Web Application and API Pentest Checklist

Made using The OWASP Testing guide (page 211) and the API Security Top 10 2023. You can refer to it (see resources below) for detailed explainations on how to test. Adapt it to your methodology and the context of your test. Download this file locally from here this way you can check everything you have done. If you need some practice for specific vulnerabilities to reproduce them in your context, I recommend portswigger's web security Academy here. For more explainations on specific topics, if OWASP is not enough you can also use Portswigger here

Information Gathering

  • Conduct Search Engine Discovery and Reconnaissance for Information Leakage
  • Fingerprint Web Server
  • Review Webserver Metafiles for Information Leakage
  • Enumerate Applications on Webserver
  • Review Webpage Comments and Metadata for Information Leakage
  • Identify application entry points
  • Map execution paths through application
  • Fingerprint Web Application Framework
  • Fingerprint Web Application
  • Map Application Architecture

Configuration and Deploy Management Testing

  • Test Network/Infrastructure Configuration
  • Test Application Platform Configuration
  • Test File Extensions Handling for Sensitive Information
  • Backup and Unreferenced Files for Sensitive Information
  • Enumerate Infrastructure and Application Admin Interfaces
  • Test HTTP Methods
  • Test HTTP Strict Transport Security
  • Test RIA cross domain policy

Identity Management Testing

  • Test Role Definitions
  • Test User Registration Process
  • Test Account Provisioning Process
  • Testing for Account Enumeration and Guessable User Account
  • Testing for Weak or unenforced username policy
  • Test Permissions of Guest/Training Accounts
  • Test Account Suspension/Resumption Process

Authentication Testing

  • Testing for Credentials Transported over an Encrypted Channel
  • Testing for default credentials
  • Testing for Weak lock out mechanism
  • Testing for bypassing authentication schema
  • Test remember password functionality
  • Testing for Browser cache weakness
  • Testing for Weak password policy
  • Testing for Weak security question/answer
  • Testing for weak password change or reset functionalities
  • Testing for Weaker authentication in alternative channel

Authorization Testing

  • Testing Directory traversal/file include
  • Testing for bypassing authorization schema
  • Testing for Privilege Escalation
  • Testing for Insecure Direct Object References

Session Management Testing

  • Testing for Bypassing Session Management Schema
  • Testing for Cookies attributes
  • Testing for Session Fixation
  • Testing for Exposed Session Variables
  • Testing for Cross Site Request Forgery
  • Testing for logout functionality
  • Test Session Timeout
  • Testing for Session puzzling

Input Validation Testing

  • Testing for Reflected Cross Site Scripting
  • Testing for Stored Cross Site Scripting
  • Testing for HTTP Verb Tampering
  • Testing for HTTP Parameter pollution
  • Testing for SQL Injection
  • Oracle Testing
  • SQL Server Testing
  • Testing PostgreSQL
  • MS Access Testing
  • Testing for NoSQL injection
  • Testing for LDAP Injection
  • Testing for ORM Injection
  • Testing for XML Injection
  • Testing for SSI Injection
  • Testing for XPath Injection
  • IMAP/SMTP Injection
  • Testing for Code Injection
  • Testing for Local File Inclusion
  • Testing for Remote File Inclusion
  • Testing for Command Injection
  • Testing for Buffer overflow
  • Testing for Heap overflow
  • Testing for Stack overflow
  • Testing for Format string
  • Testing for incubated vulnerabilities
  • Testing for HTTP Splitting/Smuggling

Error Handling

  • Analysis of Error Codes
  • Analysis of Stack Traces


  • Testing for Weak SSL/TSL Ciphers, Insufficient Transport Layer Protection
  • Testing for Padding Oracle
  • Testing for Sensitive information sent via unencrypted channels

Business Logic Testing

  • Test Business Logic Data Validation
  • Test Ability to Forge Requests
  • Test Integrity Checks
  • Test for Process Timing
  • Test Number of Times a Function Can be Used Limits
  • Testing for the Circumvention of Work Flows
  • Test Defenses Against Application Mis-use
  • Test Upload of Unexpected File Types
  • Test Upload of Malicious Files

Client Side Testing

  • Testing for DOM based Cross Site Scripting
  • Testing for JavaScript Execution
  • Testing for HTML Injection
  • Testing for Client Side URL Redirect
  • Testing for CSS Injection
  • Testing for Client Side Resource Manipulation
  • Test Cross Origin Resource Sharing
  • Testing for Cross Site Flashing
  • Testing for Clickjacking
  • Testing WebSockets
  • Test Web Messaging
  • Test Local Storage

Specific API vulnerabilities to look for

  • API1:2023 Broken Object Level Authorization
  • API2:2023 Broken Authentication
  • API3:2023 Broken Object Property Level Authorization
  • API4:2023 Unrestricted Resource Consumption
  • API5:2023 Broken Function Level Authorization
  • API6:2023 Unrestricted Access to Sensitive Business Flows
  • API7:2023 Server Side Request Forgery
  • API8:2023 Security Misconfiguration
  • API9:2023 Improper Inventory Management
  • API10:2023 Unsafe Consumption of APIs