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SecTools.Org: Top 125 Network Security Tools

For more than a decade, the Nmap Project has been cataloguing the network security community's favorite tools. In 2011 this site became much more dynamic, offering ratings, reviews, searching, sorting, and a new tool suggestion form. This site allows open source and commercial tools on any platform, except those tools that we maintain (such as the Nmap Security Scanner, Ncat network connector, and Nping packet manipulator).

We're very impressed by the collective smarts of the security community and we highly recommend reading the whole list and investigating any tools you are unfamiliar with. Click any tool name for more details on that particular application, including the chance to read (and write) reviews. Many site elements are explained by tool tips if you hover your mouse over them. Enjoy!

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← previous page Tools 26–50 of 125 next page →

(2) ★★★ Google (#26, 8)

While it is far more than a security tool, Google's massive database is a gold mine for security researchers and penetration testers. You can use it to dig up information about a target company by using directives such as “site:target-domain.com” and find employee names, sensitive information that they wrongly thought was hidden, vulnerable software installations, and more. Similarly, when a bug is found in yet another popular webapp, Google can often provide a list of vulnerable servers worldwide within seconds. Check out the Google Hacking Database and Johnny Long's excellent book: Google Hacking for Penetration Testers. Read 2 reviews.

(1) ★★★★★ OSSEC HIDS (#27, 29)

OSSEC HIDS performs log analysis, integrity checking, rootkit detection, time-based alerting and active response. In addition to its IDS functionality, it is commonly used as a SEM/SIM solution. Because of its powerful log analysis engine, ISPs, universities and data centers are running OSSEC HIDS to monitor and analyze their firewalls, IDSs, web servers and authentication logs. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.7.1 on Nov. 20, 2013 (11 months, 2 weeks ago).

no rating WebScarab (#28, 7)

In its simplest form, WebScarab records the conversations (requests and responses) that it observes, and allows the operator to review them in various ways. WebScarab is designed to be a tool for anyone who needs to expose the workings of an HTTP(S) based application, whether to allow the developer to debug otherwise difficult problems, or to allow a security specialist to identify vulnerabilities in the way that the application has been designed or implemented. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 20100820-1632 on Aug. 20, 2010 (4 years, 2 months ago).

(4) ★★★★½ Core Impact (#29, 15)

Core Impact isn't cheap (be prepared to spend at least $30,000), but it is widely considered to be the most powerful exploitation tool available. It sports a large, regularly updated database of professional exploits, and can do neat tricks like exploiting one machine and then establishing an encrypted tunnel through that machine to reach and exploit other boxes. Other good options include Metasploit and Canvas. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 12 on Aug. 8, 2011 (3 years, 2 months ago).

(7) ★★★★½ sqlmap (#30, new!)

sqlmap is an open source penetration testing tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws and taking over of back-end database servers. It comes with a broad range of features, from database fingerprinting to fetching data from the DB and even accessing the underlying file system and executing OS commands via out-of-band connections. The authors recommend using the development release from their Subversion repository. Read 9 reviews.

Latest release: version 0.9 on April 11, 2011 (3 years, 6 months ago).

(2) ★★★★½ TrueCrypt (#31, 66)

TrueCrypt is an excellent open source disk encryption system for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Users can encrypt entire filesystems, which are then on-the-fly encrypted/decrypted as needed without user intervention beyond initially entering their passphrase. A clever hidden volume feature allows you to hide a second layer of particularly sensitive content with plausible deniability about whether it even exists. Then if you are forced to give up your passphrase, you give them the first-level secret. That only allows them access to the innocuous material you have there, without proving that a second level key even exists. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 7.1a on Feb. 7, 2012 (2 years, 8 months ago).

