Are you looking for proper material to learn Burp Suite concepts? Get relaxed. Learning Burp Suite is no more a Rocket science. In this tutorial blog, we have simplified learning Burp Suite – as simple as possible with tailor-made content. First, know that Burp Suite is an automated security software used to protect web applications from cyberattacks. We advise you to read this tutorial thoroughly. Once you are done, you will be able to understand the very concepts of burp suite software, scanning processes, various tools used, how to get started, and a lot more.
Burp Suite is the automation-based security software used in web applications. With Burp Suite, you can identify threats and vulnerabilities in applications. Not only this, it is considered one of the best software to fight against cyberattacks because of its powerful scanning tool, known as Burp Scanner. Using this tool, Burp Suite scans web applications faster and automatically. As a result, it offers a wide range of benefits such as good reliability, scalability, flexibility, and integration.
Considering other key technological aspects of Burp Suite software, it accelerates workflows with 200+ extensions, performs faster brute-forcing and fuzzing attacks, and conducts deeper manual testing. Free plugins are the strength of Burp Suite, which is used to achieve extensibility when you use this software. Apart from all these, Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) are the two methodologies used in testing web applications in Burp Suite.
Let’s read on to explore more about Burp Suite in this tutorial. This tutorial covers the following topics.
Burp Suite Tutorial Table of Content:
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS):
In this type of vulnerability, attackers interfere with the queries generated by an application to its database. Next, the attacker accesses the data and modifies or changes the content in the database. For example, the attacker can access sensitive data such as passwords, credit cards, etc. Also, this vulnerability could compromise the server and make a DoS attack. Know that following are a few examples of SQL injection – retrieving hidden data, UNION attacks, subverting application logic, examining databases, and blind SQL injection.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF):
It is the type of security vulnerability capable of diverting users to do some other activity that the user does not actually intend. Like XSS vulnerability, this one also avoids origin policy and allows attackers to gain control over the victim’s user account. CSRF can occur in three scenarios: Cookie-based session handling, a relevant action, and no unpredictable request parameters.
XML External Entity Injection:
It is also known as XXE, which is a web security vulnerability. It allows attackers to interfere with the processing of XML data of an application. Also, it allows attackers to access the server file system and interact with the back-end or external systems. Besides, it leads to server-side forgery attacks.
This web security vulnerability is also called ‘file path traversal’. This vulnerability allows attackers to access arbitrary files in the server running an application. The arbitrary files may include application code and data, crucial OS files, and credentials of back-end systems. Attackers can write on arbitrary files and change the behaviour of the server.
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF):
It is another type of SSRF vulnerability. It allows attackers to induce applications to make requests to unintended locations. In other words, it allows attackers to make unauthorised access to data and make arbitrary command execution. Following are the types of SSRF attacks – attacks against the server and attacks against back-end systems. Note that you can overcome these attacks by using white-based input filters, bypassing SSRF filters via open redirection, and blind SSRF vulnerabilities.
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As mentioned earlier, Burp Suite is one of the technically sound web application security software. Now, let's discuss the reasons for the same.
With multi-AST technology, Burp Suite helps overcome friction in testing and supports streamlining software development. Scanning with configurable scan routines identifies vulnerabilities in web applications. As a result, the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) can be increased to an optimum value. In addition, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Single Sign-On (SSO) ensure the security of applications while scanning.
Compared to manual testing, automated testing provides many benefits. This way, penetration testing is one of the automated testing methods, which performs testing by penetrating systems deeply. Know that penetration testing uses the method known as fuzzing. In the same line, Burp repeater is one of the burp suite tools designed to repeat HTTP(S) requests many times. And it allows testers to edit requests manually.
|Related Article: What is Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)|
Bug Bounty Hunting:
Starting with Burp Proxy, individual web application components are allowed for testing in this method. After that, these components will be sent to bug hunting tools to detect vulnerabilities. Following is the list of popular bug hunting tools of Burp Suite – Burp proxy, Burp scanner, Site map, Burp Repeater, Content Discovery, Burp Extender API, and Burp Intruder.
