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August 2003

Marcus Ranum's top free network security tools

Earlier this year, the author of the Nmap scanner, Fyodor, released a list of the Top 75 Network Security Tools. The tools on this list, collected and organized with input from the Nmap-hackers mailing list, provide you with a cyber-smorgasbord of cool (and free) tools for down-in-the-trenches security administration. Of the 75 tools on the list, 20 of them are some kind of vulnerability scanner. Nine are some kind of a monitor or IDS, mostly packet-oriented with a few system/application monitors. Six are "packet manipulators" -- tools designed to inject packets, screw up IDSes or intercept sessions and spoof traffic. Six others are password crackers or authentication system breakers. There's one firewall, one tamper detector and two tools for providing encrypted communications channels. This list is interesting because it says something about the tools that security people actually use on a regular basis. The high concentration of vulnerability scanners further proves that, as an industry, we are still firmly stuck in the "...

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