Insecure.org's Top 125 Network Security Tools

Survey-Driven List of the Best Network Security Tools

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In the year 2000, the creator of the NMap Security Scanner, Gordon Lyon (he goes by Fyodor), conducted a survey of the readers of the nmap-hackers mailing list, and compiled a list of the top 50 security tools.

Since then, he's been conducting the survey every three years and refining the list each time. With suggestions from thousands of readers, items are added to and removed from the list with each survey.

Below is a summary of the top 10 network security tools from his most recent list, plus how each item changed from the last survey.

Tip: You can see the complete, detailed listing of all 125 tools, complete with user reviews and download links, on SecTools.org

Top 10 Security Tools

  1. Wireshark (packet sniffer previously known as Ethereal)

    Was #2; moved up one position. Freely available on Windows, Linux, and macOS
  2. Metasploit (exploit)

    Was #5; moved up three positions. Works with Windows, Linux, and macOS
  3. Nessus (vulnerability scanner)

    Was #1; moved down two positions. Windows, Linux, and macOS are supported
  4. Aircrack (WEP and WPA cracker)

    Was #21; moved up 17 positions. Free for Windows, Linux, and macOS
  5. Snort (network intrusion detector)

    Was $3; moved down two positions. Works on Windows, Linux, and macOS
  6. Cain and Abel (packet sniffer and password cracker)

    Was #9; moved up three positions. Free for Windows only
  1. BackTrack (penetration tester)

    Was #32; moved up 25 positions. Free for Linux only
  2. Netcat (debugger and exploration tool)

    Was #4; moved down four positions. Free for Windows, Linux, and macOS
  3. tcpdump (packet sniffer)

    Was #8; moved down one position. Free for Windows, Linux, and macOS
  4. John The Ripper (packet sniffer and password cracker)

    Was #10; did not change position. Windows, Linux, and macOS are supported