What is a CMS Vulnerability Scanner and what is its Need for Security?

What is a CMS?

A CMS (Content Management System) is a platform which helps in creating and delivering the web applications quickly. Some CMSs are very popular and those are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and vBulletin. Any CMS requires plug-ins and several third-party plug-ins are available for all of these CMSs. It becomes easy to create digital content, handle web content management, and enterprise content management.

Why there is a need to protect CMS?

Everything comes with pros and cons and therefore, some security loopholes are the cons here. Every plug-in and CMS is, after all, a code. The hackers are intelligent enough to find out the loopholes or bugs in any software system. Thus, they regularly try to attack the CMS, its data, and in turn your business. Consider the points below –

  • Widely used content management systems are luring targets for the hackers
  • New threat issues and gaps can come up anytime
  • CMS change logs generally show the gaps and vulnerabilities in the versions which are stated in the updates. They also expose the websites which don’t update automatically.
  • Adding more number of things to your CMS site increases the risk of it getting attackable.

What is a Vulnerability Scanner?

As the name suggests, the web scanner scans the entire CMS for any potential threats due to the loopholes in it. It checks what kinds of attacks are possible and how they could be avoided. Web scanner is smart enough to cross-check the details of the target attacker system with the available database information of the recent attacks. The scanner is just like an antivirus, it updates its database to stay alert about the latest threats and then it scans the systems for the new attacks to prevent them.

The code vulnerability scanners use the knowledge base of code collected up till now from several third-party sources to scan and scrutinize the input code. In every file, it is checked whether the code pattern matches with the input code or not. If there is a match, it confirms the vulnerability with the third-party source and if it is present then it simply reports the issue.

Features you should look for:

A scanner like ESDS VTMScan has various features which can cater all your needs. Consider the below pointers for CMS scan-

  • Not all scanners can detect CMSs
  • ESDS VTMScan can detect four main CMSs and those are WordPress, vBulletin, Joomla, and Drupal.
  • You can scan plug-ins, themes, unprotected admin panel, and can also enumerate users.
  • There is a facility of brut-forcing for password detection.
  • You can take advantage of FPD scanning means File Path Disclosure scanning
  • Your CMS is detected in all the directories.

On top of that, there are multiple things which are offered.

OWASP Top 10:

The online community named Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) publishes a list of top 10 high vulnerabilities every year and ESDS VTMScan detects each one by following the rules mentioned by OWASP.

Content Change Monitoring:

Every short change in the content of the site is scanned in this category with the percentage of change per URL. Every page is compared with the snapshot of the earlier page to detect changes and then report them.

Malware Checking:

This checks for the malware which defaces the website and changes the visual appearance of a webpage or the site. This feature is a unique one. It also includes JavaScript scanning, detecting JavaScript obfuscation, checking third-party links, monitoring malware, and doing forceful redirect injection test.

Preventing Phishing:

Verifying that there are no similar domains like yours, URL hijacking, a foreign language or common misspelling, typographical error, and similar names but different domain names. Further, there is also Homoglyph and Punycode advance phishing attack detection.

Domain reputation validation:

Your website domain should be validated in the Google, Malware Patrol, SURBL, Phishtank, Clean-Mx databases. Also, it is checked that the mail server IP is not present in the 58 RBL (Real-time Black Hole) repositories.

Robust Link Crawling:

This feature crawls links from robots.txt, web pages, iframes, search engines of hackers, and directories.

Banner Grabbing:

To stop such attacks, port scanning, OS detection, and WAF detection are done so that the hackers couldn’t get the data from open ports, headers, and services on the web server.

SSL Scan:

Here, SSL Poodle, CRIME, BEAST, DROWN, Heartbleed, etc. types of issues are checked. Also, the domain’s certificate, security and validity, and NULL cipher are checked.

LFI (Local File Inclusion) and RFI (Remote File Inclusion) detection:

Whether any local file is attacked by an injection or any file from the remote server is harming the web application, such things are validated.


So, this was all about the Vulnerability scanners and the need for protecting the CMSs.

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