Top 9 Open Source Security Testing Tools (2023)

Security testing tools protect web apps, databases, servers, and machines from many threats and vulnerabilities. The best penetration testing tools come with API for easy integrations, provide multiple deployment options, wide programming language support, detailed scanning capabilities, automatic vulnerability detection, proactive monitoring, etc.

We have compiled a list of the 9 best security testing tools for you.

Top Open Source Security Testing Tools

Name Vulnerability Detected Deployment Options Programming Languages Link
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus Cross-site scripting, SSRF, XXE injection, SQL injection etc. Windows, MacOS, Linux Java, Python, and JavaScript Learn more
Burp Suite Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML external entity injection, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Java, Python, and Ruby Learn more
SonarQube Cross-site scripting, Privilege gain detection, Directory traversal, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Java, NET, JavaScript, PHP, etc. Learn more
Zed Attack Proxy Security miss-configuration, Broken authentication, Sensitive data exposure, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows JavaScript, Python, etc. Learn more
w3af LDAP injection, SQL injection, XSS injection, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Python only Learn more
Expert advice:

β€œ Security testing tools can go a long way in helping you find vulnerabilities, improve reliability, prevent data breaches, and increase the trust of your customers. Choose the security tool that satisfies all your needs, integrates with your existing tech stack. An ideal security testing service should be able to test all your apps, servers, databases, and websites. ”

1) ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus – Best for enterprise threat and vulnerability management

Vulnerability Manager Plus is an integrated threat and vulnerability management solution that secures your enterprise network from exploits by instantly detecting vulnerabilities and remediating them. 

Vulnerability Manager Plus offers a plethora of security features such as security configuration management, automated patching module, high-risk software audit, web server hardening, and many more to secure your network endpoints from being breached.

ManageEngine

Features:

  • Assess & prioritize exploitable and impactful vulnerabilities with a risk-based vulnerability assessment for multiple platforms, third-party applications, and network devices.
  • Automatically deploy patches to Windows, macOS, Linux.
  • Identify zero-days vulnerabilities and implement workarounds before fixes arrive.
  • Continually detect & remediate misconfigurations with security configuration management.
  • Gain security recommendations to set up web servers in a way that’s free from multiple attack variants.
  • Audit end-of-life software, peer-to-peer, insecure remote desktop sharing software, and active ports in your network.

Visit ManageEngine >>


2) Burp Suite – Best for integrating your existing apps

Burp Suite is one the best security and penetration testing tools that provide fast scans, robust API, and tools to manage your security needs. It offers multiple plans to quickly meet the needs of different business sizes. It provides features to easily visualize the evolution of your security posture by using deltas and many other modifications.

More than 60,000 security professionals trust this security testing tool for detecting vulnerabilities, defending against brute force attacks, etc. You can use its GraphQL API to start, schedule, cancel, update scans, and receive precise data with complete flexibility. It actively checks for various parameters to adjust the frequency of concurrent security scans automatically.

 

Features:

  • Automated OAST (Out-of-band application security testing) helps in the detection of many vulnerabilities
  • You can integrate with platforms like Jenkins and TeamCity to visually show all vulnerabilities in your dashboard
  • Offers tools to create a multi-user system and provide different capabilities, access, and rights to users
  • Integrate manually created Burp Suite Pro setups into your fully automated enterprise environment
  • Vulnerability Detection: Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML external entity injection, etc.
  • API: Yes
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Allows you to specify the maximum link depth for the crawling vulnerabilities Not beginner friendly and requires much time to understand its working.
Configure scanning speeds to limit the resource consumption
Built-in Repeater, Decoder, Sequencer, and Compare tools

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: Java, Python, and Ruby
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://portswigger.net/burp/communitydownload


3) SonarQube – Best for multiple programming languages

SonarQube is an open-source security tool with advanced security testing capabilities that evaluates all your files ensuring all your code is clean and well-maintained. You can use its powerful quality check features to catch and fix unidentified bugs, performance bottlenecks, security threats, and user experience inconsistencies.

Its Issue Visualizer helps track the problem across multiple methods and files and assists in faster problem-solving. It offers full support for 25+ popular programming languages. It has 3 closed-source paid plans for enterprise and data server level security testing.

