What are False Positives and False Negatives?

We all have to keep scanning our network, website, or application to identify if any bugs or vulnerabilities have been entered into them or not. If we are negligent towards the security system of our network of the website then we all are well acquainted about the consequences of it. An individual might face injection attacks, XSS, clickjacking, and various other forms of attacks due to security negligence. Hence, it is vital to keep scanning the website for its complete security information. This proves that we are relying on security scanners for health reports of our website, but if these vulnerability scanners are working incorrectly then what should we do?

What are False Positives?

False Positives is a condition when the vulnerability scanner incorrectly shows vulnerability or a bug in the website, but actually, it doesn’t exist. This panics the website or application owner and makes the individual restless by showing consistent failed results.

What are False Negatives?

False Negatives are the vice versa of false positives. It is a condition in which the vulnerability scanner scans the whole website and shows the results as clear, but in actual the test is unable to find the vulnerabilities or bugs present in the website or application. Such conditions might relax the website owners by displaying positive results, but in actuality there is another side to the coin.


The following write-up defines the term ‘false positive’ and ‘false negative’. Hence, one should have a check on such conditions as well rather than relying completely on the vulnerability scanners. Continuous testing might also be the reason for such conditions. Therefore, one must keep a track of the tests performed and the results obtained from such tests. One can also reduce the threshold to avoid such conditions and false results.

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