Hacking Web Applications using WebScarab |
Hacking Web Applications using WebScarab
Author: Abhinav_Singh 
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In this short tutorial, we will see how to use WebScarab [Reference 1] to easily and transparently intercept web traffic. This is one of the basic step in web application hacking and analysis of web security. Even casual hackers can use it to see what goes behind the screen while you browse particular website.
WebScarab is a framework for analysing web applications by operating as intercepting proxy, allowing the user to review and modify HTTP requests created by the browser before they are sent to the server, and to review and modify responses returned from the server before they are received by the browser. WebScarab is able to intercept both HTTP and HTTPS communication. This makes it one of the powerful tool when it comes to web application security.

Here we will see how to setup WebScarab and then use it to intercept & analyze web traffic.
Setting up WebScarab
Before we proceed with actual game, you need to download and install the WebScarab [Reference 1]. After you have installed the setup you will first have to setup your browser so that WebScarab can act as proxy server.

I am taking the example of Firefox here but similar steps will apply to other web browsers also.
hack webscarab
Here are the steps 
  •  Go to options => Advanced -> Network -> Settings. You will see the dialog as shown in the above screenshot.
  •  Then select the Manual Proxy configuration
  •  Now enter the following values.
  • HTTP proxy - and port - 8008
This sets the WebScarab to intercept any web request by acting as a local proxy. 
Intercepting Web Traffic
Now time for real game, start your WebScarab & you will see the screen as shown below.
In the intercept tab, select "Intercept request" and in the left hand side menu select "Get" and "Post" options. WebScarab is now completely ready to intercept the HTTP Get and post requests.

Next, launch your browser & type any URL for example, You will see a window in WebScarab that will show the intercepted HTTP Get request as shown below. At this point you can also click on the "Intercept Response" button so that it can also intercept the response that is coming back from the Google web server.
That is how simple it is. You can use this technique to analyze any web request and response going in and out of your browser.

But the real power of WebScarab lies in manipulating these request and responses on the fly. Let me tell you this can be very very deadly. If you are able to make the right moves and changes in the HTTP request headers then you can easily modify the headers to send invalid values to the servers. This is very useful in web application penetration testing.

At the end, you can click on the "Summary" tab in the main window of the WebScarab which shows complete details of all the intercepted requests and response as shown in the screen below.
In this startup guide, you have seen how to use WebScarab to intercept the HTTP traffic and analyse them. Rest is upto you how far you can take it.
  1. WebScarab - Framework for Intercepting & Manipulating Web Traffic
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