There is no more suitable approach to getting confident in your ethical hacking skills than by exercising them in a real-life environment. So, here we will discuss the best vulnerable websites.
These days, hackers are intensifying their efforts to attack valuable sites and web applications. Such sites are engaging targets for cybercriminals since they are available 24/7 on the internet. Thus, securing websites and web applications becomes crucial to keep your infrastructure secure.
It is possible when you augment penetration testing (pen testing) strategies. To do this, an ethical hacker who has expert-level penetration skills is what a company demands.
Hence, to be an ethical hacker, developer, or security manager, you must practice and develop your pen testing on vulnerable websites.
What is the Use of Penetration Testing?
In penetration testing, ethical hackers learn to counteract the exploitable vulnerabilities by performing a simulated cyber-attack against an organization’s security system.
It includes attempted breaching of any number of application systems to expose vulnerabilities.
In this technique, as an ethical hacker, you will usually implement a web application firewall (WAF) for web application security. In fact, pen testing and WAFs possess mutually useful security standards.
The tester is likely to use WAF data for a wide range of pen testing, for example, logs to determine and exploit the weak spots of an app. Also, WAF configurations are possible to be updated to defend against the weak spots identified during the test.
Thus, it is a kind of holistic web application security procedure. Undoubtedly, the vulnerable site is a one-stop solution to practice, improve, or remain updated on the latest penetration testing trends.
Vulnerable Websites To Practice Penetration Test Legally
So, where can you find that? We explored the web solutions and found the most reliable resources for you. These sites will allow you to learn more about cyber attacks and pen-testing techniques to solve them.
Let’s get started and start practicing on them one by one!
Buggy Web Application or bWAPP is a one-stop solution to help security developers, practitioners, and students alike to detect and prevent web vulnerabilities.
What makes it a favorite website among pro and novice developers is available 100+ web vulnerabilities to practice. bWAPP incorporates every significant web bug along with all the OWASP top 10 project’s risks.
It is a free and open-source web application to hone your penetration testing skills. Through this portal, you can successfully prepare yourself by taking part in ethical hacking projects.
The site is a PHP application that employs a MySQL database. Users can host bWAPP on Linux or Windows with MySQL and Apache/IIS. Further, it also supports WAMP or XAMPP.
- It consists of more than 60 web bugs to practice pen-testing.
- Some of the covered vulnerabilities on this site are Injection
- vulnerabilities, AJAX, Cross-sites, Web Services issues, (DoS) attacks, Configuration issues, cookie poisoning, and many others.
- This vulnerable site incorporates all risks from the OWASP Top 10 project.
- You will get a custom Linux VMware virtual machine called bee-box pre-installed with this website.
Start practicing from here.
2. Defend the Web ( Formerly HackThis!)
This vulnerable website is your best source to learn how to hack, dump, as well as deface. Also, you learn the method to secure your website from hackers.
The platform consists of more than 50 levels to practice pen testing with multiple difficulty levels. Additionally, you can remain updated by reading all the latest articles and news about hacking presented by its active online community.
- Defend the Web is a safe and legal network security source to learn more about hacking.
- If you have any doubts at any level, the community members will be more than happy to solve your issue.
Start practicing from here.
3. Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA)
Damn Vulnerable Web App is an extremely vulnerable PHP/MySQL-based web application. The setting of the DVWA vulnerable site is quite complicated.
Also called DVWA, the aim of this susceptible website is to support security experts to upgrade their skills and test tools in a legal as well as a secure environment.
Furthermore, this platform helps web developers to learn web application security strategies. However, the variety of attacks is not really as comprehensive.
Below are some of the features of The DVWA that earned it a spot in our list of Best Vulnerable Websites.
- It is suitable for both intermediate and advanced-level pen-testers.
- DVWA allows changing the setting from easy to difficult as per your learning level.
- You can use programs like Buffer Overflow attacks, and memory/stack manipulation challenges offline.
4. Enigma Project
It is another secure and legal penetration testing platform where you can build your testing skills using its various challenges. Members will find more than 300 intentionally created problems to train themselves. The scenarios on this site include the exploits given in the OWASP Top 10 Project.
The vulnerable site also focuses on teaching its members several varieties of exploits found in apps these days. You can become a tester and programmer both after practicing on this site.
Below are some of the features of The Enigma Project that earned it a spot in our list of Best Vulnerable Websites.
- The site has over 50000 active members, 500000 forum posts, 28000+ exploits database, and 200 articles.
- This vulnerable site hosts weekly and monthly online contests to keep you motivated to learn more.
Start practicing from here.
5. Hellbound Hackers
This site set gives you a chance to do hands-on computer security practice. Hellbound Hackers is the best site to develop hacking skills for beginners.
A budding developer will find a plethora of super-easy challenges on this legally vulnerable site. Through these challenges, you can learn to recognize exploits and recommend the code to Patrick.
However, the penetration testing site is not limited to beginners. That said, even experts can take advantage of the site through the hacking tutorials and the biggest hacking communities available on the site.
Tasks covered on the Hellbound Hackers site are social work and rooting as well as application encryption and cracking. Apart from computer security, user can also test the hacking skills on various IoT devices on this vulnerable website.
Hellbound Hackers also boasts one of the most prominent hackers communities.
- You can learn to identify patch and code patch recommendations through this portal.
