How To Stay Ahead of 99% Of Bug Bounty Hunters

Bug bounty programs are becoming increasingly popular, attracting more people to this field, which is great for the community. However, this also means increased competition among bug bounty hunters, making it harder to find bugs as they are often already discovered by other hunters.

1. Clear The Basics

Learn about the most common vulnerabilities like SQL Injection (SQLi), Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) and familiarize yourself with the OWASP Top Ten.
  • https://portswigger.net/web-security
  • Web Application Hackers Handbook
  • Bug Bounty Bootcamp- By Vickie Li
  • Real-World Bug Hunting- By Peter Yaworski
  • https://github.com/nahamsec/Resources-for-Beginner-Bug-Bounty-Hunters/blob/master/assets/basics.md
You may have heard people say that you don't need programming skills to start bug bounty hunting. However, I would recommend learning at least the basics of programming languages to give yourself an advantage. Understanding code and being able to write your own scripts can be very helpful.

2. Understand The Application

"Many people make the common mistake of simply selecting a target and putting payloads into inputs, hoping to find bugs. While this approach can work sometimes depending on luck and the target, to find better bugs, it's important to truly understand the application."

First study the architecture of the application, including its backend, frontend, APIs, and any third-party integrations. This holistic view can help you identify weak points. There are many tools for this like Wappalyzer, BuiltWith Technology Profiler, and WhatRuns.

You can also read the website manual or documentation if there is any because that is very important for an attacker to know their application from top to bottom.

3. Reconnaissance

Many people skip the reconnaissance process, run common scripts like lazyrecon, or follow other people's reconnaissance processes. The issue here is that 99% of people are doing the same thing. When everyone is doing the same thing, the probability of finding a vulnerability first becomes very low.

So you need to take recon seriously, Utilize every tool out there, and create your own custom scripts using them which will also save you some time and you will also find some new things that other people are not able to find

For a more detailed recon guide, you can check out this blog-Medium Blog