FAQ: Avoid getting your website blocked after scanning with Acunetix WVS

After using Acunetix WVS on a website, the hosting provider may block your IP address so you are not capable of accessing your own website anymore. After requesting the hosting provider, the site becomes available again. How can you configure or use Acunetix WVS in a way that reduces the possibility of an ISP blocking the IP address of the computer which accesses the site using test tools?

Why does this happen?

It is not unexpected that an ISP blocks repeated requests from a single source - basically they use IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) which start to block requests coming from a specific IP Address if they come in too quickly, or in a pattern that looks suspiciously like a hack attempt.

How can I handle this?

The correct way to approach this is to advise the hosting company that you will be running a test against the website, so you can coordinate this with the hosting company, and get them to allow access to continue while you run your test. Alternatively, you can configure WVS to reduce the speed at which it makes its requests to reduce the possibility of being caught by some IDS mechanisms - though obviously this would mean that the scan will require more time to complete.

Important Considerations

Finally, you must be warned that running WVS against a live site can be dangerous to the underlying data. The penetration tests WVS runs may uncover a vulnerability in your website, such as a vulnerability that poisons your data (by injecting spurious values or records) or deletes it (by removing values or records or tables or schemas). You can read more why such might happen from the blog post Is a vulnerability scan invasive enough to damage my site or data?

View all the Acunetix FAQs here.

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