Quick Tutorial - Nikto Free Web Vulnerability Scanner

Nikto is an open-source and popular Perl-based web vulnerability scanner among the security community. This tool performs a comprehensive scan of websites for the below items:

  • dangerous files and programs on web servers
  • check for outdated version of servers
  • identify problems in web servers

Nikto generally complete scan in a very short duration. It may not replace commercial web scanner tools like Fortify WebInspect, Burpsuite Professional, etc but definitely one of the scans while performing a security audit of the web application.

You can use the Nikto scanner on Kali Linux which is the most popular operating system among hackers. It is pre-installed on Kali.

Nikto - Help option


#nikto -host <url>

Download and its Usage

git clone https://github.com/sullo/nikto
./nikto.pl -h http://www.test-site.com
perl nikto.pl -h http://www.test-site.com

Advantages of using Nikto

  • Able to scan SSL/TLS websites
  • Able to save the output in different formats such as plain text, XML, HTML, NBE, or CSV
  • Able to identify more subdomains
  • Able to identify hidden web pages
  • Able to update via command line
  • less false positive vulnerabilities
  • Able to provide guess vulnerable username and passwords
  • Able to authenticate the host via NTLM
  • Able to list plugin without performing the test


Nikto is must use web vulnerability scanner. It is lightweight and one of the activities while performing a security audit. If you have not used it yet, I highly recommended doing it so.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below. Nothing gives me greater joy than helping my readers!

Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.

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