[ISN] Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Jul 6 01:21:04 EDT 2006


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1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
   - Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
   - SharePoint Antivirus Solutions

3. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ
   - Security Forum Featured Thread
   - Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved
   - Encryption for SOHO


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==== 1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools ====
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You've most likely heard of Nmap, the network-mapping tool developed by 
"Fyodor." Nmap is widely used and is a standard tool in countless 
security administrators' toolkits. Fyodor operates a mailing list, 
nmap-hackers, for general announcements, patches, and light discussion 
regarding Nmap. 

In 2000 and 2003, Fyodor surveyed the members of the mailing list to 
find out which security tools were their favorites. The 2000 survey 
resulted in a list of the top 50 most popular security tools. The 2003 
survey resulted in an expanded list of the top 75 most popular security 
tools. Both lists have been great resources, and many people have 
discovered new tools that they weren't previously aware of.

It's been three years since the last survey, and in that time lots of 
new security tools have come into existence, while other security tools 
have been updated (in some cases several times) with new features and 
functionality. This year, Fyodor conducted a new survey, and 3243 
people responded. This latest survey resulted in an even longer list: 
the top 100 most popular security tools. 

Although the list contains tools for several platforms, including 
Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X, it's easy to figure out 
which tools work on which platforms because each tool description 
includes platform-specific icons. There are also icons that let you 
know whether a tool is free, whether it has a command-line interface or 
GUI, and whether source code is available.

Another feature of the list shows you whether the tool has risen or 
dropped in popularity compared with the 2003 survey results. 
Surprisingly, the top four tools on the current list remain unchanged 
in their popularity rank. Those top four tools are Nessus, Wireshark 
(formerly Ethereal), Snort, and Netcat. Metasploit Framework (released 
after the 2003 survey) is new to the list and is ranked the fifth most 
popular tool. Incidentally, you can read a semi-related news story, 
"Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer," on our Web 
site at the URL below. 

An interesting trend revealed by 2006 survey results is that wireless 
security is far more important to security administrators than it was 
three years ago, evidenced by the fact that the wireless sniffer Kismet 
rose from the 17th most popular tool in 2003 to 7th most popular tool 
in 2006. Aircrack, originally released in mid-2004, now ranks as the 
21st most popular security tool in the list. Aircrack helps crack Wired 
Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption, 
which, as you probably know, are typically used to help secure 
communication on WiFi networks. 

Another interesting trend is that two great password-cracking tools, 
John the Ripper and Cain and Abel, broke into the top 10 as the 9th and 
10th most popular tools respectively. John the Ripper was previously 
ranked #11 in 2003 and Cain and Abel was ranked #23, so the latter made 
quite a jump in popularity. 

So that's a brief rundown of a few of the tools and trends from the 
list. You can of course glean even more information about security tool 
trends by reviewing the complete list, and you can learn about more 
tools that are new to the list, such as BackTrack, P0f, WebScarab, 
WebInspect, Core Impact, Canvas, and others. Check out the full survey 
results at http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=3095B:4FB69 . 


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==== 2. Security News and Features ====

Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security 
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at

Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
   Microsoft's anti-piracy tool, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), was 
recently found to be regularly contacting Microsoft without informing 
the user that such contact was taking place. Microsoft recently 
modified the latest version of WGA to contact the company's 
servers only once every two weeks. Nevertheless, a third party has stepped 
in to prevent WGA from regularly contacting Microsoft's servers.

Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
   A recently released exploit that takes advantage of problems in RRAS 
has drawn the relative ire of Microsoft and the obligatory rebuttal of 
a well-known security researcher. 

SharePoint Antivirus Solutions
   Interest in SharePoint is heating up. Online SharePoint discussion 
groups such as those at Windows IT Pro's sister site MSD2D.com are 
flourishing, evidence that more and more IT pros are either working 
with Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office Share-Point Portal 
Server 2003 or are investigating them. The downside of a collaboration 
technology like SharePoint is that it exposes an organization to 
security threats such as viruses. Fortunately, SharePoint-specific 
antivirus solutions are available and our buyer's guide can help you 
choose the best solution for you needs. 


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==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: Voylent Encrypts Cell Phone Calls
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=30958:4FB69

   The recently released Zfone beta encrypts voice-over-IP calls. Now 
you can encrypt cell phone calls too with the Voylent beta.

   (by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=3095C:4FB69

Q: Is there a tool I can use to delete user profiles?

Find the answer at    

Security Forum Featured Thread

Security and Permission consideration
   (One message in this thread)
   A forum participant writes that he has a group of people (other than 
the Server Administrator) who are responsible for applications on 
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passwords for various servers so they can log on remotely to perform 
certain tasks. However, those people sometimes take actions on a server 
that go beyond their assigned tasks. Therefore he doesn't want those 
people to have full administrator privileges on the servers and wonders 
whether creating local accounts in the Power Users group would give 
them enough rights to perform their administrative tasks? 
Join the discussion at 

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