ALWAYS test 404 Not Found in Bug Bounties!

Viktor Mares
4 min readFeb 6, 2024

Hi everyone, today I want to show why you should always test websites that have no “/” directory and what many other Bug Bounty hunters might be missing out on.

Let’s be honest — Bug Bounty Hunting is exhausting, especially if you are a full-time Penetration Tester / Web Developer etc. You are able to test mostly in the after hours and this leaves little to no room for flexibility — you must find vulnerabilities fast (we all hate duplicates) and you have to be good.

However, recently I have noticed that in the search of Critical/High vulnerabilities, many Hunters out there are immediatelly disinterested in websites that look like this:

Here the saying just fits perfectly:

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Many Hunters will quickly turn away from such websites (with seemingly no content). However, just because there is no content in the / directory, doesn’t mean that there is no content at all.

Example 1:

While doing Bug Bounty Hunting on a wildcard subdomain Scope (*.example.com), I run my usual tools for subdomain enumeration and after some time, stumble upon a subdomain returning 404 Not Found. For the purpose of anonymization let’s use the subdomain example1.example.com

After identifying such a website -> Step 1 is to start content discovery. For this I use the dirsearch tool with my own wordlist:

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Viktor Mares

Penetration Tester | Cyber Security Expert @ SoCyber