Information Gathering

WhatWeb v0.4.9 – Next Generation Web Scanner

WhatWeb identifies websites. Its goal is to answer the question, “What is that Website?”. WhatWeb recognises web technologies including content management systems (CMS), blogging platforms, statistic/analytics packages, JavaScript libraries, web servers, and embedded devices. WhatWeb has over 1700 plugins, each to recognise something different. WhatWeb also identifies version numbers, email addresses, account IDs, web framework modules, SQL errors, and more.
WhatWeb can be stealthy and fast, or thorough but slow. WhatWeb supports an aggression level to control the trade off between speed and reliability. When you visit a website in your browser, the transaction includes many hints of what web technologies are powering that website. Sometimes a single webpage visit contains enough information to identify a website but when it does not, WhatWeb can interrogate the website further. The default level of aggression, called ‘stealthy’, is the fastest and requires only one HTTP request of a website. This is suitable for scanning public websites. More aggressive modes were developed for use in penetration tests.
Most WhatWeb plugins are thorough and recognise a range of cues from subtle to obvious. For example, most WordPress websites can be identified by the meta HTML tag, e.g. ”, but a minority of WordPress websites remove this identifying tag but this does not thwart WhatWeb. The WordPress WhatWeb plugin has over 15 tests, which include checking the favicon, default installation files, login pages, and checking for “/wp-content/” within relative links.


  • Over 1700 plugins
  • Control the trade off between speed/stealth and reliability
  • Plugins include example URLs
  • Performance tuning. Control how many websites to scan concurrently.
  • Multiple log formats: Brief (greppable), Verbose (human readable), XML, JSON, MagicTree, RubyObject, MongoDB, SQL, and ElasticSearch.
  • Proxy support including TOR
  • Custom HTTP headers
  • Basic HTTP authentication
  • Control over webpage redirection
  • Nmap-style IP ranges
  • Fuzzy matching
  • Result certainty awareness
  • Custom plugins defined on the command line

Example Usage

Using WhatWeb on a couple of websites:

Using a higher aggression level to identify the version of Joomla in use.


.$$$     $.                                   .$$$     $.
$$$$     $$. .$$$  $$$ .$$$$$$.  .$$$$$$$$$$. $$$$     $$. .$$$$$$$. .$$$$$$.
$ $$     $$$ $ $$  $$$ $ $$$$$$. $$$$$ $$$$$$ $ $$     $$$ $ $$   $$ $ $$$$$$.
$ `$     $$$ $ `$  $$$ $ `$  $$$ $$' $ `$ `$$ $ `$     $$$ $ `$      $ `$  $$$'
$. $     $$$ $. $$$$$$ $. $$$$$$ `$  $. $  :' $. $     $$$ $. $$$$   $. $$$$$.
$::$  .  $$$ $::$  $$$ $::$  $$$     $::$     $::$  .  $$$ $::$      $::$  $$$$
$;;$ $$$ $$$ $;;$  $$$ $;;$  $$$     $;;$     $;;$ $$$ $$$ $;;$      $;;$  $$$$
$$$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$  $$$ $$$$  $$$     $$$$     $$$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$'

WhatWeb - Next generation web scanner.
Version 0.4.7 by Andrew Horton aka urbanadventurer from

Usage: whatweb [options] 

                  Enter URLs, filenames or nmap-format IP ranges.
                        Use /dev/stdin to pipe HTML directly
  --input-file=FILE, -i Identify URLs found in FILE, eg. -i /dev/stdin
  --url-prefix          Add a prefix to target URLs
  --url-suffix          Add a suffix to target URLs
  --url-pattern         Insert the targets into a URL. Requires --input-file,
  --example-urls, -e    Add example URLs for each selected plugin to the target
                        list. By default will add example URLs for all plugins.

  --aggression, -a=LEVEL The aggression level controls the trade-off between
                        speed/stealth and reliability. Default: 1
                        Aggression levels are:
        1 (Passive)     Make one HTTP request per target. Except for redirects.
        2 (Polite)      Reserved for future use
        3 (Aggressive)  Triggers aggressive plugin functions only when a
                        plugin matches passively.
        4 (Heavy)       Trigger aggressive functions for all plugins. Guess a
                        lot of URLs like Nikto.