(3) ★★★★ dsniff (#32, 15)

This popular and well-engineered suite by Dug Song includes many tools: dsniff, filesnarf, mailsnarf, msgsnarf, urlsnarf, and webspy passively monitor a network for interesting data (passwords, e-mail, files, etc.); arpspoof, dnsspoof, and macof facilitate the interception of network traffic normally unavailable to an attacker (e.g, due to layer-2 switching); and sshmitm and webmitm implement active monkey-in-the-middle attacks against redirected ssh and https sessions by exploiting weak bindings in ad-hoc PKI. A separately maintained partial Windows port is available here. The suite suffers from the lack of any updates in the last decade, but it is still a great toolset for handling your password sniffing needs. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.3 on Dec. 17, 2000 (13 years, 10 months ago).

no rating IDA Pro (#33, 12)

Disassembly is a big part of security research. It will help you dissect that Microsoft patch to discover the silently fixed bugs they don't tell you about, or more closely examine a server binary to determine why your exploit isn't working. Many debuggers are available, but IDA Pro has become the de-facto standard for the analysis of hostile code and vulnerability research. This interactive, programmable, extensible, multi-processor disassembler has a graphical interface on Windows and console interfaces on Linux and Mac OS X. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 6.5.131217 on Dec. 17, 2013 (10 months, 2 weeks ago).

(1) ★★★★ Maltego (#34, new!)

Maltego is a forensics and data mining application. It is capable of querying various public data sources and graphically depicting the relationships between entities such as people, companies, web sites, and documents. Maltego is an open source intelligence too, but isn't open source software. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 3.0.3 on Jan. 17, 2011 (3 years, 9 months ago).

(4) ★★★★★ ophcrack (#35, new!)

Ophcrack is a free rainbow-table based cracker for Windows passwords (though the tool itself runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac). Features include LM and NTLM hash cracking, a GUI, the ability to load hashes from encrypted SAM recovered from a Windows partition, and a Live CD version. Some tables are provided as a free download but larger ones have to be bought from Objectif Sécurité. Read 6 reviews.

Latest release: version 3.6.0 on June 4, 2013 (1 year, 4 months ago).

(3) ★★ Nexpose (#36, new!)

Rapid7 Nexpose is a vulnerability scanner which aims to support the entire vulnerability management lifecycle, including discovery, detection, verification, risk classification, impact analysis, reporting and mitigation. It integrates with Rapid7's Metasploit for vulnerability exploitation. It is sold as standalone software, an appliance, virtual machine, or as a managed service or private cloud deployment. User interaction is through a web browser. There is a free "community edition" for scanning up to 32 IPs, as well as Express ($3,000 per user per year), Express Pro ($7,000 per user per year) and Enterprise (starts at $25,000 per user per year) editions. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 5.0 on Dec. 5, 2011 (2 years, 11 months ago).

no rating Netfilter (#37, 14)

Netfilter is a powerful packet filter implemented in the standard Linux kernel. The userspace iptables tool is used for configuration. It now supports packet filtering (stateless or stateful), all kinds of network address and port translation (NAT/NAPT), and multiple API layers for 3rd party extensions. It includes many different modules for handling unruly protocols such as FTP. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version Linux 3.1 on Oct. 24, 2011 (3 years ago).

no rating GnuPG/PGP (#38, 8)

PGP is the famous encryption system originally written by Phil Zimmerman which helps secure your data from eavesdroppers and other risks. GnuPG is a very well-regarded open source implementation of the PGP standard (the actual executable is named gpg). While the excellent GnuPG is always free, PGP is now owned by Symantec and costs a lot of money. Review this tool.

(2) ★★★★½ skipfish (#39, new!)

skipfish is an active web application security reconnaissance tool. It prepares an interactive sitemap for the targeted site by carrying out a recursive crawl and dictionary-based probes. The resulting map is then annotated with the output from a number of active (but hopefully non-disruptive) security checks. The final report generated by the tool is meant to serve as a foundation for professional web application security assessments. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.10b on Dec. 4, 2012 (1 year, 11 months ago).

(5) ★★★ GFI LanGuard (#40, 20)

GFI LanGuard is a network security and vulnerability scanner designed to help with patch management, network and software audits, and vulnerability assessments. The price is based on the number of IP addresses you wish to scan. A free trial version (up to 5 IP addresses) is available. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 2011 on May 19, 2001 (13 years, 5 months ago).

(3) ★★★★ Acunetix WVS (#41, 55)

Acunetix WVS (web vulnerability scanner) automatically checks web applications for vulnerabilities such as SQL Injections, cross site scripting, arbitrary file creation/deletion, and weak password strength on authentication pages. It boasts a comfortable GUI, an ability to create professional security audit and compliance reports, and tools for advanced manual webapp testing. Read 4 reviews.

