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.
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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.