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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(2) ★★★★★ Ping/telnet/dig/traceroute/whois/netstat (#21, 8)

While there are many advanced high-tech tools out there to assist in security auditing, don't forget about the basics! Everyone should be very familiar with these tools as they come with most operating systems (except that Windows omits whois and uses the name tracert). They can be very handy in a pinch, although more advanced functionality is available from Hping and Netcat. Read 3 reviews.

(8) ★★★★½ THC Hydra (#22, 7)

When you need to brute force crack a remote authentication service, Hydra is often the tool of choice. It can perform rapid dictionary attacks against more than 50 protocols, including telnet, ftp, http, https, smb, several databases, and much more. Like THC Amap this release is from the fine folks at THC. Other online crackers are Medusa and Ncrack. The Nmap Security Scanner also contains many online brute force password cracking modules. Read 25 reviews.

Latest release: version 8.2 on June 16, 2016 (6 years ago).

no rating Perl/Python/Ruby (#23, 3)

While many canned security tools are available on this site for handling common tasks, scripting languages allow you to write your own (or modify existing ones) when you need something more custom. Quick, portable scripts can test, exploit, or even fix systems. Archives like CPAN are filled with modules such as Net::RawIP and protocol implementations to make your tasks even easier. Many security tools use scripting languages heavily for extensibility. For example Scapy interaction is through a Python interpreter, Metasploit modules are written in Ruby, and Nmap's scripting engine uses Lua. Review this tool.

(2) ★★½ Paros proxy (#24, 8)

A Java-based web proxy for assessing web application vulnerability. It supports editing/viewing HTTP/HTTPS messages on-the-fly to change items such as cookies and form fields. It includes a web traffic recorder, web spider, hash calculator, and a scanner for testing common web application attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting. Read 6 reviews.

Latest release: version 3.2.13 on Aug. 8, 2006 (15 years, 11 months ago).

(2) ★★★★½ NetStumbler (#25, 7)

Netstumbler is the best known Windows tool for finding open wireless access points ("wardriving"). They also distribute a WinCE version for PDAs and such named MiniStumbler. The tool is currently free but Windows-only and no source code is provided. It uses a more active approach to finding WAPs than passive sniffers such as Kismet or KisMAC. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 0.4.0 on April 1, 2004 (18 years, 3 months ago).

(3) ★★★½ 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 “” 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 4 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 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.8.2 on June 10, 2015 (7 years ago).

(1) ★★★★★ 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 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 20100820-1632 on Aug. 20, 2010 (11 years, 10 months ago).

(7) ★★★★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 11 reviews.

Latest release: version 12 on Aug. 8, 2011 (10 years, 11 months ago).

(9) ★★★★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 11 reviews.

Latest release: version 0.9 on April 11, 2011 (11 years, 2 months ago).

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