- You can communicate with fellow learners in a classroom setting.
At the time of our research on Best Vulnerable Websites, we found a video about “Pen testing Tips” which is worth watching. 🤴🏆
6. Root me
Root me offers a simple, fast, and affordable space to learn your hacking skills. It is an easy-to-use site, you just have to sign in to the site, and you are good to go. With just a few clicks, you will access various virtual environments.
You can educate yourself in diverse and not faked environments to grasp expertise in several hacking techniques. Thus, without any limitation, you will get to practice in a realistic learning environment.
You get to learn to challenge and brush up on your hacking skills here.
Below are some of the features of The Root me that earned it a spot in our list of Best Vulnerable Websites.
- You can access the vulnerable website in English, French, and German as per your language preference.
- 200 hacking challenges and 71 virtual environments are available to improve your hacking skills.
Gruyere is a product of tech giant Google that speaks a volume, about why it is worthy of being on our list of best vulnerable websites. Written in Python, however, the bugs in Gruyere aren’t Python-specific.
A fun approach to learning penetration testing is the highlight of this vulnerable website! Ever heard of hacking and cheese mutually? The whole theme of Gruyere is cheese-based that even utilizes “cheesy” codes.
It is an ideal website to understand how to secure the site against exploits. There are vulnerabilities divided into different segments that offer you a task to expose that vulnerability. You will be searching for exploit bugs by applying black and white box hacking.
You will find a lot of security vulnerabilities that will be of great help if you’re a beginner. Although some previous skillset is vital, still the site will serve the beginners well. Also, it’s good to have at least basic Python knowledge to practice on this project.
- It keeps the learners glued to practicing, finding, and exploiting vulnerabilities.
- You will learn to find security vulnerabilities.
- You can learn the hackers’ tricks on exploiting web applications.
- Also, understand how to prevent hackers from employing vulnerabilities.
Start practicing from here.
WebGoat is one of the most prevalent projects of OWASP. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and OSX Tiger. You will also find an easy-run and source distribution version using which you can adjust the source code.
The insecure platform features practical teaching alongside a learning environment. All the lessons focus on training you about complicated app security issues. Hence, if you are a developer, looking forward to honing your skills on web application security, WebGoat is ideal for you.
Below are some of the features of The Webgoat that earned it a spot in our list of Best Vulnerable Websites.
- The WebGoat is simple to set up that you can start with the basics.
- The vulnerabilities include SQL Injections, Access Control Flaws, Cross-Site Scripting (XXS), and others.
- It also has tips and suggestions to help out the beginners.
- There are separate downloads available for .NET as well as J2EE environments.
9. Game of Hacks
Although it is not precisely a vulnerable website, yet we find it deserving to be listed here. Wondering why? Well, because the Game of Hacks has an interesting approach to teach penetration testing.
The game will enable you to test your fsec skills. All questions on the application will throw a chunk of code, and before the clock runs out, you have to identify if there is a security vulnerability. You may or may not find security holes in the challenges available on it.
- Every assigned task on this vulnerable website offers a plethora of codes.
- The site has gathered fantastic feedback from both developers and security pros.
10. Hack This Site
It is another legal and one of the best places for upgrading your penetration testing skills. HTS is developed by Jeremy Hammond to develop ethical hacking skills. You get to practice through various challenges on this site.
This deliberately vulnerable is entirely safe to use.
- Hack This Site also provides several hacking articles, news, tutorials, and forums.
- It is an ideal vulnerable website to develop your skills by completing different challenges.
Start practicing from here.
11. Over The Wire
This new, deliberately vulnerable website serves all experience levels of developers and security professionals. Here you get to learn as well as practice security concepts. Over the wire website frequently keeps updating new hacking challenges.
The interesting wargames allow beginners to practice pen-testing in a fun-filled way. You will also find complex bugs to patch in advanced-level games.
- You can visit its IRC chat servers to discuss with them the problem you are facing while practicing.
Start practicing here.
If you are really interested to learn ethical hacking I would recommend you to watch out the below video.
Real-time Use Cases of Penetration Testing
- Financial sectors require pen-testing strategies to keep their data secure, including investment banking, stock trading exchanges, and banks.
- On hacking of any software system, the company can discover, either there are more threats or not in the system. Thus, penetration testing can help evade future hacking possibilities.
- You can apply a proactive penetration testing technique to secure the site against hackers.
At the time of our research on Best Vulnerable Websites For Penetration Tester, we found a video about “Find Vulnerable Services & Hidden Info Using Google Dorks” which is worth watching. 🏆🤴
Whether a developer, pen-tester, or security manager – all need to drill their hacking skills to be the best defender of their cyberspace. No matter how many articles, books, or video tutorials you see, it is yet incomplete until you practice.
After all, practice makes a man perfect! So, it’s better to be ready by acquiring advanced level pen-testing skills.
For anybody searching for a way to learn the new penetration testing skills, legal vulnerable websites are your best bet! You can become an expert in your job when you start practicing on deliberately vulnerable sites.
Many users also found these sites as a great resource to develop their minds and to boost problem-solving skills.
If you are new in ethical hacking, you may find it a challenging task. However, when you train yourself on these platforms, you’ll learn to give your best. All of the websites mentioned above are 100% legal hacking sites.