The reconnaissance and scanning phases of a penetration test are arguably the most important of the entire process. Without a clear understanding of the bigger picture and the avenues potentially available to you, you won’t be going very far at all. As part of this process, it’s very likely that you regularly come up against web servers and just as likely that these servers will be hosting web applications. I mean, what’s the point of a web server otherwise, right? With this in mind, it’s critically important to be able to properly enumerate and gather information from these servers as you go about your penetration test. In this article, I’ll be discussing the usage of some of the most common automated tools created for directory enumeration. Ready? Then read on!
tools like Gobuster automate the process of scanning for directories so that you don’t have to sit around typing hundreds or thousands of common directory names in a browser. Assuming you’re using Kali Linux (and let’s face it, you probably are), this tool doesn’t come standard and you’ll need to download it with “sudo apt-get install gobuster” in the terminal. Once you have that, you’re ready to roll.
The basic syntax for this tool on Kali is
gobuster -u http://192.168.52.131:80 -w /usr/share/wordlists/yourwordlist.txt
This will set Gobuster off on a directory scan for directories matching whatever is in your chosen wordlist. Keep in mind that you can also use HTTPS and/or change the port number appropriately based on your needs.
Another very useful feature of Gobuster is that it can also scan for given filename extensions on the web server and not just directories. This can be done by appending “-x .php”, or whatever extension you like after the -x, and is a good idea if you want to be more thorough in your scan.
For a more detailed explanation, check our video on YouTube –