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Security tool treasure chests

There's an old saying that goes something like this: "When he makes a mistake, the wise carpenter blames himself, but the unwise carpenter blames his tools." All issues of blame aside, it's impossible for any craftsperson to practice a craft without the right tools. To that end, I want to highlight some great collections of security tools here, and ask readers to submit their own favorites for further coverage and consideration as I update this compendium over time.

The table provides a list of several well-known and highly-regarded collections of information security tools. Some are profoundly Windows-oriented, others less so; all are worth at least an occasional visit to see what's new and interesting in their various and widely varied collections.

Name/URL Description

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Anti-Hacker Toolkit
Points to current versions of all tools mentioned in Mike Shema & Bradley Johnson's Osborne/McGraw-Hill eponymous book
CERIAS Hotlist Tools show up under "system security" and "network security" headings at Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security
CERT Coordination Center Hundreds of tools across numerous categories from the Computer Emergency Response Team at CMU
Hacking Exposed Tools The authors of this great series of books maintain pointers to all current versions of tools mentioned in their various publications
Insecure.org Top 75 Top security tools recommended at another leading portal (but not all are Windows-based)
Microsoft Security Tools Lots of Microsoft's own security tools
Security Focus Tools Archive 13 pages of pointers to useful tools at a leading security portal site
Security Wizards Security Tools A choice list of security tools from a great infosec resource on many fronts
SourceForge Security Projects Over 1,000 open source security projects/programs/products are documented here, including many gems
WindowsSecurity tools Click the Software link in the left-hand menu at this great portal site to find pointers to security tools in 16 categories.

Though there are hundreds more such sites out there, I decided to draw the line at 10, and ask for feedback and more input. Please e-mail me at tom@taliv.net with your nominations, suggestions, questions, or comments.


Tom Lancaster, CCIE# 8829 CNX# 1105, is a consultant with 15 years experience in the networking industry, and co-author of several books on networking, most recently, CCSPTM: Secure PIX and Secure VPN Study Guide published by Sybex.


This was first published in March 2004

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