Comprehensive Guide on Gobuster Tool

Hello Friend!! Today we are going demontrate URLs and DNS brute force attack for extracting Directtories and files from inside URLs and subdomains from DNS by using “Gobuster-tool”.

Table of Content

  • Introuction & Installation
  • Using Wordlist for Directory Brute-Force
  • Obtaining Full Path for a directory or file
  • Hide Status Code
  • Verbose Mode
  • Identify Content Length
  • Disable Banner
  • User-Agent Mode
  • Obtain Result with Specify Status Code
  • Timeout
  • Appending Forward slash
  • Saving Output Result inside Text File
  • Enumerating Directory with Specific Extension List
  • Follow Redirect
  • HTTP AUTHORIZATION (-u username: password)
  • DNS Mode
  • Set Threads Number
  • Obtain Subdomain IPs
  • Force Processing Brute Force
  • Hide Process of Extracting
  • Extracting CNAME Records

Introuction & Installation

Gobuster is a tool used to brute-force on URIs (directories and files) in web sites and DNS subdomains. Gobuster can be downloaded through apt- repository and thus execute following command for installing it.

When it will get installed, you can interact with it and can perceive all available option with the help of following command.

Common Parameters

  • -fw – force processing of a domain with wildcard results.
  • -np – hide the progress output.
  • -m <mode> – which mode to use, either dir or dns (default: dir).
  • -q – disables banner/underline output.
  • -t <threads> – number of threads to run (default: 10).
  • -u <url/domain> – full URL (including scheme), or base domain name.
  • -v – verbose output (show all results).
  • -w <wordlist> – path to the wordlist used for brute forcing (use – for stdin).

Dir mode Parameter

  • -a <user agent string> – specify a user agent string to send in the request header.
  • -c <http cookies> – use this to specify any cookies that you might need (simulating auth).
  • -e – specify extended mode that renders the full URL.
  • -f – append / for directory brute forces.
  • -k – Skip verification of SSL certificates.
  • -l – show the length of the response.
  • -n – “no status” mode, disables the output of the result’s status code.
  • -o <file> – specify a file name to write the output to.
  • -p <proxy url> – specify a proxy to use for all requests (scheme much match the URL scheme).
  • -r – follow redirects.
  • -s <status codes> – comma-separated set of the list of status codes to be deemed a “positive” (default: 200,204,301,302,307).
  • -x <extensions> – list of extensions to check for, if any.
  • -P <password> – HTTP Authorization password (Basic Auth only, prompted if missing).
  • -U <username> – HTTP Authorization username (Basic Auth only).
  • -to <timeout> – HTTP timeout. Examples: 10s, 100ms, 1m (default: 10s).

DNS mode Parameters

  • -cn – show CNAME records (cannot be used with ‘-i’ option).
  • -i – show all IP addresses for the result.

Using Wordlist for Directory Brute-Force

You can use -w option for using a particular wordlist, for example common.txt or medium.txt to launch a brute-force attack for extracting web directories or files from inside the target URL.

The above command will dump the all possible files and directories with the help of common.txt wordlist.

Obtaining Full Path for a directory or file

Using -e option provides more significant result, as it Prints complete URL when extract any file or directories.

You can compare the following output result from the previous result.

Hide Status Code

Using -n Option “no status” mode, it print the output of the result’s without displaying the status code.

The above command will dump the all possible files and directory without displaying their status code.


Verbose Mode

Using -v option – it enables verbose parameter and make brute-force attack vigorously on each file or directory.

As you can observe from the following option that, this time it has dump the result including status 404 for missing directories or files.

Identify Content Length

Using -l option enables content-length parameter which display size of response. The Content-Length header is a number denoting and the exact byte length of the HTTP body for extracted file or directory.

Disable Banner

Gobuster always add banner to specify brief introduction of applied options while launching brute force attack. By using -q option we can disable the banner to hide additional information.

From given below image, you can perceive the difference between last output results and in the current result.

User-Agent Mode

Using -a option enables User-Agent mode to specify a user agent string to send in the request header for extracting directories and files from inside the target URL.

Obtain Result with Specify Status Code

Using -s Option, enables the status code for specific value such 302, 200, 403, and 404 and so on to obtain certain request pages.

From the given below image, you can take reference for the output result obtained for above commands.


Using -to option enables the timeout parameter for HTTP request and 10 second is the Default time limit for HTTP request. 

Appending Forward slash

Using -f option, appending the forward slash while making brute-force attack on the target URL.


Saving Output Result inside Text File

Using -o option, enables saving output result parameter in a text file which can be useful in future.

We can ensure the result.txt file with the help of cat command


Enumerating Directory with Specific Extension List

There are a lot of situations where we need to extract the directories of a specific extension over the target server, and then we can use the -X parameter of this scan. This parameter accepts the file extension name and then searches the given extension files over the target server or machine.


Follow Redirect

Using -r options enables redirect parameter which redirect HTTP request to another and modify the Status code for a directory or file.

You can compare the output result of default scan with redirect output result.

HTTP AUTHORIZATION (-u username: password)

HTTP Authentication/Authentication mechanisms are all based on the use of 401-status code and WWW-Authenticate response header. The most widely used HTTP authentication mechanisms are Basic. The client sends the user name and password as unencrypted base64 encoded text.

So, in order to bypass this kind of authentication with the help of Gobuster we have used the command below:

As a result it is shown Status –code 200 for the test: test and authorized credential on target URL.

DNS Mode

Using -m option is enable DNS mode which is effect for public network IP and extract the subdomain.

As you can observe the output result from the given below result.

Set Threads Number

Using -t option, its enables number of thread parameter to be apply while brute-forcing subdomain name or directories.

Obtain Subdomain IPs

Using -i option enables the IP parameter which should be showing IPs of extracted subdomain.

From the given below result, you can observe that it showing IPv4 of Ipv6 for each extracted subdomains.

Force Processing Brute Force

It stop extracting the subdomain name if meet any Wildcard DNS which is a non-existing domain, therefore use -fw option to enable force processing parameter to continue the attack even if there is any Wildcard Domain.

Hide Process of Extracting

Using -np option hides the process of extracting subdomain name while making brute force attack.

Extracting CNAME Records

Using –cn option enables CNAME Records parameter of the extracted subdomains and show their CNAME records.

You can observe the output for above executed command in the given below result.

Proxy URL

Using –p option, enables proxy URL to be use for all requests, by default it works on port 1080. As you can observe, on exploring target network IP in the web browser it put up “Access forbidden error” which means this web page is running behind some proxy.

To ensure this prediction, we run the gobuster command twice, firstly on port 80 which is by default and further on port 3129 along with –p option which enables proxy parameter.

From the given below image, you can take reference for the output result obtained for above commands, here we haven’t obtain any directory or file on executing first command where else in second command executed successfully.

Author: Shubham Pandey is a Technical writer, Researcher and Penetration tester contact here

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