Live task

First run with a live task #

Ensure you have enabled extensions from the Enabling extensions step.

Live tasks process traffic from specific Burp Suite tools (e.g., Burp Proxy, Burp Repeater, Burp Intruder) and perform defined actions. In the live task strategy, we set up the live active Burp Scanner task to grab the proxied traffic when we visit the website and automatically send it to Burp Scanner. Follow these steps to set up Burp to automatically scan proxied requests:

  1. Open Dashboard and click New live task.

  2. Under Tools scope, select Proxy.

  3. In URL scope, select Suite scope.

  4. Check the Ignore duplicate items based on URL and parameter names box. This option ensures that Burp Suite avoids scanning the same request multiple times. More specifically, it prevents Burp Suite from repeatedly scanning requests that share the same URL and parameter names, regardless of their parameter values.

    Here’s an example to illustrate:

    • Consider a scenario where your application has a profile page for a user, accessed via the URL When browsing the application, you might visit this URL multiple times with different id values (e.g., ?id=1234, ?id=2345, etc.).

    With Ignore duplicate items based on URL and parameter names checked, Burp Suite will scan this URL only once, regardless of the different id values you use. It treats all these requests (,, etc.) as duplicates based on their common URL /profile and the id parameter name. This helps prevent unnecessary redundancy in the scanning process, which in turn can save valuable time.

  5. Go to Scan configuration, click on the Select from library button, and select Audit coverage - maximum to have the most comprehensive scan possible. For more information, see Built-in configurations.

  6. Optionally, you can adjust the number of concurrent requests on the target at any time. For more information, see Managing resource pools for scans.

Then, open the embedded Burp browser and go through your website carefully; try to visit every nook and cranny of your website. You can see detailed information and specific requests in Tasks > Live audit from Proxy (suite).

Use the Logger tab and observe how the scanning works under the hood and how your application reacts to potentially malicious requests. Be cautious where the application scans the sign-out API calls (e.g., /logout) to ensure your session will not be terminated and result in many of your requests ending in HTTP “401 Unauthorized” errors. Also, take care that the web application firewall (WAF) does not block you out or Burp does not send too many requests in a given time, which may result in the HTTP “429 Too Many Requests” response status code. To prevent issues with excessive traffic from Burp, see automatic throttling.

Remember that using an active Burp Scanner can have disruptive effects on the website, such as data loss.

Also, check whether Burp accurately processes the application’s requests. For example, some applications need the HMAC SHA-256 signature of the current request in a custom header—otherwise, the server responds with an error. Other web applications are scrupulous in handling CSRF tokens (e.g., via the X-CSRF-Token header)—otherwise, they respond with an error too. If the application’s requests are not handled correctly, you can miss the accuracy of testing. See more in the Ensure your app handling works correctly section.

Where are the results? #

Mainly, you will find identified issues raised by the live scans in the Dashboard > Tasks activity. Review reported issues carefully and pay particular attention to high-severity and certain confidence issues.

Also, it’s crucial to look at nonstandard responses when using different Burp tools—in particular, the following:

  1. Check the Logger tab (consider extending the limit of the memory used—see Working with Burp Logger entries).

    a. Nonstandard error HTTP responses (e.g., 500, 502) that can indicate the need for further digging

    b. Potential error messages and stack traces

    c. Success status responses (e.g., “200 OK”) for requests that should not pass the authorization mechanism

    d. 302 and 301 status responses for any potential open redirection issues

  2. When you work from the white-box perspective, look at the application logs and try to identify any potential crashes, panics, or log injections (see CRLF injection and IP spoofing).

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