Did you know that software and websites are just like human bodies? That’s right. They both get stronger with frequent updates. Think about it: the way the immune system of a body strengthens is if it encounters disease-causing germs. The immune system then learns from it. It guards the body henceforth.
Similarly, a website or software gets stronger the more problems you throw at them. This is to ensure that the vulnerabilities of the software are known to the developer. It is only then that the developer can prepare for such problems and make the product stronger.
However, it is not necessary that you need to have your own website to find and learn about vulnerabilities. Thanks to technology and the products we have to offer, there are several apps and websites to try your hand at hacking. This will then enable you to understand the problems you might have to overcome while building a great website.
15 Vulnerable Sites You Can Legally Hack
This stands for Buggy Web Application. It is made as an open-source project with deliberate insecurities built into the application. It was developed by Malik Messelem in PHP and utilizes MySQL database. There is another level for advanced users as well, with a custom-made Linux VM.
Damn Vulnerable iOS App
Abbreviated as DVIA, it has only come to the market around 2015. This app was built to be an insecure mobile app for iOS7 version. This is a god-sent, too, because vulnerable web applications are easier to access than legally hackable mobile applications.
Game of Hacks
This is a bit different from others on the list. It is more of a challenge game for developers than it is a systemic trial and error product. This app lets you learn and spot vulnerabilities in the web applications and helps you learn in an engaging manner.
This product is perfect for beginners who are training their eyes to spot vulnerabilities in an application. It helps you learn of the bugs and aids you in fixing those for producing a seamless experience. Gruyere is created in Python and helps you find security vulnerabilities, teach how hackers could exploit them and learn how to stop them by fixing the bugs.
This was designed to show how hacks, dumps, and defacement of websites are done. This is perfect to use to learn how hackers do these and to stop the same from taking place on your website. HackThis!! is a great place to learn these as it offers around 50 levels of difficulty and also offers online support in the community.
Hack This Site
Another perfectly legal website to hack and learn while doing so. In addition to the usual offerings, the website also offers the latest news on hacking, forums for the community and tutorials to get you on the move.
This product offers learners an experience-driven exercise. There are varied challenges to take on. With these, the user learns to identify the potential ways their website could be exploited. This website also offers how-to’s for hacking and other major areas such as encryption, rooting and many more.
McAfee HacMe Sites
McAfee, the software giant known for its anti-virus offering, has launched Foundstone in the year 2006 for the sole utilization of security professionals who are looking to shine their Information Security badges. The sites come in a variety of challenges and choices to see what suits the user best based on the area they are working for. The scenarios include Casino, Shipping, Banks and more
Mutillidae is built for both Windows and Linux users. This product is built in PHP with a host of vulnerabilities as listed on the Open Web Application Security Project, or OWASP for short. It is created with both beginners and advanced learners in mind as it provides handy hints to help start.
This is another tool that is aimed at both novices and advanced learners. The tool itself is created in a very fun-filled and engrossing experience so that the users learn as they explore. The exercises are created to mimic wargames, with the beginner starting on level ‘Bandit’. They progress on to higher levels and learn more about the exploits, bugs, and patches as they advance.
OWASP Juice Shop Project
Peruggia offers its users a very safe and secure environment to try their hand at attacking a web application. The tool is made to be an image gallery from where users can download and open projects. These projects help the user locate threats and eliminate them.
This is one of the oldest platforms that offers its users multiple challenges to beat. The game is sorted by level of difficulty. There is also support for beginners with an IRC channel community.
Another child of the OWASP, the ‘games’ offered by this website are both engrossing as well as educational. This is an amazing way to get started on web security and makes it the optimal tool for professionals to teach the skill to beginners. In fact, that is exactly the goal of this website: to teach various groups of people ways to strengthen a website.
This is possibly one of the most well-known OWASP projects. This application provides an immersive learning environment for beginners. It is also a useful tool for professional teaching this skill, as it comes with various lessons designed for the purpose. The tool is available on multiple platforms: Windows, OSX Tiger, Linux and also has separate installations for J2EE and .NET frameworks.
Now that you have the tools, start hacking!