WebGoat Teaches You To Fix Web Application Flaws In Real-time

WebGoat - Fix Web Application Flaws In Real-time

Good day, web developers! Today, we are going to discuss about a super useful application that teaches you web application security lessons. Say hello to WebGoat, a deliberately insecure web application developed by OWASP, with the intention of teaching how to fix common web application flaws in real-time with hands-on exercises. This application can be quite useful for those who wants to learn about application security and penetration testing techniques.

A word of caution: WebGoat is PURELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. It turns your system extremely vulnerable to attackers. So, I insist you to use it in a virtual machine in your local area network. Don’t connect your testing machine to Internet. If you are using it in a production environment either intentionally or unknowingly, your company will definitely fire you. You have been warned!

Deploy WebGoat

WebGoat can be deployed either using Docker or as a standalone application. Since, it is purely for learning and educational purpose, I prefer to use it in Docker.

Install it using Docker

Refer the following links to install Docker if you haven’t installed it already.

After installing Docker, run the following command to deploy WebGoat 7.1 stable version.

sudo docker run -p 8080:8080 webgoat/webgoat-7.1

This command will pull the latest WebGoat docker image and start the WebGoat instance in few minutes. Once it has started, you will see an output something like below.

[...]
2017-12-05 11:22:50,132 INFO - FrameworkServlet 'mvc-dispatcher': initialization completed in 533 ms
2017-12-05 11:22:50,171 INFO - Initializing main webgoat servlet
2017-12-05 11:22:50,173 INFO - Browse to http://localhost:8080/WebGoat and happy hacking!
Dec 05, 2017 11:22:50 AM org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol start
INFO: Starting ProtocolHandler ["http-bio-8080"]

Install it as a standalone application

Make sure you have installed Java. Then, download the latest WebGoat version from the releases page.

Finally, start WebGoat as shown below.

java -jar webwolf-<<version>>.jar

Now it is time to fix the vulnerabilities. As I mentioned earlier, disconnect the Internet before start using it.

Learn To Fix Web Application Flaws In Real-time using WebGoat

Open up your web browse and navigate to http://localhost:8080/WebGoat or http://IP-address:8080/WebGoat. You will see with the following screen.

Log in with: webgoat/webgoat. This is administrative login. You can also use normal user account: guest/guest.

Now, you will be landed in the overview section of WebGoat where you various instructions on how to work with WebGoat to fix common flaws and vulnerabilities of a web application.

As you can see, there are many lesson categories at the left pane. Click on a category to view the included lessons.

For example, let me choose Injection Flaws -> Common Injection lesson plan.

As you can see, there 5 tabs for the selected lesson.

  1. Show Source – This will show the underlying Java source code.
  2. Show Solution – This will show the complete solution of the selected lesson.
  3. Show Plan – This will show goals and objectives of the lesson.
  4. Show Hints – This will show technical hints to solve the lesson.
  5. Restart Lesson – If you want to restart a lesson you can use this link.

Click on each lesson and try to solve the lesson and if necessary, use the hints. If you cannot solve the lesson using the hints, view the solution for complete details.

Happy hacking!

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