To put in simpler terms, Web scraping, or also known as web data extraction, is the process of recouping or sweeping data from web-pages. It is a much faster and easier process of retrieving data without undergoing the time-consuming hassle of manual data extraction methods.
Web scraping uses advanced automatic tools to reclaim data from millions and billions of websites.
The Basics of Web Scraping
First, some common terms you'll need to know:
- The Crawler: The web crawler or popularly known as a 'spider,' is an automated website scraping tool that skims through the internet for information. The spider usually surfs the internet and follows links, and explores various web pages to gather or "scrape" up any information.
- The Scraper: A scraper or web scraper is a comprehensive website scraper tool that quickly gathers unambiguous data from several web pages. Their designs and functionality depend on the type of projects.
Why Penetration Testers Need Web Scraping?
Web scraping has been a crucial part of many successful businesses as well as corporate sectors. While it's commonly used in other sectors, it is also useful in penetration testing.
Penetration testing (also known as pen testing) is security testing. In ethical practice, a cyber-security specialist will test computer systems, web applications, or networks to discover security vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit. This tests the computer's efficiency to protect data in case of any security breach.
It can be done manually or automated with software applications.
How can an efficient solution help make pen-testing easier?
Before we dive into the details of effective penetration testing, let us first know the initial stages of carrying out an effective penetration test.
- Planning and scrutiny
- Gaining access
- Maintaining access
Here are some of the tools that can help with penetration testing:
- Port Scanners: This is a type of website scraper tool that quickly gathers accurate information about a specific target in an isolated network environment. These tools can carry out activities like the SYN-SYN-ACK-ACK sequence for TCP ports.
- Vulnerability Scanners: This type of tool is used to scan and find any exposure to a specific system. There are two types of vulnerability scanners available. Network-based vulnerability scanners are used to only scan the targeted system and TCP/IP powered devices that are prevalent in this kind of environment. Another kind is known as the host-based vulnerability scanners are used to scan the whole operating system for any software related issues.
- Application Scanners: These are web scraping tools that are used to examine any vulnerability in web-based applications.
What is the best solution for pen-testing?
If you are looking for quick solutions for your security breaches or to stay ahead in the game, try Zenscrape. It uses comprehensive, customized tools that target your specific needs. Plus, the interface is relatively simple to use.
It provides lightning-fast response times, and there are no limitations to submitting the number of requests. The API will return a JSON object having the HTML markup for the given website.
You get to choose from standard proxies as well as premium proxies. If a website uses captchas to stop web scraping, the premium proxies will come handy. Zenscrape offers premium proxies from more than 300 locations.
Dealing with Proxies on Zenscrape
Zenscrape offers Residential Proxies that are legitimate IP addresses and impossible to be banned because they are not attached to any subnetworks. They are directly attached to a physical location, and thus they are highly anonymous.
Another benefit of using Zenscrape is the Rotating Proxies. Your request will never get blocked because every individual request is submitted using a unique IP address from the list of 30+ million IP addresses that Zenscrape provides. If a particular request fails, the API will automatically try the request with a different IP so that you receive the valid responses only.
How to use Zenscrape
- First, create a free or trial account on Zenscrape. You can sign up for it from the home page itself by just clicking the sign-up option.
- After creating an account, check your email for a confirmation. This confirmation is done to verify your address.
- After verification, Zenscrape creates an API key for you. Please do not share it with others.
Now, after you received your API key, it can be used with the help of a CURL command shown below:
Next, click on the request and sit back while Zenscrape automatically browses through the targeted websites and quickly responds to your issues. Yes! It is that simple.
Penetration testing is easier than ever
There are numerous tools for scraping, but Zenscrape is the one-stop solution for your web scraping problems. It is a web scraping API platform that caters to all scraping needs. Plus, you do not have to be a computer genius to use web scraping; its interactive user-interface makes tasks easier than ever.
Zenscrape uses Artificial intelligence tools to troubleshoot every security issue and aids you in penetration testing activities.
Get in touch with the Zenscape team now and share your requirements in the contact request page.