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A CGI scanner is a program that searches for known vulnerabilities in Web servers and application programs by testing HTTP requests against known CGI (common gateway interface) strings. CGI, which is part of HTTP, is a standard method for Web servers to pass user requests to Web application programs and send data back from those programs to the user.
The most significant limitation of GCI scanners is the fact that they often fail to detect the presence of vulnerabilities not previously defined. A more comprehensive program, called a Web application security scanner, seeks out and flags all anomalies, as well as known problems, within application programs.