Scanners to test security


Nikto is an Open Source (GPL) web server scanner which performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 3500 potentially dangerous files/CGIs, versions on over 900 servers, and version specific problems on over 250 servers. Scan items and plugins are frequently updated and can be automatically updated (if desired).

Nikto is not designed as an overly stealthy tool. It will test a web server in the shortest timespan possible, and it's fairly obvious in log files. However, there is support for LibWhisker's anti-IDS methods in case you want to give it a try (or test your IDS system).

Not every check is a security problem, though most are. There are some items that are "info only" type checks that look for items that may not have a security flaw, but the webmaster or security engineer may not know are present on the server. These items are usually marked appropriately in the information printed. There are also some checks for unknown items which have been seen scanned for in log files.


Written by Fyodor of, nmap is one of the most common and most popularly noted tools in any hackers arsenal.
It's common abilities are port scanning host on a network to determine which ports are open and which services are running.
It has a very wide feature set of determining what device is being scanned whether it's cisco, juniper, windows98, windows 2003 server, red hat, debian, suse/novell, etc...

It does support 64bit processing now, it does support ipv4 & v6, it does support tcp & udp, it does support mac, linux, bsd, solaris, windows, and a whole bunch of other operating systems that you may pray to never have to work with.
From personal experiences it runs on my ps3, so just about anything out there.

Nmap has the ability to not only obtain information about a host by querying that host, but can also obtain information about a host by querying information for it, from it's peers on the network.
By using Nmap's TCP Idle Scanning technique it has been deemed possible to bypass filters such as access list, ip tables, and intrusion prevention systems under certain circumstances.

For more information about about Nmap please go to
For more information regarding the TCP Idle scan the link is


Netcat is a computer networking service for reading from and writing network connections using TCP or UDP. Netcat is designed to be a dependable “back-end” device that can be used directly or easily driven by other programs and scripts. At the same time, it is a feature-rich network debugging and investigation tool, since it can produce almost any kind of correlation you would need and has a number of built-in capabilities.

In 2000, according to, Netcat was voted the second most functional network security tool. Also, in 2003 and 2006 it gained fourth place in the same category. Netcat is often referred to as a "Swiss-army knife for TCP/IP." Its list of features includes port scanning, transferring files, and port listening, and it can be used as a backdoor.

Some of netcat's major features are:
* Outbound or inbound connections, TCP or UDP, to or from any ports
* Full DNS forward/reverse checking, with appropriate warnings
* Ability to use any local source port
* Ability to use any locally-configured network source address
* Built-in port-scanning capabilities, with randomization
* Built-in loose source-routing capability
* Can read command line arguments from standard input
* Slow-send mode, one line every N seconds
* Hex dump of transmitted and received data
* Optional ability to let another program service established connections
* Optional telnet-options responder
* Featured tunneling mode which allows also special tunneling such as UDP to TCP, with the possibility of specifying all network parameters (source port/interface, listening port/interface, and the remote host allowed to connect to the tunnel.

Opening a raw connection to port 25 (like telnet)

nc 25

Setting up a one-shot webserver on port 8080 to present a file

{ echo -ne "HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\n\r\n"; cat some.file; } | nc -l 8080

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