Top Vulnerable Web Apps to Hack Legally

It can be a challenge for ethical hack and penetration testers to test their abilities legally, so having websites designed to be insecure and providing a safe environment to test hacking skills is a fantastic way to keep you challenged.

Websites and web applications designed to be insecure and provide a safe hacking environment are ideal foundations for learning. New hackers can learn to find vulnerabilities with them, and professional security and bug bounty hunters can increase their experience and find other new vulnerabilities.

Use of vulnerable web applications

Leveraging these intentionally created vulnerable websites and web applications for testing gives you a safe environment to test legally while being on the right side of the law. This way, you can hack without entering dangerous territory that could lead to your arrest.

These applications are designed to help security enthusiasts learn and hone their information security and penetration testing skills.

Buggy Web Application

Buggy Web Application, often referred to as BWAPP, is a free and open source tool. It is a PHP application that uses a MySQL database as its backend. This Bwapp has over 100 bugs that you can work on, whether you’re gearing up for a task or just want to keep your ethical hacking skills up to standard. This covers all major (and most frequent) security flaws.

More than 100 online application vulnerabilities and flaws are included in this tool, which was derived from the OWASP Top 10 project. The following are some of the flaws:

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
  • DoS (Denial of Service Attacks)
  • Man in the middle attacks
  • Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF)
  • SQL, OS Command, HTML, PHP and SMTP injections, etc.
  • This web application will help you conduct legal ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Damn Vulnerable Web Application

Damn Vulnerable Web Application, often known as DVWA, is developed in PHP and MySQL. It is intentionally left vulnerable so that security professionals and ethics hackers can test their skills without legally compromising anyone’s system. To run, DVWA requires the installation of a web server, PHP and MySQL. If you don’t already have a web server set up, the quickest approach to installing DVWA is to download and install ‘XAMPP’. XAMPP is available for download here.

  • This damn vulnerable web application provides some vulnerability to test.
  • Brute force
  • Command execution
  • Inclusion of files and CSRF
  • XSS and SQL injection
  • Insecure file upload

The main advantage of DVWA is that we can establish security levels to test each vulnerability. Each level of security needs a unique set of talent. Security researchers can examine what’s going on in the back-end thanks to the developers’ decision to release the source code. This is great for researchers to learn about these issues and help others learn about them.

Google Gruyere

We don’t often see the words “cheese” and “piracy” together, but this website is full of holes, like delicious cheese. Gruyere is an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn how to locate and exploit vulnerabilities and how to fight them. It also uses “cheesy” coding and the entire design is based on cheese.

To make things easier, it is written in Python and categorized by vulnerability types. They will provide you with a brief description of the vulnerability that you will locate, exploit, and identify using black box or white box hacking (or a combination of both techniques) for each task. Some of them are:

  • Information divulgation
  • SQL injection
  • Cross-site request forgery
  • Denial of service attacks

Although some prior knowledge is required, this is the best option for beginners.


This list includes another OWASP item and one of the most popular. WebCabra is an insecure program that can be used to learn about common server-side application problems. It is intended to help people learn about application security and practice pentesting techniques.

Each lesson allows you to learn about a specific security flaw and then attack it in the application.

Some of the vulnerabilities presented in Webgoat are:

  • The buffer overflows
  • Improper error handling
  • injection defects
  • Insecure communication and configuration
  • Defects in session management
  • Parameter manipulation

Metasploitable 2

Among security researchers, Metaexploitable is the most exploited online application. High-end tools like Metasploit and Nmap can be used to test this application by security enthusiasts.

The main purpose of this vulnerable application is network testing. It was inspired by the prominent Metasploit program, which is used by security researchers to discover security flaws. You might even be able to find a shell for this program. WebDAV, phpMyAdmin, and DVWA are features built into this application.

You may not be able to find the GUI of the application, but you can still use numerous tools via terminal or command line to exploit it. You can look at its ports, services, and version, among other things. This will help you assess your ability to learn the Metasploit tool.


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