://smartor.is-root.com/forum/ [200] PasswordField[password],
PoweredBy[phpBB], Apache[2.2.15], IP[], phpBB[2],
PHP[5.2.13], test[Smartors Mods
Forums - Reloaded], X-Powered-By[PHP/5.2.13],
Title[Smartors Mods Forums - Reloaded], Country[GERMANY][DE]

With the aggressive matches in the phpBB plugin we know that the same
website is running phpBB
version 2.0.20 or higher:

$ ./whatweb -p plugins/phpbb.rb -a 3 smartor.is-root.com/forum/
http://smartor.is-root.com/forum/ [200] phpBB[2,>2.0.20]

Note the use of the -p argument to select only the phpBB plugin. It is
advisable, but not mandatory,
to select a specific plugin when attempting to fingerprint software
versions in aggressive mode.
This approach is far more stealthy as it will limit the number of requests.

Do not use aggressive plugins with recursive site crawling. WhatWeb
has no understanding of a
website, instead it currently treats each URL separately.

It also has no caching so if you use aggressive plugins with recursion
you will fetch the same files
multiple times. The same is true for aggressive modes on redirecting URLs.

7. Recursive Spidering

The recursion option is used to scan some or all of a website with
WhatWeb. Recursive spidering will
follow each link on a webpage if it is within the same website, then
repeat the process on the
followed pages.

The configurable settings for recursive spidering are:
       --recursion, -r         Follow links recursively. Only follows
links under the path (default: off)
       --depth, -d             Maximum recursion depth (default: 10)
       --max-links, -m         Maximum number of links to follow on
one page (default: 250)
       --spider-skip-extensions Redefine extensions to skip. (Default:

Limitations of the spidering. This follows links in <a> tags, these
are the HTML tags designed
specifically for links. The spider does not obtain URLs from other
sources. Some good choices for
future improvement are image tags, e.g. <img src="/images/boats.jpg">,
form tags, e.g. <form
action="/vote.php">, URL paths in CSS files, etc.

The spider is provided by Anemone, a third party ruby gem. It doesn't
follow redirects. For example
the URL treshna.com will fail and www.treshna.com will produce results.

8. Performance & Stability

WhatWeb features several options to increase performance and stability.

 --max-threads, -t     Number of simultaneous threads. Default: 25.
 --open-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 60
 --read-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 120
 --wait=SECONDS        Wait SECONDS between connections
                       This is useful when using a single thread.

The --wait and --max-threads commands can be used to assist in IDS evasion.

Furthermore, changing the user-agent using the -U or --user-agent
command line option will avoid the
Snort IDS rule for WhatWeb.

Without the em-resolve-replace gem performance is significantly degraded.

If you are scanning ranges of IP addresses, it is much more efficient
to use a port scanner like
nmap to discover which have port 80 open
before scanning with WhatWeb.

Character set detection, with the Charset plugin, required by JSON and
MongoDB logging uses more CPU
than otherwise.

9. Optional Dependencies

Without the em-resolve-replace gem performance is significantly degraded.
       gem install em-resolve-replace

To enable JSON logging install the json gem.
       gem install json

To enable MongoDB logging install the mongo gem.
       gem install mongo

To enable character set detection and MongoDB logging install the rchardet gem.
       gem install rchardet

10. Release History

Version 0.3 Released at Kiwicon III (kiwicon.org), November 2nd, 2009
Version 0.4 Released March 14th, 2010
Version 0.4.1 Released April 28th, 2010
Version 0.4.2 Released April 30th, 2010
Version 0.4.3 Released May 24th, 2010
Version 0.4.4 Released June 29th, 2010
Version 0.4.5 Released August 17th, 2010
Version 0.4.6 Released March 25th, 2011

11. Credits

Written by urbanadventurer aka Andrew Horton from Security-Assessment.com
Homepage: http://www.morningstarsecurity.com/research/whatweb
License: GPLv2

Anemone library (used for spidering) is written by Chris Kite
Homepage: http://anemone.rubyforge.org/
License: MIT


Andrew Horton
Brendan Coles


Thank you to the following people who have contributed to WhatWeb

Emilio Casbas
Louis Nyffenegger
Patrik Wallström
Caleb Anderson
Tonmoy Saikia
Aung Khant
Erik Inge Bolsų
nk at dsigned.gr
Michal Ambroz for writing the Makefile and Man pages
Gremwell for improving the MagicTree logging

12. Updates & Additional Information

The WhatWeb development build features regular updates.

       * WhatWeb-dev:          https://github.com/urbanadventurer/WhatWeb/
       * WhatWeb-dev-unstable: https://github.com/bcoles/WhatWeb/

Browse the wiki for more documentation and advanced usage techniques.

       * Wiki: https://github.com/urbanadventurer/WhatWeb/wiki/

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