(2) ★★★★★ QualysGuard (#42, 31)

QualysGuard is a popular SaaS (software as a service) vulnerability management offering. It's web-based UI offers network discovery and mapping, asset prioritization, vulnerability assessment reporting and remediation tracking according to business risk. Internal scans are handled by Qualys appliances which communicate back to the cloud-based system. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 6.18 on Feb. 25, 2011 (3 years, 8 months ago).

no rating VMware (#43, 46)

VMware virtualization software lets you run one operating system within another. This is quite useful for security researchers who commonly need to test code, exploits, etc on multiple platforms. It only runs on Windows and Linux as the host OS, but pretty much any x86 or x86_64 OS will run inside the virtualized environment. It is also useful for setting up sandboxes. You can browse from within a VMware window so the even if you are infected with malware, it cannot reach your host OS. And recovering the guest OS is as simple as loading a "snapshot" from prior to the infection. VMware player (executes, but can't create OS images) and VMWare Server (partitions a physical server machine into multiple virtual machines) were recently released for free. An open-source alternative is VirtualBox. Xen is a Linux-specific virtualization system. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 10.0.2 on April 17, 2014 (6 months, 2 weeks ago).

(1) ★★★★★ OllyDbg (#44, 49)

OllyDbg is a 32-bit assembler level analyzing debugger for Microsoft Windows. Emphasis on binary code analysis makes it particularly useful in cases where source is unavailable. OllyDbg features an intuitive user interface, advanced code analysis capable of recognizing procedures, loops, API calls, switches, tables, constants and strings, an ability to attach to a running program, and good multi-thread support. OllyDbg is free to download and use but no source code is provided. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 2.01 on Sept. 27, 2013 (1 year, 1 month ago).

(2) ★★★ Ntop (#45, 9)

Ntop shows network usage in a way similar to what top does for processes. In interactive mode, it displays the network status on the user's terminal. In Web mode, it acts as a Web server, creating an HTML dump of the network status. It sports a NetFlow/sFlow emitter/collector, an HTTP-based client interface for creating ntop-centric monitoring applications, and RRD for persistently storing traffic statistics. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.0.3 on Oct. 24, 2010 (4 years ago).

(2) ★★★ MBSA (#46, 54)

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is an easy-to-use tool designed for the IT professional that helps small and medium-sized businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance. Built on the Windows Update Agent and Microsoft Update infrastructure, MBSA ensures consistency with other Microsoft management products including Microsoft Update (MU), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). Apparently MBSA on average scans over 3 million computers each week. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.3 on Nov. 12, 2013 (11 months, 3 weeks ago).

(2) ★★★★ AppScan (#47, 51)

AppScan provides security testing throughout the application development lifecycle, easing unit testing and security assurance early in the development phase. Appscan scans for many common vulnerabilities, such as cross site scripting, HTTP response splitting, parameter tampering, hidden field manipulation, backdoors/debug options, buffer overflows and more. AppScan was merged into IBM's Rational division after IBM purchased its original developer (Watchfire) in 2007. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 8.5 on Nov. 15, 2011 (2 years, 11 months ago).

(3) ★★★★½ OSSIM (#48, new!)

Alienvault OSSIM stands for Open Source Security Information Management. Its goal is to provide a comprehensive compilation of tools which, when working together, grant network/security administrators with a detailed view over each and every aspect of networks, hosts, physical access devices, and servers. OSSIM incorporates several other tools, including Nagios and OSSEC HIDS. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.4 on Dec. 13, 2013 (10 months, 3 weeks ago).

(1) ★★★★ Medusa (#49, new!)

Medusa is intended to be a speedy, massively parallel, modular, login brute-forcer. It supports many protocols: AFP, CVS, FTP, HTTP, IMAP, rlogin, SSH, Subversion, and VNC to name a few. Other online crackers are THC Hydra and Ncrack. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 2.0 on Feb. 9, 2010 (4 years, 8 months ago).

no rating OpenSSL (#50, 9)

The OpenSSL Project is a collaborative effort to develop a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured, and open source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols as well as a full-strength general purpose cryptography library. Apart from being a component of many crypto programs, OpenSSL comes with a lot of command-line tools for encryption, hashing, certificate handling, and more. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 1.0.1g on April 7, 2014 (6 months, 3 weeks ago).

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