Top 12 Open Source Security Testing Tools

in DevSecOps


Security testing tools help in identifying potential vulnerabilities and exploits in your application. The tools in this article will help you analyze and test for security by inspecting the server, network, database, website or web application.

    An important part of the software development workflow is testing. You need to know the functionality of your application, how much load it can sufficiently serve, how safe it is from exploits, and so on. Accessibility testing, load testing, performance testing, static testing, and penetration testing are many software testing types. In this post, we'll be focusing on one of the most important types: security testing.

    Security testing refers to simulating a hacking procedure to reveal the strength and vulnerability of software to use the result in strengthening the software. Let’s have a look at some of the best open-source tools to help you achieve this.

    Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP)


    Zed Attack Proxy, ZAP, is a security testing tool that enables security professionals to scan for security vulnerabilities in web applications. It is a tool developed by OWASP to identify data exposure, SQL injection, security misconfiguration, cross-site scripting, and other possible vulnerabilities of a web application. ZAP runs on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh platforms, and it can scan for security vulnerabilities in applications in the development and testing phases.

    Dynamic SSL, forced browsing, automatic scanning, and a REST-based API are some of its unique features.



    As the name suggests, SQLMap is an open-source security penetration testing tool basically for SQL injections. It automates the detection and exploitation of SQL injections in a website's database. It supports a wide range of database services, operating systems, SQL injection techniques, and other features that enable performing a practical penetration test on website databases.



    w3af is a Python-written web application attack and audit framework. It effectively identifies over 200 vulnerabilities, including SQL injections, PHP misconfigurations, cross-site scripting, and unhandled application error with its two-layer discovery and audit method. The discovery layer scans for different URLs and then forwards them to the audit layer, which then tests the URLs for vulnerabilities. It offers both graphical and command-line interfaces where you can use variable parameters to test web applications. The open-source tool provides support for proxy, HTTP response and DNS caching, cookie handling, and file uploading using multipart. It also has an authentication module that it uses to scan protected websites, and you can log all outputs into a console, file, or sent via email.



    Skipfish is a security testing tool that performs recursive crawls on web applications which it then uses to generate a sitemap for the application. It performs various vulnerability checks based on the sitemap and outputs useful website security log assessment. Optimized for HTTP request handling, Skipfish promises high-quality positives and up to 2000 requests per second.



    Metasploit is a widely-used open source security testing tool. The framework has advanced features and over 1500 exploit techniques which helps it test web applications, networks, servers, etc. With over 24k stars on GitHub, Metasploit is available as a GUI and command-line utility with support for macOS X, Linux, and Windows operating systems.



    Wapiti is an open-source command-line utility that supports both GET and POST HTTP methods to test web applications for vulnerable forms or scripts that threat actors can leverage for malicious data injection. It has various features that enable it to pause and resume security scans, activate or deactivate SSL certificates and attack modules. It can also raise the alarm when new threats are found.

    John The Ripper (JTR)


    Originally developed for UNIX-based platforms, JTR is multiplatform password security cracking tool. It works by automatically detecting the encryption methods of a hashed password data and compares it against a large file that contains commonly used passwords. When it finds a match, it stops and flags the password. This is to emulate the procedure used by threat actors in cracking user passwords to help security professionals with information to further secure the passwords. John The Ripper supports multiple password-encryption technologies including UNIX crypt (3), big crypt, Windows LM (DES-based), and many others.



    Like SQLMap, SQLNinja is a database scanning tool that uses SQL injection to exploit vulnerabilities in a website’s database server. It is an open-source command-line utility that can access remote servers in different environments with TCP and UDP direct and reverse bindshell. It can be integrated with Metasploit 3 to provide a graphical user interface.



    Vega is an open-source web application security testing tool with three testing modes: automated, manual, and hybrid. When supplied with a user credential, it can automatically log into a website and scan the web pages for vulnerabilities. It identifies vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, shell injection, cross-site scripting, and so on using proxy interception, and it works on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows platforms.

    Social Engineer Toolkit (SET)


    Social Engineer Toolkit is a set of open source security tools that takes a different approach to find vulnerabilities. Instead of scanning the application to find vulnerabilities, it focuses on the human aspects. It has features that enable you to send emails, java applets, and other human-generated inputs to a website to test for vulnerabilities. The feature-rich toolkit is a command-line application that supports Linux, MacOS X, and Windows platforms.


    Wfuzz is a Python-written open source security tool. It tests for vulnerabilities in web applications by simulating a brute force attack to find multiple injection points in a web application. It is a command-line tool supporting multi-threading, cookies fuzzing, SOCK, proxy, HTML output, and multiple encoding types.



    Wireshark is a security tool that captures and analyzes network packets in real-time and outputs them in readable formats. It is a multi-platform tool with various features, including rich VoIP analysis, decryption support, packet browser, and deep protocol inspection. It is an open-source tool with integration for GUI or TTY mode TShark Utility for a graphical presentation of the collected data.

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