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Nmap Security Tool Survey 104

spring writes "Every so often, the author of everyone's favorite network reconnaissance tool, nmap, runs a survey to determine which security-oriented software products are most popular. This year's tool survey was just released, and it contains some interesting results. Old favorites like Nessus, Snort, Netcat, and Ethereal made the list, of course. SAINT and SARA are still around. But a number of new tools appeared this year, like Windows-only GFI LANguard, SuperScan, and Cain & Abel. Nikto and Kismet demonstrate the growing importance of wireless networks. The survey contains many good tools. Certainly worth a read."
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Nmap Security Tool Survey

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  • by whiteranger99x ( 235024 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:33PM (#5877842) Journal
    remember that these tools aren't going to be the "end all/be all" of network security.

    You also have to have a good preventive security plan, which these tools will help out in. However, there should also be a plan of action should these security measures get bypassed (i.e. an insider job, program exploits, trojans, etc...)

    But that's just my contention...
    • by FiDooDa ( 23111 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:38PM (#5877870)
      remember that these tools aren't going to be the "end all/be all" of network security.

      isn't why they are called tools and not solutions ?!?!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Also, these tools will help break into places with poor security policies. :-)

      Dear Slashdot: Where the fuck is my "Post anonymously" button? Are you telling me I have to logout to post anonymously now? What the fuck is wrong with you assfucks?

      • ... hitting the reply button, whilst logged in, reveals the post anonymous check box is still there.
        No idea why you do not see it. Perhaps post your config instead of just cursing at the owners? maybe it's only broken with some combinations?

        FWIW, old coal burner pentium, linux,i686, moz 1.3b browser
      • After posting anonymously the other day, my "post anonymously" button disappeared for a day or two. I think my post was modded down, but I don't know if this has anything to do with it. Of course, one thing that worries me is that slashdot seems to be able to "know" when you post something anonymously, which is *not* how it ought to be. Ever noticed that, if you have mod points, you can't mod up your own anonymous posts? Curious..

        I suppose not being able to post anonymously would be either to discourag
    • Nikto...demonstrate[s] the growing importance of wireless networks.

      Last I checked, Nikto had nothing to do with wireless networks. It's a web server scanner based off Whisker [].
    • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:00PM (#5877978) Journal
      There is also no requirement to depend upon a single tool. Having alarms on your doors doesn't protect your windows. Perimeter detectors establish a fence, while tripwires, beams, and area detectors offer notification of activity in different ways -- and design is affected by issues such as whether or not you have a cat. Don't limit your design to only using one tool, consider your needs and the variety of tools.
    • I totally agree. But they're tools, not "solutions."

      Anyway, Defense in Depth is always good -- if an attacker penetrates the firewall, it's good to have hosts that are harder to crack. If the host gets cracked, you'd want to have an incident response plan and policy so that you can contain the damage.

      In Bastille Linux []'s defense, we try very hard to educate the sysadmin/user so they'll make better decisions. Bastille tries to educate the user, to help her build a good hardening policy for her hosts an

  • It's too bad. I'd liked to use it sometimes ;)
  • "But a number of new tools appeared this year, like Windows-only GFI LANguard, SuperScan, and Cain & Abel."

    Cain & Abel has been around for ages, so maybe a new one on the list, not really a new tool.

    Just my two cents.
    • Another two cents (makes it four):

      Why aren't there any numbers in the list? I would like to know how many votes a given scanner was given.

      Lies, damn lies and statistics.
    • Cain & Abel has been around for ages, so maybe a new one on the list, not really a new tool.

      Ditto for SuperScan. The link has copyright 2000, and I've known about it for approximately that long.

