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) ★★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, 9 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, 2 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 “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) ★★★★★ 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).

(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, 9 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 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 years, 1 month 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 (11 years, 4 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 (8 years, 11 months ago).

(14) ★★½ 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 but limited community edition as well as commercial versions which start at $2,000 per user per year. Read 16 reviews.

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