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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(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, 9 months ago).

(1) ★★★★★ 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 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.2 on Aug. 30, 2015 (6 years, 8 months ago).

(1) ★★★★★ 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. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 12.0.0 on Aug. 24, 2015 (6 years, 9 months ago).

(1) ★★★★★ Canvas (#51, 37)

Canvas is a commercial vulnerability exploitation tool from Dave Aitel's ImmunitySec. It includes more than 370 exploits and is less expensive than Core Impact or the commercial versions of Metasploit. It comes with full source code, and occasionally even includes zero-day exploits. Read 1 review.

Latest release: version 6.73 on Oct. 26, 2011 (10 years, 7 months 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 0.2.6.10 on July 12, 2015 (6 years, 10 months ago).

(2) ★★★★★ Yersinia (#59, 7)

Yersinia is a low-level protocol attack tool useful for penetration testing. It is capable of many diverse attacks over multiple protocols, such as becoming the root role in the Spanning Tree (Spanning Tree Protocol), creating virtual CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol) neighbors, becoming the active router in a HSRP (Hot Standby Router Protocol) scenario, faking DHCP replies, and other low-level attacks. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 0.7.1 on Jan. 26, 2007 (15 years, 4 months ago).

(6) ★★★★★ Nagios (#69, 2)

Nagios is a system and network monitoring application. It watches hosts and services that you specify, alerting you when things go bad and when they get better. Some of its many features include monitoring of network services (SMTP, POP3, HTTP, NNTP, ICMP, etc.), monitoring of host resources (processor load, disk usage, etc.), and contact notifications when service or host problems occur and get resolved (via email, pager, or user-defined method). Read 8 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.0.8 on Aug. 12, 2014 (7 years, 9 months ago).

(5) ★★★★★ Netsparker (#75, new!)

Netsparker is a web application security scanner, with support for both detection and exploitation of vulnerabilities. It aims to be false positive–free by only reporting confirmed vulnerabilities after successfully exploiting or otherwise testing them. Read 6 reviews.

Latest release: version 1.8.3.3 on Feb. 10, 2011 (11 years, 3 months ago).

(1) ★★★★★ BeEF (#77, new!)

BeEF is a browser exploitation framework. This tool will demonstrate the collecting of zombie browsers and browser vulnerabilities in real-time. It provides a command and control interface which facilitates the targeting of individual or groups of zombie browsers. It is designed to make the creation of new exploit modules easy. Read 4 reviews.

Latest release: version 0.4.5.0 on April 25, 2014 (8 years, 1 month ago).

(2) ★★★★★ Argus (#78, 5)

Argus is a fixed-model Real Time Flow Monitor designed to track and report on the status and performance of all network transactions seen in a data network traffic stream. Argus provides a common data format for reporting flow metrics such as connectivity, capacity, demand, loss, delay, and jitter on a per transaction basis. The record format that Argus uses is flexible and extensible, supporting generic flow identifiers and metrics, as well as application/protocol specific information. There is also another open source network monitoring program named Argus. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 3.7 on Feb. 1, 2013 (9 years, 3 months ago).

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