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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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, 7 months ago).

(6) ★★★½ GFI LanGuard (#40, 20)

GFI LanGuard is a network security and vulnerability scanner designed to help with patch management, network and software audits, and vulnerability assessments. The price is based on the number of IP addresses you wish to scan. A free trial version (up to 5 IP addresses) is available. Read 6 reviews.

Latest release: version 2011 on May 19, 2001 (21 years, 1 month ago).

(5) ★★★½ Acunetix (#41, 55)

Acunetix is a web vulnerability scanner that 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 8 reviews.

Latest release: version 11 on Nov. 16, 2016 (5 years, 7 months ago).

(4) ★★★★ QualysGuard (#42, 31)

QualysGuard is a popular SaaS (software as a service) vulnerability management offering. It's web-based UI offers network discovery and mapping, asset prioritization, vulnerability assessment reporting and remediation tracking according to business risk. Internal scans are handled by Qualys appliances which communicate back to the cloud-based system. Read 5 reviews.

Latest release: version 6.18 on Feb. 25, 2011 (11 years, 4 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, 10 months ago).

(2) ★★★ OllyDbg (#44, 49)

OllyDbg is a 32-bit assembler level analyzing debugger for Microsoft Windows. Emphasis on binary code analysis makes it particularly useful in cases where source is unavailable. OllyDbg features an intuitive user interface, advanced code analysis capable of recognizing procedures, loops, API calls, switches, tables, constants and strings, an ability to attach to a running program, and good multi-thread support. OllyDbg is free to download and use but no source code is provided. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.01 on Sept. 27, 2013 (8 years, 9 months ago).

(2) ★★★ Ntop (#45, 9)

Ntop shows network usage in a way similar to what top does for processes. In interactive mode, it displays the network status on the user's terminal. In Web mode, it acts as a Web server, creating an HTML dump of the network status. It sports a NetFlow/sFlow emitter/collector, an HTTP-based client interface for creating ntop-centric monitoring applications, and RRD for persistently storing traffic statistics. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 4.0.3 on Oct. 24, 2010 (11 years, 8 months ago).

(3) ★★★ MBSA (#46, 54)

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is an easy-to-use tool designed for the IT professional that helps small and medium-sized businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance. Built on the Windows Update Agent and Microsoft Update infrastructure, MBSA ensures consistency with other Microsoft management products including Microsoft Update (MU), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). Apparently MBSA on average scans over 3 million computers each week. Read 3 reviews.

Latest release: version 2.3 on Nov. 12, 2013 (8 years, 7 months ago).

(2) ★★★★ AppScan (#47, 51)

AppScan provides security testing throughout the application development lifecycle, easing unit testing and security assurance early in the development phase. Appscan scans for many common vulnerabilities, such as cross site scripting, HTTP response splitting, parameter tampering, hidden field manipulation, backdoors/debug options, buffer overflows and more. AppScan was merged into IBM's Rational division after IBM purchased its original developer (Watchfire) in 2007. Read 2 reviews.

Latest release: version 8.5 on Nov. 15, 2011 (10 years, 7 months ago).

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