The framework is under continuous development and we might introduce bugs and regressions while trying to implement new features. We use continuous integration and heavy unit and integration testing to avoid most of these but some simply reach to our users (doh!)
Good bug reporting practices¶
If you’re using the latest version of the framework and find a bug, please report it including the following information:
- Detailed steps to reproduce it
- Expected and obtained output
- Python traceback (if exists)
- Output of the
- Log file with verbose set to
When reporting installation bugs and issues that might relate to your environment, it is a good idea to include detailed system information.
user@box:~/w3af$ wget http://goo.gl/eXpPDl -O collect-sysinfo.py user@box:~/w3af$ chmod +x collect-sysinfo.py user@box:~/w3af$ ./collect-sysinfo.py
This will generate a file called
/tmp/w3af-sysinfo.txt which you may include
in your bug report.
Making sure you’re on the latest version¶
w3af is usually installed in two different ways by our users:
apt-get install w3af(or similar)
git clone email@example.com:andresriancho/w3af.git
Installing using the Operating System package manager is the easiest way, but
will usually install an old version of the software that won’t be able to
For reporting bugs we recommend you install the latest
w3af from our repository.
Cloning from the git repository into a directory in your home is the recommended way and will allow auto-updates which guarantee you’re always using the latest and greatest.
Getting the specific
w3af version is easy using the
--version command line argument:
user@box:~/w3af$ ./w3af_console --version w3af - Web Application Attack and Audit Framework Version: 1.5 Revision: 4d66c2040d - 17 Mar 2014 21:17 Branch: master Local changes: Yes Author: Andres Riancho and the w3af team. user@box:~/w3af$
The output of the command is simple to understand, but lets go through it just in case:
Version: 1.5: The w3af version number
Revision: 4d66c2040d - 17 Mar 2014 21:17: If this line is present you’ve installed
w3afby cloning from our repository.
4d66c2040dis the SHA1 ID of the latest
gitcommit your system knows about.
Branch: master: The
gitbranch your installation is running from. In most cases this should be one of
Local changes: Yes: Indicates if you’ve manually modified
w3af‘s source code
Just to make sure you’re on the latest version run
git pull inside the
w3af directory making sure that
Already up-to-date. appears:
user@box:~/w3af$ git pull Already up-to-date.
Now you’re ready to report a bug!
When you want to know what the framework is doing the best way is to enable the
text_file output plugin, making sure that the
setting set to
true. This will generate a very detailed output file which
can be used to gain an insight on
plugins output text_file output config text_file set verbose True back
w3af is failing to identify a vulnerability which you manually verified
please make sure that:
auditplugin that identifies that vulnerability is enabled
- Using basic debugging, make sure that
w3affinds the URL and parameter associated with the vulnerability. If you don’t see that in the log, make sure the
crawl.web_spiderplugin is enabled.
False negatives should be reported just like bugs , including all the same information.
Nobody likes false positives, you go from the adrenaline of “The site is vulnerable to SQL injection!” to “Nope, false positive” in less than a minute. Not good for your heart.
Please report the false positives like bugs , in our repository. Include as much information as possible, remember that we’ll have to verify the false positive, write a unittest and then fix it.
After many years of w3af development we’ve found some common problems that, while not a bug, annoy our users and are common enough to include in this section.
One of those issues appears when the user migrates from an old w3af version to a new one, and the profiles stored in the user directory are incompatible with the latest version. w3af will try to open the old profile and fail, users will see something like:
The error is self explanatory: “The profile you are trying to load is outdated”, but lacks some “quick actions” that the user can perform to avoid seeing this error. If you don’t care about the old profiles just:
user@box:~/$ rm -rf ~/.w3af/profiles/
The next time w3af is run, it will copy the default profiles to the user’s home directory.
For users that really care about the profiles which are in the old version, I recommend you migrate them manually using these steps:
- Backup your profiles
- Remove them from the home directory (~/.w3af/profiles/)
- Open the profile to migrate using a text editor
- Open w3af and create a new plugin
- Save the newly created plugin