In today's "web 2.0" world, web applications become more and more complex, and thus it becomes more and more common for some very nasty security bugs to be implemented.
As a web developer, being able to scan your own software for common things like SQL injection bugs or cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, may be a useful tool in your tool belt.
As a server administrator, being able to scan your server, and your user's sites for these problems is also a handy thing to be able to do.
There is quite a few of these web vulnerability scanners available commercially, and I had always wondered how effective they are. Someone on the penetration testing mailing list wrote up a very very nice review (PDF) of major vendors of this type of software.
Since it would be of interest of users of web-applications as well as developers and fellow server admins, I figured I'd share this here.http://anantasec.blo...ners-comparison.html
From the report it seems that these things are pretty good at detecting common stuff like sql-injection (report shows that all sql-injection vulnerabilities were detected by all the tested software), but you can definitively not rely on them solely for security testing. (Which makes sense imo, since it's a very complex problem which seems hard to implement generic heuristic scanners for.)