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In Security Last updated: March 2, 2023
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XSS is a serious security threat that should be addressed and fixed as quickly as possible.

As the digital world has evolved, hacking techniques have become more sophisticated and dangerous.

Hence, security must be given top priority while creating web applications, and it must also be maintained over time to fight against malicious attacks.

XSS is one of the most common web application security vulnerabilities, and attackers use some methods to exploit it. Fortunately,  there are various tools and strategies that web developers can use to protect their websites against XSS attacks.

What is XSS Vulnerability?

Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability is a type of security flaw found in web applications that allows an attacker to inject malicious scripts into a web page viewed by other users.

This vulnerability occurs when a web application does not properly validate or sanitize user input which allows an attacker to inject a script that can execute arbitrary code in the victim’s browser.

An attacker can use XSS to create a fake login page or another web form that looks like an original website that tricks users into providing their login credentials or other sensitive information.

If a web application is found to have an XSS vulnerability and not fixed immediately,  it can lead to serious consequences for the organization that operates it.

If exploited by attackers, it can lead to a data breach or other security incident that exposes sensitive information of the application’s users. This can damage the trust and confidence of the users in the organization.

And also, The price of responding to a data breach or other security incident can also be significant, including the cost of investigations and legal liabilities.


Consider a web application that allows users to enter comments or messages that are then displayed on a public forum or message board.

If the application does not properly evaluate the user input,  an attacker could inject a malicious script into their comment that will execute in the browser of anyone who views the comment.

For instance,  Let’s say that the attacker posts a comment on a forum with the following script:

    window.location = "" + document.cookie;

This script will redirect the victim’s browser to a malicious website controlled by the attacker, with the victim’s session cookies appended to the URL. The attacker can then use these cookies to impersonate the victim and gain unauthorized access to their account.

When other users view the attacker’s comment,  the malicious script will execute in their browsers also, which potentially compromises their accounts as well.

This is an example of a persistent XSS attack where the malicious script is permanently stored on the server and executed every time the page is loaded.

How to detect XSS vulnerability?


XSS scanning is an important part of web application security and should be included as part of a comprehensive security program to protect against web-based attacks. There are several ways to detect XSS vulnerabilities.

Manual Testing

It involves testing the web application manually by entering various forms of input data, such as special characters and script tags, to check how the application handles them.

Automated scanning tools

Web application vulnerabilities can be found by using automated scanning tools like OWASP ZAP, Burp Suite,  and Acunetix. These tools will check the application for any potential weaknesses and provide a report of any problems discovered.

Web application firewalls

Firewalls can be used to identify and stop XSS attacks by monitoring incoming traffic and preventing any requests that might contain possible XSS payloads.

Vulnerability scanners

Known vulnerabilities in web applications such as XSS can be found easily using a vulnerability scanner.

Bug bounty programs

Bug bounty programs offer rewards to individuals who can find and report security vulnerabilities in web applications. This can be an effective way to find vulnerabilities that other methods of detection might have ignored.

Web developers can find XSS vulnerabilities and fix them before attackers can use them to their advantage by employing these detection techniques.

And in this article, we’ve summed up a list of automated scanning tools for detecting the XSS vulnerability. Let’s get rolling!


Burp Suite is a leading web application security testing tool developed by PortSwigger. It is a well-known testing tool used by security professionals, developers, and penetration testers to identify security vulnerabilities in web applications.


Burp Suite offers a range of features, including a proxy server, scanner, and various attack tools. The proxy server intercepts traffic between the browser and server, which allows the users to modify requests & responses and test for vulnerabilities.

Whereas, The scanner performs automated testing for common vulnerabilities, including SQL injection, XSS,  and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF). This tool is available to download in both free and commercial versions.


Dalfox is an open-source XSS vulnerability scanner and parameter analysis tool. It is primarily designed to identify and exploit vulnerabilities related to parameter manipulation in web applications.


Dalfox uses a combination of static and dynamic analysis techniques to identify flaws such as XSS and file inclusion vulnerability. The tool can automatically detect parameters for known vulnerabilities and provides detailed output for each one identified.

In addition to automated scanning,  Dalfox also allows users to manually test parameters and payloads for potential vulnerabilities. It supports a wide range of payloads and encoding methods which makes it a versatile tool for testing different types of web applications.