Know that automation increases the chances of identifying more bugs and supports to resolve them quickly. Mainly, it ensures security while developing software. For example, integration with CI/CD pipeline ensures security in the software developing environment. DevSecOps prioritises security based on the threat level and helps to remove bottlenecks securely.
Burp Suite works against data breaches in web applications, reviews more websites, and takes the next course of action to reduce risks. As a result, it supports ensuring complete security over all the web applications and generates real-time reporting. Besides, it minimises the cost of external tools significantly. Note that Burp Suite ensures the security compliances for PCI DSS, NIST 800-53, HIPAA, OWSAP Top10, and GDPR.
Burp Scanner is a powerful pen-testing tool used in Burp Suite to find various vulnerabilities in web applications. It allows scanning for individuals and groups, and saves custom configurations. Here, Burp Scanner's attack engine is a powerful ally. And it automates the routines of pen-testers, thankfully.
Burp Scanner is a powerful security testing tool for web applications. Let’s know the reasons for the same below:
Burp Scanner uses advanced crawling algorithms to build profiles as a tester does. This scanner can handle dynamic content, API definitions, unstable internet connections, and many web applications.
Finger Printing Techniques:
Burp Scanner uses fingerprinting techniques that support avoiding sinkholes in requests. It helps reduce the number of requests during the testing, thereby increasing the scanner's performance and saving enough time. Also, it provides increased SNR producing a low rate of false positives.
Burp Scanner conducts OAST – Out of band Application Security Testing. This testing supports identifying the interaction between the target and the external server. This dynamic scanning can identify the vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and blind SSRF.
The following are the products offered by Burp Suite. Here’s the list:
The Burp Suite enterprise edition carries out automated vulnerability scanning for web applications. This edition is bundled with scheduled scans, intuitive remediation advice and reporting, and CI/CD integrations. The teams such as AppSec, CISO and CTO, software development, and AppSec centres of excellence can use this software. Making concurrent scanning in multiple applications is possible in this software.
Burp Suite enterprise edition is bundled with many good features. That is why users prefer enterprise edition to secure their web applications.
Thanks to Burp Scanner, which deeply identifies vulnerabilities in web applications. For this, Burp Scanner uses the embedded chromium browser. This way, automated OAST supports conducting dynamic scans and identifying vulnerabilities with high accuracy. With ‘point-and-click’ scanning, Burp Scanner allows an easy scanning setup.
Burp Suite enterprise edition can be integrated with other vulnerability management systems and bug tracking systems. Also, it can be integrated with existing systems for scanning web applications and obtaining results with REST API. With GraphQL-based API, you can integrate Burp Suite with the CI platform and functions. Know that configurations of this edition can be integrated with the automated Burp Suite professional environment.
With an interactive installer, standard deployment is achieved in this Burp Suite enterprise edition. Not only interactive installer but Kubernetes deployment can also be performed in this edition using Helm Chart.
Dashboard and Reporting Features:
When considering the dashboard in the enterprise edition, it helps to know the status of all security parameters of web applications in one place. For example, you can understand the severity of bugs or types of bugs through dashboards. Also, the dashboard shows scan history, which provides metrics about bugs and types of issues.
Considering the reports generation of this Burp Suite edition, it sends reports to teams through email. And it allows you to export bespoke HTML reports to destination sources. Moreover, ‘Security Poster Graphing’ helps to know the visual image of security parameters in web applications. In the same line, ‘Aggregated Reporting’ categorises security issues based on their class.
This Burp Suite professional edition also conducts penetration testing, bug bounty testing, and manual testing. In fact, this software uses Burp extensions (BApps) for customising workflows. And it will be supportive for frontline AppSec engineers, bug bounty hunters, and penetration testers to perform scanning web applications effectively.
The Burp Suite professional edition is faster and enriched with many fantastic features than the enterprise edition. Let's discuss them in the following in detail:
Manual Penetration Testing:
Basically, a penetration test is performed by creating a Burp proxy for intercepting HTTP(S) requests. It allows you to modify and reissue individual HTTP(S) and web socket messages. And it shows responses and analyses by which you can speed up workflows.
