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Mozilla HTTP Observatory

The Mozilla HTTP Observatory is a set of tools to analyze your website and inform you if you are utilizing the many available methods to secure it.

It is split into three projects:

Scanning sites with the HTTP Observatory

Sites can be scanned using:



  • Python 3.11
  • Git
  • pip


These instructions assume that you have a working Python3.11 development environment with pip installed and capable of building requirements, which may require installing an additional python OS package (-dev, -devel).

# Clone the code
$ git clone
$ cd http-observatory
# Install poetry
$ pip install poetry
# Install the project dependencies and scripts
$ poetry install
# Activate the virtual environment
$ poetry shell
# Install the pre-commit hooks
$ pre-commit install
# copy and edit the config file
$ cp httpobs/conf/httpobs.conf ~/.httpobs.conf
$ nano ~/.httpobs.conf
# start the dev server
$ httpobs-server

Running tests

$ nosetests httpobs/tests --with-coverage --cover-package=httpobs

Running a scan from the local codebase, without DB, for continuous integration

# Install the HTTP Observatory
$ git clone
$ cd http-observatory
$ pip install poetry
$ poetry install

Using the scanner function calls

>>> from httpobs.scanner import scan
>>> scan('')  # a scan with default options
>>> scan('',  # all the custom options
         http_port=8080,             # http server runs on port 8080
         https_port=8443,            # https server runs on port 8443
         path='/foo/bar',            # don't scan /, instead scan /foo/bar
         cookies={'foo': 'bar'},     # set the "foo" cookie to "bar"
         headers={'X-Foo': 'bar'},   # send an X-Foo: bar HTTP header
         verify=False)               # treat self-signed certs as valid for tests like HSTS

The same, but with the local CLI

$ poetry shell
$ httpobs-local-scan --http-port 8080 --https-port 8443 --path '/foo/bar' \
    --cookies '{"foo": "bar"}' --headers '{"X-Foo": "bar"}' --no-verify


  • April King


  • Mozilla Public License Version 2.0