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Shellshock vulnerability online check

Considering the recently discovered Shellshock vulnerability, HostTracker has created a tool for testing it.

Check your server for vulnerability

How does it work?

It is developed for a Linux server with a web server installed on it. The algorithm is very simple. We consequently generate 4 http requests:

  • 1. Ordinary request
  • 2. The request tries, using vulneratility, post a "harmful" cookie which causes 2-seconds delay in respond to our special http request.
  • 3. The request tries, using vulneratility, post a "harmful" cookie which causes 4-seconds delay in respond to our special http request.
  • 4. Same as #3

How to understand the result?

We compare response time for all 4 requests. Three situation are possible:

  • 1. Vulnerability found. We may affirm that if the difference in responses is about 2 seconds for requests without cookie and with 2-second-delay cookie, as well as for requests with 2 and 4-second delay cookie. It means that our request was able to use the vulnerability and set these cookies.
  • 2. Vulnerability not found. All the requests have about the same response time. The cookies, likely, were not installed because there is no vulnerability.
  • 3. Uncertain situation. If the response time differs widely, without coincidence with preset by cookies delay, we can not say for sure. It could be if the server is under high load. To check this, we use two requests with same cookies (#3 and #4). If the response time for two same checks varies, we make a conclusion that the response time is not affected by cookies. At least, not only by them. So in this case our method can not detect vulnerability

Safety of checks

Our test can not damage your server. The risk consists of appearance of one extra-cookie, which is used only for our requests and can not affect normal work-flow of your site.

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Home > Blog > snapshot

How does the site look like when I’m not looking at it? What if it looks bad or does not work at all? HostTracker offers an instrument for site supervision - snapshot feature. Let’s take a look at its practical application.

How does the site look like when I’m not looking at it? What if it looks bad or does not work at all? HostTracker offers an instrument for site supervision - snapshot feature. Let’s take a look at its practical application.

What’s going on with my site?

Now it’s usual to use different services and applications for site maintenance and support, and sometimes they do report some problems. Often we feel the lack of information - Google Analytics or a similar service reports the downtime and renewal, but likely we will never know what exactly has happened. To investigate the issue, it is necessary to review the logs, write to hosting support and perform many others exhausting actions, frequently - with no result. There are also more interesting cases - when a site is not available from a certain country or is not downloaded completely. Such problems could long for months, or even years, till they are accidentally detected. One more important issue - content check. It will automatically review the content of the site and inform the responsible staff in case it has disappeared - for example, something has not been able to be downloaded from the database. But it’s hard to find the cause if the issue is short-term, because people usually do not sit in front of a laptop refreshing the page every minute. To resolve the problem, HostTracker offers a new feature - snapshot. It is very simple in use and does not require any additional adjustments. The service simply makes a snapshot of the checked page every time and saves it for review in two ways: page source code and html-view. This let you easily see how the page looks at the moment of failure, understand what’s wrong and fix the problem quickly without spending time for diagnostics. It saves lots of time for server administrator, developers and other concerned people.

How does it work

Doing the regular checks, our servers with predefined interval try to download the checked page. Additional algorithms could be used at the moment - the page could be parsed for keywords to make sure that this is the one we are looking for (there are cases when an error page returns 200, Ok, http code, or when redirection is activated in case of error). If there is no error - fine. But if there is, it will be written down into the HostTracker log, which is easily available from the web. Then, notification are sent and a snapshot is made.

The snapshots could also be found in the log - if several errors were detected, a different snapshot will be available from each one.


Though there are some remarks. First, we do not run javascript while making snapshot - same thing for regular check. Second, the error must be detectable. It means, the server must return something. In case of timeout or connection error - snapshot will not help, and only a corresponding record will remain in the log.

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