Independent Web Vulnerability Scanner Comparison – Acunetix WVS, IBM Rational AppScan & HP WebInspect

Outsmart Malicious Hackers

I saw a relevant paper published today by an individual that claims the comparison was ordered by a penetration testing company (a company which remains unnamed).

The vendors were not contacted during or after the evaluation.

Testing Procedure

The author tested 13 web applications (some of them containing a lot of vulnerabilities), 3 demo applications provided by the vendors:

And some tests were done to verify JavaScript execution capabilities.

In total, 16 applications were tested.

An attempt was made to try and cover all the major platforms, so applications in PHP, ASP, ASP.NET and Java were used.

Note for Application Tests:

The report only included “important/critical/major” vulnerabilities like SQL injection, Local/Remote File Inclusion, XSS – Vulnerabilities like “Unencrypted Login Form”, “Directory listing found”, “Email address found” were not included to avoid clutter.

SQL injection vulnerabilities can be discovered through error messages or blind SQL injection. Some scanners are showing 2 alerts: one for the vulnerability found through error message and another for the blind technique. In these cases only one vulnerability has been counted.

The scanners were rated as follows:

Scanner Scoring

You can download the full PDF report here:


And the associated JavaScript files used for testing here:

The original file location is:

Author’s blog –

Posted in: Countermeasures, Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Security Software, Web Hacking

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4 Responses to Independent Web Vulnerability Scanner Comparison – Acunetix WVS, IBM Rational AppScan & HP WebInspect

  1. phage101 January 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    That’s brutal at best…

  2. navin January 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    This simply proves what I’ve always felt: Acunetix +Acusensor is the best choice out there

    A bit slower, but extremely valuable!!

    Nice report though!!


  3. Sploo January 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    I think it’s stupid to use the WebInspect demo page. Why wouldn’t WI win for that one!?!

  4. Pantagruel January 29, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    With Navin,

    Yep nice report.
    The amount of missed and false negatives is worrying and it’s a good thing for Acunetix that they appear to do so well. The other should definitely wake up and get improving.