What is Nuclei?
Nuclei is a fast exploitable vulnerability scanner designed to probe modern applications, infrastructure, cloud platforms, and networks, aiding in the identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities.
At its core, Nuclei utilizes templates—expressed as straightforward YAML files—that delineate methods for detecting, ranking, and addressing specific security flaws.
Each template delineates a possible attack route, detailing the vulnerability, its severity, priority rating, and occasionally associated exploits. This template-centric methodology ensures Nuclei not only identifies potential threats, but pinpoints exploitable vulnerabilities with tangible real-world implications.
What does Nuclei produce?
The global security community, including numerous researchers and engineers, actively contributes to this template ecosystem. With over 6500 templates contributed thus far, Nuclei remains updated with real-world exploits and cutting-edge attack vectors, such as the Log4j vulnerability and RCEs that impact vendors such as GitLab, Cisco, F5, and many others.
Once configured, Nuclei can provide detailed information on each vulnerability, including:
Where to use Nuclei?
|Web Application Security||Identifies common web vulnerabilities with community-powered templates.|
|Infrastructure Security||Audits server configurations, open ports, and insecure services for security issues.|
|API Security Testing ||Tests APIs against known vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.|
|(CI/CD) Security||Integrates into CI/CD pipelines to minimize vulnerability resurface into production.|
|Third-party Vendor Assessment||Evaluates the security of third-party vendors by scanning their digital assets.|
|Cloud Security ||Scans cloud environments for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities.|
|Mobile Application Security||Scans mobile applications for security issues, including API tests and configuration checks.|
|Network Device Security ||Identifies vulnerabilities in network devices like routers, switches, and firewalls.|
|Web Server Assessment||Identifies common vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in web servers.|
|Content Management System (CMS) Assessment||Identifies vulnerabilities specific to CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.|
|Database Security Assessment||Scans databases for known vulnerabilities, default configurations, and access control issues.|
Who can use Nuclei?
People use Nuclei in a variety of ways:
- Security Engineers/Analysts: Conduct security assessments, proactively identify vulnerabilities, convert custom vectors and analyze latest attack vectors.
- Red Teams: Leverage Nuclei as part of their offensive security operations to simulate real-world attack scenarios, identify weaknesses, and provide actionable recommendations for enhancing overall security.
- DevOps Teams: Integrate Nuclei into their CI/CD pipelines to ensure continuous security and regression of custom vulnerabilities.
- Bug Bounty Hunters: Leverage Nuclei to find vulnerabilities across their programs listed on platforms like HackerOne, Bugcrowd, Intigriti etc.
- Penetration Testers: Utilize Nuclei to automate their assessment methodologies into templates for their clients’ systems.
What are the features of Nuclei?
|Extensive Template Library||Nuclei offers a vast collection of community-powered templates for targeted scans of various vulnerabilities and attack vectors.|
|Versatile Target Specification||Support for various target specification options, such as URLs, IP ranges, ASN range, and file input, allowing flexibility in defining the scanning scope.|
|Bulk Scanning||Perform bulk scanning by specifying multiple targets at once, enabling efficient scanning of a large number of assets or websites.|
|Flexible Customization||Customize scanning templates to fit specific needs, allowing tailored scanning and focusing on relevant security checks.|
|Parallel Scanning||Supports parallel scanning, reducing scanning time and improving efficiency, especially for large-scale targets.|
|Comprehensive Reporting ||Generates detailed reports with actionable insights, including vulnerability details, severity levels, affected endpoints, and suggested remediation steps.|
|Integration with CI/CD Pipelines||Seamlessly integrate Nuclei into CI/CD pipelines for automated security testing as part of the development and deployment process.|
|CI/CD Integration ||Actively maintained and developed by the ProjectDiscovery team, introducing new features, bug fixes, and enhancements to provide an up-to-date scanning framework.|
|Ticketing integration ||Two-way ticketing integration with Jira, Splunk, and many others to easily remediate and retest vulnerabilities.|
|Customizable Output Format||Configure the output format of Nuclei’s scan results to suit your needs, including options for JSON, YAML, and more.|
|Dynamic Variables||Utilize dynamic variables in templates to perform parameterized scanning, enabling versatile and flexible scanning configurations.|
|Inclusion and Exclusion Filters||Apply inclusion and exclusion filters to specify targets, reducing scanning scope and focusing on specific areas of interest.|
|Authentication Support||Nuclei supports various authentication mechanisms, including HTTP basic authentication, JWT token authentication, and more.|
|Embedding custom code in templates||Execute custom code within Nuclei templates to incorporate user-defined logic, perform advanced scanning actions, and more.|