1. Web Security Academy
  2. Essential skills
  3. Using Burp Scanner during manual testing
  4. Lab

Lab: Discovering vulnerabilities quickly with targeted scanning


This lab contains a vulnerability that enables you to read arbitrary files from the server. To solve the lab, retrieve the contents of /etc/passwd within 10 minutes.

Due to the tight time limit, we recommend using Burp Scanner to help you. You can obviously scan the entire site to identify the vulnerability, but this might not leave you enough time to solve the lab. Instead, use your intuition to identify endpoints that are likely to be vulnerable, then try running a targeted scan on a specific request. Once Burp Scanner has identified an attack vector, you can use your own expertise to find a way to exploit it.


This lab is designed to help you learn how targeted scans can assist you with basic recon. As such, we will not be providing a step-by-step solution.

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The benefits of working through PortSwigger's Web Security Academy
  • Practise exploiting vulnerabilities on realistic targets.

  • Record your progression from Apprentice to Expert.

  • See where you rank in our Hall of Fame.

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