  • It's These Guys. []

    When a windows java exploit can reformat your disk by visiting a malformed web page, you don't really have to wonder why they're so popular.
  • by Jack Va1enti ( 592636 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:41PM (#5877887)
    Hilary and I intend to run these against every machine in the world, ferreting out and destroying those eeeevil P2P pirates!
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @08:47PM (#5877912)
    Ethereal == tcpdump with graphical interface. Incredibly nice tool, but hardly a security tool.
  • mac os X tools (Score:5, Informative)

    by FiDooDa ( 23111 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:07PM (#5878004)
    for those interested in sec tools on mac OS X, here is a small list of tools to add :

    rpg [] password generator
    kismac [] a kismet equivalent that also includes a WEP cracker. very nice!
    macanalysis [] a really good security tools suite
    • Re:mac os X tools (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jjb ( 250135 )
      kismac looks pretty cool for wireless audits. BTW, Bastille Linux is even more badly misnamed -- we've got it working on Mac OS X now! It takes a perl compile and a tweak to perl-Tk, but it works under X on Mac.

      Anyway, if anyone here is interested in helping package Bastille for Mac, especially with that perl upgrade, please contact me!

      - Jay

  • Wellenreiter (Score:5, Informative)

    by Echelon309 ( 534767 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:18PM (#5878056)
    Although it wasn't on the list, Wellenreiter [] is really great wireless scanner. Plus, it runs on the Zaurus under OZ3 [], which makes it great for less conspicuous scanning since you don't have to lug a laptop around.
  • WAP Detectors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by muzzmac ( 554127 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:27PM (#5878085)
    Has anyone seen a decent piece of software that can find WAP's on your network by scanning from the wired part of your network?

    What I want is something that scans for known MAC ID's or something to identifiy wireless access points without having to fly all over the country to do it.

    There are plenty of wireless based scanners but they involve travel.

    Any hints?
  • Strangely enough... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GC ( 19160 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:40PM (#5878140)
    While all these tools turn out to be the Security Analyst's bible to utopia, they're also the ultimate cracker tools, missing only the Xploits that the old neverending line of script-kiddies use to bypass each and every point that these tools do their best to detect.

    Nessus is, however, a single tool, that can be as both useful to the white hat5 as it is the bl4ck hats.

    It gets my number one tool vote as being as useful to both partys - yet completely impartial.

    A very difficult road to tread indeed...
  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:42PM (#5878148) Homepage Journal
    In the last couple weeks I've amassed a few servers and a client network so, I've had no choice but to become a sysadmin. Which is not what I consider myself (I'm a graphic designer/Web App Programmmer) but, for the sake of responsibility, I find myself fast becoming one.

    So I welcome any such article as the one posted here to help better educate me and get me up to date on the even the most mundane of utilities (I hadn't even heard of nessus/netcat)

    I'm not a fresh unix convert or technically challenged, it's just that my occupation has demanded that I focus on front end and applicational development rather than network security and monitoring.

    So to get by I've been using very basic common sense like running firewalls for port blocking, not running insecure services such as telnet and in the event that i have to (one of my servers is a multiuser webhost so I had to turn FTP on) research and run a more secure variant of that service (for FTP I opted for vsftpd over wu/pro)

    And for security, besides my basic IP Masquerading and port blocking firewall (ya, it's that basic, I'm no guru) I run tripwire, which I run a sanity check daily as well as run snort.

    This config runs on everyting from my OS X laptop to the RH9 boxes for dev/production serving and seems "ok" for the moment.

    I do plan on evaluating/installing some kernal level patches to the RH boxen such as grsecurity [] but I thought I'd use this topic to fish for pointers as I am also looking for some good educational material such as IP/Network configuration and indepth material on properly setting up an ironclad DMZ. So if anyone has some highly recommended links or knows of soome good books on amazon to point out or even comments to make here to give some pointers, i'd be much appreciative.
    • Too bad the other responders to your post are nitwits. I'm no expert either and I'll reload this one a few times to see if anyone knowledgeable actually responds...

      In the meantime, I've found that Hacking Linux Exposed, by Hutch, Lee and Kurtz is very cool, and O'reilly's Building Linux Firewalls is very thorough.

      I've also come to realize (admin'ing my company's network for a little over a year and only getting nipped once by me foolishly leaving FTP open) that using iptables with the default door closed
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:50PM (#5878187) Journal
    I remember back in 94 about a SGI product manager being fired for releasing a tool( nmap??). Basically Irix was being hacked to death and he wanted to do something about it.

