Security Testing with OWASP ZAP Proxy

OWASP ZAP – Zad Attack Proxy and its Features

OWASP ZAP (Zad Attack Proxy) is an opensource Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tool. This will be sitting between web application and end-user and help to identify security vulnerabilities in web application design and architecture. As the name goes, this is Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) projects. ZAP is one of the successful proxy servers which is used for web application security scanning. In this article, we will discuss the OWASP ZAP – Zad Attack Proxy and its features.

Fundamentals of Security Testing

In Software Security Testing, we perform complete testing of the system to identify security risks and vulnerabilities. Overall Software Testing is classified as follows,

Fundamentals of Security Testing
Fundamentals of Security Testing
  1. Penetration Testing – Penetration Testing is a simulated systematic process of cyber-attack to the web application system.
  2. Runtime Security Testing – Runtime Security Testing is the process of analyzing and testing from the end-user.
  3. Vulnerability Assessment – Vulnerability Assessment is the process of Identifying Vulnerabilities, analyzing it, Assessing Risk of it, and finding Remediation of it.
  4. Security Code Review – Systematic examination of source code that intended to find security Vulnerabilities in it.

As part of this, OWASP ZAP will help us in terms of security Vulnerability assessment and Penetration testing.

Overview of OWASP ZAP.

OWASP ZAP proxy stands between the security testing team’s browser and web application. Since the ZAP proxy is standing between tester and web application, it will capture all the messages and inspect to find vulnerabilities of the web application. It also allows the tester to modify the content of the message in all terms so that we can analyze the vulnerabilities of the web application.

Overview of OWASP ZAP.
Overview of OWASP ZAP.

OWASP ZAP can be installed as a standalone application or as a daemon process. Let’s get more into the OWASP ZAP proxy.

Features of OWASP ZAP proxy.

Let’s discuss the OWASP ZAP proxy’s main features and how it will help us in terms of Software Security testing. OWASP ZAP is developer-friendly as it is highly configurable with scripting with python and many more platforms. Following are the main features of OWASP ZAP Proxy

Intercepting Proxy

Intercepting proxy is the main feature of ZAP proxy which helps to analyze, modify, inject traffic into the message content passing between the testers’ browser and web application server.

Automated Scanner

Automated Scanner is the basic feature that will allow the security tester to enter the URL of the web application which needs to be tested. This will crawl the web applications in most possible ways with Active Scans, Passive scans and Crawl Spider to find out the vulnerabilities.

Brute Force Scanner

ZAP Proxy allows security tester to Brute force to the web application to ensure the security vulnerabilities in terms of breach by brute force.


The Fuzzing feature of OWASP ZAP will allow us to enter the unexpected inputs o invalid inputs to see whether the application is breaking because of the OWASP ZAP or not.

Port Scanning

Port Scanning allows us to know what all the ports are open and in use. Also, ZAP allows us to manage the alert or act against the event unwanted port opening.


WebSockets will create a true asynchronous communication channel between client/server which will keep the channel open and transfer the data in two ways (full-duplex). This is very useful for allocation like a chatting application. This will also bring vulnerability since it keeps the channel open. So, ZAP will keep scanning the Web sockets to find the vulnerabilities.

Advanced SQL Injection Scanner

Advance SQL Injection will allow security tester to make SQL Injection testing to check whether the web application database is safe enough for the SQL Injection.

Advanced Alerts

OWASP ZAP’s one of the best features is Alert management which will send an alert when the ZAP detected the Vulnerabilities. Unlike any other PEN test tools, ZAP has a highly customizable and configurable Alert management system.

Tools Integration

ZAP allows DevOps people to integrate with many other tools like ALM tools (Jira, TFS), testing tools, code management tools, external notification systems and more.


REST API is one of the Awesome features of OWASP ZAP which will allow other developers to access the ZAP proxy using REST API and manipulate the proxy application with REST API. With REST API, we can almost access all the features of ZAP proxy.


In this article, we have discussed the OWASP ZAP – Zad Attack Proxy and its features, concepts, the architecture of it. In our upcoming article, we will discuss the detailed working concepts and tutorials of OWASP proxy and guide to install and configure the same on many other platforms. Stay tuned and subscribe DigitalVarys for more articles and study materials on DevOpsAgileDevSecOps and App Development.

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