Detectify is another excellent web application security scanner that helps organizations to identify & fix 2000+ security vulnerabilities in their web applications. The tool uses a combination of automated scanning and human expertise to provide comprehensive web security testing.


In addition to its scanning capabilities, Detectify includes a suite of vulnerability management tools that allow organizations to track and prioritize their security issues. These tools include the ability to assign vulnerabilities to specific team members, set deadlines for bug fixing,  and track the status of each vulnerability over time.

One of the unique features of Detectify is its Crowdsource platform which allows security researchers from around the world to contribute vulnerability signatures and security tests. This helps to ensure that the tool is always up-to-date with the latest threats and attack techniques.


XSStrike is a powerful command-line tool that is designed to detect and exploit XSS vulnerabilities in web applications.


What sets XSStrike apart from other XSS testing tools is its intelligent payload generator and context analysis capabilities.

Instead of injecting payloads and checking if they work as other tools do, XSStrike analyzes the response with multiple parsers and then crafts payloads that are guaranteed to work based on context analysis integrated with a fuzzing engine.


Wapiti is a powerful open-source web application vulnerability scanner designed to identify security vulnerabilities.


Wapiti performs “black-box” scanning, which means it does not study the source code of the web application. Instead, it scans from the outside as a hacker would by crawling the web pages of the deployed application and looking for links, forms, and scripts that can be attacked.

Once Wapiti identifies the inputs and parameters of the application, then it injects different types of payloads to test for common vulnerabilities like SQL injection, XSS, and command injection.

It then analyzes the responses from the web application to see if any error messages, unexpected patterns, or special strings are returned, which may indicate the presence of a vulnerability.

One of the key features of Wapiti is its ability to handle authentication requirements for web applications that need users to log in before accessing certain pages. This makes it possible for it to scan more complex web applications that request user verification.


XSS-scanner is a handy and excellent web service designed to find XSS vulnerabilities in web applications. Simply enter the target URL and choose the GET or POST to start the scan. In a matter of seconds, it displays the result.


This tool works by injecting various payloads into the target URL or form fields and analyzing the response from the server. If the response contains any indication of an XSS vulnerability, such as script tags or JavaScript code,  the scanner will flag the vulnerability.


Pentest-Tools is a comprehensive online platform for performing penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. It offers a range of tools and services for testing the security of web applications, networks,  and systems.


It is an excellent resource for security professionals and individuals who want to ensure the security of their digital assets. Additionally, This website also offers other tools such as SSL/TLS scanner, SQLi Exploiter, URL Fuzzer, subdomain finder, and many more.


The intruder vulnerability scanner is a type of security tool designed to identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses in web applications. It works by simulating an attack on a web application to detect vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.


intruder automatically generates a report that lists all the vulnerabilities it has identified in the web application. The report includes a description, the severity, and recommended steps to fix the vulnerability. The scanner can also prioritize the vulnerabilities based on their severity to help developers address the most critical issues first.

Users do not need to install any software on their own systems to use this tool. Instead, they can simply log in to the Intruder website and start scanning their web applications for vulnerabilities.

Intruder offers both free & paid plans with different levels of features and capabilities. The paid plans offer more advanced features such as unlimited scanning, custom policies, Priority Emerging Threat Scans, and integrations with other security tools. You can find more details about pricing here.

Security for everyone

Security for everyone is another fantastic web service for scanning XSS vulnerabilities. Just enter the target URL you want to check and click on “Scan Now”.


It also offers additional free tools such as CRLF Vulnerability Scanner,  XXE Vulnerability Scanner, and many more. You can access all those tools from here.


Web developers need to have strong security mechanisms in place that can identify and stop malicious code if they want to safeguard against XSS attacks.

For example, they can implement input validation to ensure that user input is safe and  Content Security Policy (CSP) headers to limit the execution of scripts on a web page.

I hope you found this article helpful in learning about the various tools to detect XSS vulnerabilities in a web application. You may also be interested in learning about how to use Nmap for vulnerability scans.

  • Ashlin Jenifa
    Hey there, my name is Ashlin, and I’m a senior technical writer. I’ve been in the game for a while now, and I specialize in writing about all sorts of cool technology topics like Linux, Networking, Security, Dev Tools, Data Analytics, and Cloud… read more
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