  --user-agent, -U=AGENT Identify as AGENT instead of WhatWeb/0.4.7.
  --user, -u= HTTP basic authentication
  --header, -H          Add an HTTP header. eg "Foo:Bar". Specifying a default
                        header will replace it. Specifying an empty value, eg.
                        "User-Agent:" will remove the header.
  --follow-redirect=WHEN Control when to follow redirects. WHEN may be `never',
                        `http-only', `meta-only', `same-site', `same-domain'
                        or `always'. Default: always
  --max-redirects=NUM   Maximum number of contiguous redirects. Default: 10

  --recursion, -r       Follow links recursively. Only follow links under the
                        path Default: off
  --depth, -d           Maximum recursion depth. Default: 10
  --max-links, -m       Maximum number of links to follow on one page
                        Default: 250
  --spider-skip-extensions Redefine extensions to skip.
                        Default: zip,gz,tar,jpg,exe,png,pdf

  --proxy               <hostname[:port]> Set proxy hostname and port
                        Default: 8080
  --proxy-user           Set proxy user and password

  --plugins, -p         Comma delimited set of selected plugins. Default is all.
                        Each element can be a directory, file or plugin name and
                        can optionally have a modifier, eg. + or -
                        Examples: +/tmp/moo.rb,+/tmp/foo.rb
   -p + is a shortcut for -p +plugins-disabled
  --list-plugins, -l    List the plugins
  --info-plugins, -I    Display information for all plugins. Optionally search
                        with keywords in a comma delimited list.
  --custom-plugin       Define a custom plugin called Custom-Plugin,
                        Examples: ":text=>'powered by abc'"
                        ":regexp=>/powered[ ]?by ab[0-9]/"
                        ":ghdb=>'intitle:abc \"powered by abc\"'"
                        "{:text=>'powered by abc'},{:regexp=>/abc [ ]?1/i}"

  --verbose, -v         Increase verbosity, use twice for plugin development.
  --colour,--color=WHEN control whether colour is used. WHEN may be `never',
                        `always', or `auto'
  --quiet, -q  Do not display brief logging to STDOUT
  --log-brief=FILE      Log brief, one-line output
  --log-verbose=FILE    Log verbose output
  --log-xml=FILE        Log XML format
  --log-json=FILE       Log JSON format
  --log-json-verbose=FILE Log JSON Verbose format
  --log-magictree=FILE  Log MagicTree XML format
  --log-object=FILE     Log Ruby object inspection format
  --log-mongo-database  Name of the MongoDB database
  --log-mongo-collection Name of the MongoDB collection. Default: whatweb
  --log-mongo-host      MongoDB hostname or IP address. Default:
  --log-mongo-username  MongoDB username. Default: nil
  --log-mongo-password  MongoDB password. Default: nil
  --log-errors=FILE     Log errors

  --max-threads, -t     Number of simultaneous threads. Default: 25.
  --open-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 15
  --read-timeout        Time in seconds. Default: 30
  --wait=SECONDS        Wait SECONDS between connections
                        This is useful when using a single thread.

  --help, -h            This help
  --debug               Raise errors in plugins
  --version             Display version information. (WhatWeb 0.4.7)

  whatweb -v
  whatweb -a 3


  • Added unit testing with rake @bcoles
  • Added Elastic Search output @SlivTaMere
  • Source code formatting cleanup @Code0x58
  • Thread reuse and logging through a single thread @Code0x58
  • Fixed max-redirection bug @Code0x58
  • Fixed bug when using a proxy and HTTPS (unknown user)
  • Fixed timeout deprecation warning @iGeek098
  • New plugins and plugin updates @guikcd @bcoles @andreas-becker
  • Added proxy and user-agent to logging @rdubourguais
  • Updated Alexa top websites lists
  • Updated update-alexa script
  • Updated IP to Country database
  • Updated man page
  • Updated Mongo DB output for Mongo 2.x