    He developed it as a tool to help system administators secure their system but SGI did not like it because crackers could use it.

    Was this SGI tool nmap or not? I was only 16 at the time and can't remember.

    • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:21PM (#5878296)

      You're almost certainly thinking of Dan Farmer's SATAN. Read the story for yourself. []

      • Thanks I am going to download a copy now!

        It still pisses me off today that clueless SGI managers view security through obscurity as a means to an end. Irix today is knows to be one of the least secure versions of Unix out of the box right besied SCO openserver. Hmm how did that happen? Judging by how SGI treated security in the past including this incident shows how Irix got the way it did. Here is sgi's opinion on it [].Non biased info is here. []

        Anyway he should named it something different. A clueless perso
      • I think his intent was to be contraversial.

        I mean, calling it 'SATAN' instead of something like 'Cute Puppy Dog Network Analysis Tool' is a reflection of his intent.

        That said, I'm really happy that tools like SATAN exist now. Scanning your own network is a great way to learn about network security.
    • IRIX has changed a lot over the past 6 years. At one point, a stock install of IRIX had almost a dozen root-exploitable holes. These days security holes in IRIX are rare, and are quickly patched by SGI. The company has gone a step further and has actually been making useful security suggestions to its customers. IRIX 6.5 includes a pointy-clicky GUI app to help its artsy users secure some common weaknesses.

      For those that have been away from IRIX for awhile, even since 6.5.0 shipped, a lot has been added in
    • 1) Update your install of IRIX 6.5 [] to the most recent version available to you (6.5.16m for most people, 6.5.19 or 6.5.20 for those with a support contract). If you're unsure about updating, read about the IRIX Release Process [] as well as theIRIX Compatibility Mandate [].

      2) Install the security patches [] for your version of IRIX (note that IRIX releases previous to 6.5.15 will probably not have the most recent security patches available).

      3) If you're a security newbie, run the "Improve System Security" appli
  • by OneArmedMan ( 606657 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:51PM (#5878191)
    1) Unplug the power cords and network cables / phone lines.
    2) Put it back in the box.
    3) Send it back to the place that you bought it from.

    Sure its not very practical, but it would make my job a hell of a lot easier
  • I am surprised ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am surprised that aide was not listed. It is a free equivalent to tripwire (which is on the list), and works very well for my needs on both Linux and FreeBSD.
  • by wolf- ( 54587 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:57PM (#5878210) Homepage
    After SAINT the network tool went after the author of Saint (the open source server/service uptime application) over a name/branding dispute, we have stopped recommending their product (the network security tool) entirely.

    They were similarly named, however, there was very little chance of them being confused for one another. Apparently SAINT didn't have enough confidence in their own marketing or their customers intelligence to keep their lawyers out of it.

    Just my 2 cents worth. But then, my 2 cents has an effect on a few large clients with large budgets. Good Job SAINT.
  • This is always a must read. As are a lot of things at
  • Eeye (Score:4, Informative)

    by lonesome phreak ( 142354 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @01:03AM (#5878925) Journal
    Retina, by Eeye, is another excellent scanning school. IMHO, it's better than GFILanguard. I especially like the ability to fix registry problems from the scanning machine. It's interface is also very smooth. It's located here []. They also have another product for scanning IIS, but I haven't used it yet.
    • Re:Eeye (Score:3, Informative)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 )
      Retina is good, but even the free version of LANGuard is great for the point-and-click crowd. Windows is not my preferred platform of choice, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised the first time I took a look at LANGuard.
      But I wonder if it's not a bad thing that these tools are starting to auto-fix so many items, like the aforementioned Retina and the registry issues. Call me old-fashioned, but I like my people to fix the problems on a box by actually getting onto the box and doing it from there. Tha
      • You don't HAVE to repair it from the scanning machine. In fact, you still have to get on the machine to update it for patches. I use both products when I do my audits. I like Retina better, mainly because their reports and the interface looks better. I do audits for medical houses for their HIPAA security compliance.

        For the funky stuff...that's why I suggest to always deploy changes/patches to a single PC, run it for 24 hours, then roll changes out to the rest. I always suggest something like SUS for p

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