Setting up Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA)

02 Apr 2017 . tech . Comments
#security #redteam #dvwa

Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA) is a purposely insecure PHP/MySQL web application created for security professionals, web developers, students, and teachers to learn about web application security in a controlled environment. The application is intended to help security enthusiasts test their skills and tools in a legal setting and help web developers understand the process of securing web applications. DVWA is designed to provide a simple and straightforward interface to practice some of the most common web vulnerabilities at various difficulty levels. It contains both documented and undocumented vulnerabilities, which encourages users to identify as many issues as possible.

To get started with DVWA, download the source code from GitHub and set up the environment on Kali Linux, in order to have most of the tools you’ll need preinstalled. DVWA requires Apache and MySQL, which are already installed on Kali Linux as well.

Download and unzip DVWA:

wget -O

Start Apache and MySQL:

service apache2 start
service mysql start

Move DVWA to /var/www/html and setup permissions:

mv DVWA-master /var/www/html/dvwa
cd /var/www/html
chmod -R 755 dvwa/

After completing the setup, update your MySQL password in the DVWA configuration file to create the dvwa database:


You can then access the login page by visiting Make sure to set the security level of DVWA to low under the ‘DVWA Security’ tab to begin exploring the low-hanging fruits of web vulnerabilities:


Note that you should never expose this web application in a non-private network and always reset the security level to impossible.

In the next post we’ll exploit the first vulnerability of DVWA in order to login to the application without knowing the password.


A creative thinker who is not afraid to challenge the norm. His diverse track record includes failed startups, approved patents and scientific publications in top conferences and journals. On a mission to protect what matters most to you.