Configuring and Verifying Form Authentication in Acunetix 360

When using Acunetix 360 to scan a web application that has a form based login, you'll need to configure the credentials and verify the session. Session verification is important, because you need to confirm that the configuration is correct, and that the scanner can differentiate between a logged in and a logged out session.

Session verification allows the scanner to identify a terminated session, so if it happens during a web vulnerability scan, the scanner can automatically log back in again, ensuring all password protected pages are scanned.

Form Authentication Fields

This table lists and describes the fields in the Form Authentication tab.



Form Authentication

Select to enable Form Authentication.

Login Form URL

Enter the absolute URL of the login form, including the protocol (http or https).

Override Target URL with authenticated page

Select to enable the system to use the last page from the authentication process as the start URL, instead of the Target URL.

Detect Bearer Authentication Token

If there is an AJAX request after the login is performed, Bearer Authentication Tokens will be intercepted and used during the scan.


Select to enable the system to log in using the supplied credentials.


Enter the username for the login form.


Enter the password for the login form.


Enter the One-time Password for the login form.

Custom Scripts

If automatic authentication does not work for your website, you can click Custom Script and enter a JavaScript script that will be used to authenticate against the web application.

For further information, see Custom Scripts for Form Authentication.

How to Verify Form Authentication
  1. Log in to Acunetix 360.
  2. From the main menu, click Scans, then New Scan (or New Group Scan). The New Scan window is displayed.
  3. From the Authentication section, select Form Authentication. The Form Authentication section is displayed.
  4. Enable the Form Authentication checkbox.
  5. In the Login Form URL field, enter the URL of the login form whose credentials you want to configure.

  1. In the Personas section, click New Persona. A new row is displayed.

  1. In the Username field, enter the username.
  2. In the Password field, enter the password.
  3. If required, select the ellipsis in the OTP field (see Configuring Form Authentication using an OTP).


You can specify multiple sets of credentials, and select the Active option next to the credentials Acunetix 360 should use during the upcoming scan.

  1. Click Verify Login & Logout so the scanner can test the login and determine a pattern to use to automatically detect logged in and logged out sessions.


You can integrate Acunetix 360 with a Privileged Access Management solution so that you do not have to enter sensitive credentials to scan the web application. For further information, see Integrating Acunetix 360 with HashiCorp Vault and Integrating Acunetix 360 with CyberArk Vault.

Configuring Form Authentication Using an OTP

Acunetix 360 supports form authentication using a One-Time-Password (OTP). By providing this type of 2FA via a Secret Key, Acunetix 360 enables the OTP to be filled in automatically so that it can access and can scan all sections of the target website.

Two OTP Types are supported:

  • Time-based (TOPT)
  • HMAC-based (HOPT)

OTP Fields

This table lists and explains the fields in the OTP Settings dialog.



OTP Type

This is the type of OTP. The two types are:

  • TOPT is a temporary passcode that is generated by an algorithm that uses the current time of the day as one of its authentication factors.
  • HOPT is a password algorithm that uses hash-based message authentication codes (HMAC).

Secret Key

This is a key that is used to generate the OTP and is provided by the target website.


This is the number of digits used to generate the OTP's length.

Period (seconds)

This is the time (in seconds) after which an OTP is regenerated.


This is the encrypted algorithm.

Generate OTP

Select to generate a token.

How to Configure Form Authentication Using an OTP
  1. Log in to Acunetix 360.
  2. From the main menu, select Scans > New Scan.
  3. From the Scan Options section, select Form Authentication.
  4. Select the Form Authentication checkbox.
  5. In the Login Form URL field, enter the URL of the login form whose credentials you want to configure.
  6. In the Personas section, click New Persona. Then, enter a username and password.
  7. In the OTP field, select the ellipsis for the relevant persona.


In Form Authentication settings, every persona has its own OTP settings. OTP settings open with default values.

In OTP Settings, If you have a link with a copied otpauth protocol, the settings will be changed automatically based on that link.

  1. In the OTP Type field, select the OTP type.
  2. In the Secret Key field, enter the secret key.
  3. In the Digit field, select an option.
  4. In the Period field, enter an option.
  5. In the Algorithm field, select an option.
  6. Select Generate OTP. If successful, an OTP is displayed along with a message, 'OTP generated successfully.'.
  7. Select OK to save this OTP for the selected persona.

What Happens When Verifying Form Authentication Configuration and Session

During the session verification process, the Verify Form Authentication window is displayed, showing the progress of the test.

During verification, the following happens:

  1. On the left, the scanner logs in to the web application using the supplied credentials and displays a logged in session.
  2. On the right, the scanner displays how the web application looks when not logged in. It also displays the Logout Detection pattern.

Once the test is ready, it is important that you:

  1. Confirm that both logged in and logged out sessions look as expected.
  2. Confirm that the logout detection pattern is correct, since this will be used by the scanner to identify a terminated session and log back in to continue the scan.

For further information, see Logout Detection.


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