In the last article, we discussed How to Disable Directory Listing on a Web Server and why it can be dangerous for your server.

Now, we are going to discover special tools for Directory Traversal Attack.

What is a Directory Traversal Attack?

A Directory Traversal Attack, also known as Path Traversal or Directory Climbing, is a type of security vulnerability that occurs when an attacker can navigate or access files and directories on a web server outside of the web application’s intended directory structure. This attack is typically the result of insufficient input validation or inadequate access controls in a web application.

Here’s how a directory traversal attack works:

  1. User Input Handling: The web application takes user input, often in the form of a file or directory path, and processes it without adequate validation or sanitation.
  2. Input Manipulation: The attacker manipulates the input by including special characters or sequences, such as “../” or equivalent encodings, to navigate up the directory structure.
  3. Traversal Attempt: By manipulating the input, the attacker attempts to traverse out of the application’s intended directory structure, moving to parent directories or other sensitive locations on the server.
  4. Exploitation: If the application does not properly validate or sanitize the input, the attacker may successfully access files and directories that they are not supposed to have access to.
  5. Data Leakage or Exploitation: The attacker can then view, modify, or delete files, which can lead to data leakage, unauthorized access, or other security breaches.

5 Best Tools for Directory Traversal Attack

  • Dirb

DIRB, short for “Directory Buster,” is a powerful Web Content Scanner designed to uncover both visible and concealed Web Objects. Its operation is based on a dictionary-based attack approach against web servers, where it meticulously assesses the responses it receives.

Download | DebianKali.Org

  • DirBuster

DirBuster is a multi threaded java application designed to brute force directories and files names on web/application servers. Often is the case now of what looks like a web server in a state of default installation is actually not, and has pages and applications hidden within. DirBuster attempts to find these.

Download | GitHub | Kali.Org

  • Dirsearch

“dirsearch” is a popular open-source command-line tool for directory brute-forcing and file enumeration on web servers. Its primary purpose is to help identify hidden directories and files on web servers by systematically checking a wide range of directory and file names. Dirsearch is commonly used for web application security testing and penetration testing to discover potential vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.

Download | GitHub | Kali.Org

  • ffuf

FFUF, pronounced as “fuff,” is an open-source web application fuzzing tool. It is used for discovering hidden files and directories on web servers, similar to Gobuster, but with some additional features and a different approach. Fuzzing, in this context, involves making numerous requests to a web server with variations in URLs to find hidden or sensitive resources.

Download | GitHub 

  • GoBuster

Gobuster is a popular open-source tool used in information gathering and directory/file brute-forcing during penetration testing and security assessments. It is primarily designed for web application and network security testing, specifically in the context of finding hidden or sensitive files and directories on web servers. Gobuster works by making HTTP requests to a target server and analyzing the responses to discover hidden or non-public resources.

Download | GitHub | Kali.Org