The Burp tools for penetration testing include Burp Scanner, Burp Repeater, Burp Intruder, and Burp Sequencers. While conducting penetration testing, target data is aggregated and stored in a target site map. Then, invisible content and hidden attacks are identified for the next course of action. What’s more! Burp penetration tools control ‘clickjacking attacks’ with special tools.
Advanced Automated Attacks:
By performing faster automated attacks such as brute-forcing and fuzzing, this Burp Suite edition analyses the behaviour of web applications deeply. You can make these automated attacks by deploying custom sequences of HTTP requests. Also, this edition carries out ‘proof of concept’ attacks and ‘deep manual testing'; as a result, it identifies issues like XSS.
Burp Suite performs active scans through URLs; not only that, Burp Suite identifies the location of issues too. Moreover, you can achieve fine-grained control over web applications by running ‘point and click’ scans in this edition.
Burp Suite professional edition comes with a few productivity tools that support effective scanning of web applications.
Deep-dive Message Analysis:
The feature-rich HTTP editor of Burp Suite professional edition shows the details such as follow-up, reference, analysis, discovery, and remediation.
This edition allows you to auto-save all projects on storage and add configurations to the pre-saved projects.
This edition allows you to generate HTML/XML reports with issues and evidence.
You can perform data encoding and decoding with multiple built-in operations in this software.
Burp Suite professional comes with many extensions in which each one serves its unique purpose. BApp Store is where you can find over 250 extensions used by Burp users. Let’s go through the listicles of a few popular extensions as follows:
Extender API: This extension provides universal adaptability.
Logger++: It provides in-depth vulnerability details with an accessible table where vulnerability details are neatly provided.
Authorise: This extension helps to perform repeat requests while testing authorisation vulnerabilities by which you can save time significantly.
Turbo Intruder: With the support of a custom HTTP stack, this extension manages thousands of requests in a second
J2EE Scan: It identifies vulnerabilities and hunts bugs in Java-based applications.
Upload Scanner: It supports uploading and testing multiple file type payloads.
Authmatrix: It helps to identify access-level vulnerability authorisation checks
Param Miner: It helps to identify unkeyed inputs and is capable of guessing up to 65000 parameter names per second.
Backslash Powered Scanner: It allows you to identify research-grade bugs and supports bridging human intuition and automation.
This community edition is the free version of web security testing. This edition has the features such as HTTP/Web sockets proxy and scan history. Know that Repeater, Sequencer, Comparer, and Decoder are the essential tools used in this edition. Besides, Burp Intruder plays a crucial role in this edition.
Getting started with Burp Suite professional and community edition is achieved in the following five steps:
1. Download and Install:
2. Intercepting HTTP traffic with Burp Proxy:
Burp Proxy allows you to intercept HTTP requests and responses in this stage. These requests are usually sent between Burp’s browser and the target server.
3. Modify HTTP requests with Burp Proxy:
4. Reissuing Requests with Burp Repeater:
5. Running the First Scan using Burp Suite
Here, you can find all about the benefits of Burp Suite software. Let’s look at them in detail.
Automated Processes: With automated processes, you can find more vulnerabilities in web applications by scanning.
Better Reporting: Scanning can be done at scale with the support of HTML and XML scan reports, and intuitive dashboards display detailed scan reports.
Robust Integration: Burp Suite can be integrated with ticketing systems. And CI/CD feedback will be helpful for developers.
Increased Productivity: With automated tools and workflows, you can speed up the testing of web applications. You can get expert remediation advice and increase productivity by managing busy workloads.
Vast Extensions: Burp Suite offers customisation options for pro-specific BApps and robust APIs, which in turn increases the efficiency of scanning.
Let's wrap off! We hope you must have imbibed some good knowledge on different vulnerabilities, Burp Suite editions, Burp Scanner, and many more through this tutorial. You must have got a concrete idea of how to safeguard your web applications with burp suite software. In addition to all these, you might have understood how to get started with burp suite software. Keep reading this tutorial multiple times because – at the end of the day, all that matters is not what you have read but what stays on your mind.
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Kalla Saikumar is a technology expert and is currently working as a content associate at MindMajix. Write articles on multiple platforms such as ServiceNow, Business Analysis, Performance Testing, Mulesoft, Oracle Exadata, Azure, and other courses. And you can join him on LinkedIn.
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