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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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Tools 1–25 of 125 next page →

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 4.2 on Aug. 30, 2015 (3 months ago).

no rating GDB (#93, new!)

GDB is the GNU Project's debugger. Security folks use it to analyze unknown binaries, by getting disassemblies and stepping through a program instruction by instruction. GDB can debug programs written in Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal, and other languages. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 7.10 on Aug. 28, 2015 (3 months ago).

(3) ★★★★ Firefox (#55, new!)

Firefox is a web browser, a descendant of Mozilla. It emerged as a serious competitor to Internet Explorer, with improved security as one of its features. While Firefox no longer has a stellar security record, security professionals still appreciate it for its wide selection of security-related add-ons, including Tamper Data, Firebug, and NoScript. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 40.0.3 on Aug. 27, 2015 (3 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 12.0.0 on Aug. 24, 2015 (3 months, 1 week ago).

(2) ★★★★★ NoScript (#85, new!)

NoScript is an add-on for Firefox that blocks JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other plugin content (allowing you to selectively re-enable them for certain sites). It also offers cross-site scripting protection. This is mainly designed to keep web users safe, but security testers can also use the add-on to see what scripts a site is using. One caution is that the NoScript author Giorgio Maone has been caught inserting hidden code into NoScript which disabled users' ad-blocking software so that ads would still show up on the NoScript web site. He did post a lengthy apology. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version on Aug. 20, 2015 (3 months, 1 week ago).

(19) ★★★★½ Wireshark (#1, 1)

Wireshark (known as Ethereal until a trademark dispute in Summer 2006) is a fantastic open source multi-platform network protocol analyzer. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, delving down into just the level of packet detail you need. Wireshark has several powerful features, including a rich display filter language and the ability to view the reconstructed stream of a TCP session. It also supports hundreds of protocols and media types. A tcpdump-like console version named tshark is included. One word of caution is that Wireshark has suffered from dozens of remotely exploitable security holes, so stay up-to-date and be wary of running it on untrusted or hostile networks (such as security conferences). Read 33 reviews.

Latest release: version 1.12.7 on Aug. 12, 2015 (3 months, 2 weeks ago).

no rating cURL (#100, new!)

curl is a command line tool for transferring data with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, TELNET, DICT, LDAP, LDAPS, FILE, IMAP, SMTP, POP3 and RTSP. curl supports SSL certificates, HTTP POST, HTTP PUT, FTP uploading, HTTP form based upload, proxies, cookies, authentication, and more. libcurl provides these capabilities to other programs. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 7.44.0 on Aug. 12, 2015 (3 months, 2 weeks ago).

(4) ★★★★★ Firebug (#89, new!)

Firebug is an add-on for Firefox that provides access to browser internals. It features live editing of HTML and CSS, a DOM viewer, and a JavaScript debugger. Web application security testers appreciate the ability to see what's happening behind the scenes of the browser. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.0.12 on Aug. 11, 2015 (3 months, 2 weeks ago).

no rating OpenVPN (#56, 36)

OpenVPN is an open-source SSL VPN package which can accommodate a wide range of configurations, including remote access, site-to-site VPNs, WiFi security, and enterprise-scale remote access solutions with load balancing, failover, and fine-grained access-controls. OpenVPN implements OSI layer 2 or 3 secure network extension using the industry standard SSL/TLS protocol, supports flexible client authentication methods based on certificates, smart cards, and/or 2-factor authentication, and allows user or group-specific access control policies using firewall rules applied to the VPN virtual interface. OpenVPN uses OpenSSL as its primary cryptographic library. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 2.3.8 on Aug. 4, 2015 (3 months, 3 weeks ago).

(1) ★★★★★ Snort (#5, 2)

This network intrusion detection and prevention system excels at traffic analysis and packet logging on IP networks. Through protocol analysis, content searching, and various pre-processors, Snort detects thousands of worms, vulnerability exploit attempts, port scans, and other suspicious behavior. Snort uses a flexible rule-based language to describe traffic that it should collect or pass, and a modular detection engine. Also check out the free Basic Analysis and Security Engine (BASE), a web interface for analyzing Snort alerts.

While Snort itself is free and open source, parent company SourceFire offers their VRT-certified rules for $499 per sensor per year and a complementary product line of software and appliances with more enterprise-level features. Sourcefire also offers a free 30-day delayed feed. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version on July 23, 2015 (4 months, 1 week ago).

(3) ★★★★½ Fiddler (#60, new!)

Fiddler is a Web Debugging Proxy which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and "fiddle" with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler includes a powerful event-based scripting subsystem, and can be extended using any .NET language. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version on July 23, 2015 (4 months, 1 week ago).

