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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(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 “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 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, 5 months 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 (12 years, 3 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, 7 months ago).

(2) ★★★★½ TrueCrypt (#31, 66)

The authors of TrueCrypt abandoned the project in May 2014. While many still use the software, there are several forks and alternatives that are striving to take its lofty place.
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 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 7.2 on May 28, 2014 (8 years, 6 months ago).

(3) ★★★½ 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 4 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.3 on Dec. 17, 2000 (21 years, 11 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 8 reviews.

Latest release: version 3.6.0 on June 4, 2013 (9 years, 6 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 (7 years, 3 months 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 (9 years, 12 months ago).

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