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OWASP Code Pulse Project

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About Code Pulse

The OWASP Code Pulse Project is a tool that provides insight into the real-time code coverage of black box testing activities. It is a cross-platform desktop application that runs on most major platforms.


Whereas in the past it’s been very difficult to understand which parts of an application a DAST or manual penetration test covered, Code Pulse automatically detects the coverage information while the tests are being conducted and will even make it possible to understand the overlaps and boundaries of the different tools’ coverage.

Code Pulse presents the coverage information in a visual form to make it easy to understand at-a-glance which parts of an application have been covered, and how much. The real-time coverage feedback makes it easy to adjust testing activity based on the observed coverage. In addition for testing activities relying on multiple techniques (a variety of dynamic analysis tools for instance) it’s fairly easy to split up the recorded activity to understand which code was covered by each tool independently or alternatively to view where the coverage overlaps between multiple tools.

Code Pulse does its magic by monitoring the runtime of the target application using an agent-based approach that sits deep in the stack of the virtual machine executing the application’s binaries. Due to the intimate nature of our tracing approach we currently support Java Virtual Machines, but we do have plans to add support for .NET applications. Although Code Pulse will likely also work for desktop application, our current focus is in providing the best experience for web application testing.


OWASP Code Pulse project is free to use. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

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The initial version of Code Pulse, version 1.0, was released May 2nd 2014.

Our next planned release is version 1.1. Despite our best efforts we expect that there will be issues with the 1.0 release that won’t be exposed until a broader audience has gotten a chance to work with it. Our plan for 1.1 is to address the major usability issues uncovered from the 1.0 testing. We also anticipate a number of minor updates between versions 1.0 and 1.1 to address bugs as they are discovered.

Long-term there are a number of things on our roadmap that we’d like to add to Code Pulse. The following is a partial list of features we’d like to add to Code Pulse as we continue development on it: - .NET support - Reporting - Trace playback to see the sequence of the coverage as opposed to just seeing the end state - Dependency Check integration - ZAP plugin

Involvement in the development and promotion of Code Pulse is actively encouraged! You do not have to be a security expert in order to contribute.

Some of the ways you can help:

  • Code contributions
  • Testing
  • Wiki documentation
  • Spreading the word about the project!

Visit the Code Pulse GitHub project page to see the source.

Code Pulse is maintained and developed by Secure Decisions.

Code Pulse is based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/CSD), BAA via contract number FA8750-12-C-0219. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Government.