(1) ★★★★★ Tor (#53, 6)

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels designed to improve privacy and security on the Internet by routing your requests through a series of intermediate machines. It uses a normal proxy server interface so that ordinary Internet applications like web browsers and chat programs can be configured to use it. In addition to helping preserve users' anonymity, Tor can help evade firewall restrictions. Tor's hidden services allow users publish web sites and other services without revealing their identity or location. For a free cross-platform GUI, users recommend Vidalia. Remember that Tor exit nodes are sometimes run by malicious parties and can sniff your traffic, so avoid authenticating using insecure network protocols (such as non-SSL web sites and mail servers). That is always dangerous, but particularly bad when routing through Tor. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version on July 12, 2015 (4 months, 2 weeks 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 1.0.2d on July 9, 2015 (4 months, 3 weeks ago).

(4) ★★★★★ Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (#74, new!)

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a malware scanner for Windows. The authors claim to use a variety of technologies to find malware undetectable by other malware scanners. There is a free trial with limited options and a supported full version with the ability to run scheduled scans. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version on June 29, 2015 (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.

Latest release: version 10 on June 24, 2015 (5 months, 1 week ago).

(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 2.8.2 on June 10, 2015 (5 months, 3 weeks ago).

(2) ★★★★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 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 5.0.3 on June 2, 2015 (6 months ago).

(1) ★★★★ WinDbg (#113, new!)

WinDbg is a graphical debugger from Microsoft. It is actually just one component of the Debugging Tools for Windows package, which also includes the KD, CDB, and NTSD debuggers. Its claim to fame is debugging memory dumps produced after a crash. It can even debug in kernel mode. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 10.0.10075.9 on April 29, 2015 (7 months ago).

no rating ClamAV (#80, 6)

ClamAV is a powerful AntiVirus scanner focused towards integration with mail servers for attachment scanning. It provides a flexible and scalable multi-threaded daemon, a command line scanner, and a tool for automatic updating via the Internet. Clam AntiVirus is based on a shared library distributed with the Clam AntiVirus package, which you can use with your own software. Most importantly, the virus database is kept up to date. The project was acquired by Sourcefire in 2007. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 0.98.7 on April 28, 2015 (7 months ago).

no rating RainbowCrack (#105, 56)

The RainbowCrack tool is a hash cracker that makes use of a large-scale time-memory trade-off. A traditional brute force cracker tries all possible plaintexts one by one, which can be time consuming for complex passwords. RainbowCrack uses a time-memory trade-off to do all the cracking-time computation in advance and store the results in so-called "rainbow tables". It does take a long time to precompute the tables but RainbowCrack can be hundreds of times faster than a brute force cracker once the precomputation is finished. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 1.61 on April 25, 2015 (7 months, 1 week ago).

(1) ★★★★ tcpdump (#9, 1)

Tcpdump is the network sniffer we all used before (Wireshark) came on the scene, and many of us continue to use it frequently. It may not have the bells and whistles (such as a pretty GUI and parsing logic for hundreds of application protocols) that Wireshark has, but it does the job well and with less security risk. It also requires fewer system resources. While Tcpdump doesn't receive new features often, it is actively maintained to fix bugs and portability problems. It is great for tracking down network problems or monitoring activity. There is a separate Windows port named WinDump. tcpdump is the source of the Libpcap/WinPcap packet capture library, which is used by Nmap and many other tools. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.7.4 on April 22, 2015 (7 months, 1 week ago).

no rating Stunnel (#117, 38)

The stunnel program is designed to work as an SSL encryption wrapper between remote client and local (inetd-startable) or remote servers. It can be used to add SSL functionality to commonly used inetd daemons like POP2, POP3, and IMAP servers without any changes in the programs' code. It will negotiate an SSL connection using the OpenSSL or SSLeay libraries. Review this tool.

Latest release: version 5.16 on April 19, 2015 (7 months, 2 weeks 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 6.8 on April 13, 2015 (7 months, 2 weeks ago).

(3) ★★★★★ KeePass (#92, new!)

KeePass is a password manager. It stores many passwords which are unlocked by one master password. The idea is to only have to remember one high-quality password, and still be able to use unique passwords for various accounts. It has a feature to automatically fill in passwords in web forms. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 1.29 on April 3, 2015 (8 months ago).

(23) ★★★½ OpenVAS (#19, new!)

OpenVAS is a vulnerability scanner that was forked from the last free version of Nessus after that tool went proprietary in 2005. OpenVAS plugins are still written in the Nessus NASL language. The project seemed dead for a while, but development has restarted. Read 27 reviews.

Latest release: version 8.0 on April 2, 2015 (8 months ago).

Tools 1–25 of 125 next page →


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