SonarQube

Features:

  • Identifies errors by continuously working in the background through its deployment tools
  • Displays critical issues like memory leaks when applications tend to crash or run out of memory
  • Provides feedback on the quality of the code that helps programmers to improve their skills
  • Accessibility tools to check the issues from one code file to another
  • Vulnerability Detection: Cross-site scripting, Gain privilege, Directory traversal, etc.
  • API: Yes
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Integrates directly with an IDE with the help of its SonarLint plugin Time-consuming initial setup, configuration, and management
Detects code issues and alerts the developers automatically for fixing the code
In-built support to set different rules for specific projects or teams

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: Java, NET, JavaScript, PHP, etc.
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://www.sonarqube.org/


4) Zed Attack Proxy – Best for finding vulnerabilities in web applications

ZAP or Zed Attack Proxy penetration testing tool developed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). It is easy to discover and solve vulnerabilities in web applications. You can use it to find most of the top 10 OWASP vulnerabilities effortlessly. You get complete development control using its API and Daemon mode.

ZAP is an ideal proxy between the client’s web browser and your server. You can this tool to monitor all communications and intercept malicious attempts. It provides REST-based API that can be used to integrate it with your technology stack easily.

Features:

  • ZAP records all requests and responses through web scans and provides alerts for any issues detected
  • Enables Integration of security testing into the CI/CD pipeline with the help of its Jenkins Plugin
  • Fuzzer helps you to Inject a JavaScript payload to expose vulnerabilities in your app
  • Custom Script Add-on allows running scripts inserted into ZAP to access internal data structures
  • Vulnerabilities Detection: Security miss-configuration, Broken authentication, Sensitive data exposure, etc.
  • API: Yes
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Customizable parameters to ensure flexible scan policy administration Difficult to use for beginners due to lack of GUI-based Interface
Traditional and AJAX web crawlers scan every page of web applications.
Robust Command Line Interface to ensure high customizability

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: NodeJS, JavaScript, Python, etc.
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://github.com/zaproxy/zaproxy


5) w3af – Best for generating data-rich security reports

w3af is an open-source security testing tool ideal for identifying and resolving vulnerabilities in web apps. You can use this tool to detect 200+ vulnerabilities in websites effortlessly. It provides an easy-to-use GUI, a robust online knowledge base, highly engaged online community, and a blog to assist beginners and experienced professionals.

You can use it to perform security tests and generate data-rich security reports. It helps you to defend against various attacks, including SQL injection attempts, code injection, and brute force attacks. You can use its plugin-based architecture to add/remove features/functionality based on your needs.

w3af

Features:

  • Provides solutions for testing multiple vulnerabilities, including XSS, SQLI, and CSF, among others
  • Sed plugin helps modify requests and responses using various regular expressions
  • GUI-based expert tools help in the effortless crafting and sending of custom HTTP requests
  • Fuzzy and Manual Request Generator feature eliminates problems associated with Manual Web Application Testing
  • Vulnerability Detection: LDAP injection, SQL injection, XSS injection
  • API: No
  • Automated Scanning: No
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Supports a variety of file types, including console, email, HTML, XML, and text No in-built API to create and manage integrations
Specify a default username and password to access and crawl restricted areas
Helps detect PHP misconfigurations, unhandled application errors, and more.

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: Python only
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows
Open Source: Yes

Link: http://w3af.org/


6) Wapiti – Best open-source vulnerability detector

Wapiti is a top-of-the-line vulnerability detection program that works with all tech stacks. You can use it to automatically identify and repair potentially hazardous files on your server making it a strong line of defense against security threats. It is an ideal tool for detecting and protecting against brute-force attacks on your server. Additionally, this tool boasts an active community of security experts available to assist with setup and offer expert advice.

Numerous server-level vulnerabilities, such as possible problems with .htaccess files, dangerous databases, etc., can be discovered using this tool. Additionally, this command-line program can insert test payloads into your website.

Wapiti

Features:

  • Generates data-driven vulnerability reports in HTML, XML, JSON, TXT, etc.
  • Authentication of login forms using the Basic, Digest, NTLM, or GET/POST methods.
  • You can pause any active security scans and resume them later
  • It crawls your websites and conducts β€œblack-box” scans for proper security testing
  • Vulnerability Detection: Shellshock or Bash bug, SSRF, XXE injection, etc.
  • API: No
  • Automated Scanning: No
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It creates data-driven vulnerability reports in various formats like HTML, XML, JSON, TXT, etc. It lacks support for automated vulnerability scanning.
Provides complete control over the frequency of concurrent HTTP requests
You can effortlessly import cookies with the help of the wapiti-get cookie Tool

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: Python Only
Deployment Options: FreeBSD and Linux
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://wapiti-scanner.github.io/


7) Snyk – Best security platform for protecting code

Snyk is an ideal tool for detecting code vulnerabilities even before deployment. It can be integrated into IDEs, reports, and workflows. Sync uses logic programming principles to spot security vulnerabilities as code is written. You can also utilize their self-learning resources to improve application security testing.

Snyk’s built-in intelligence dynamically adjusts scanning frequency based on various server-wide parameters. It has pre-built integrations for Jira, Microsoft Visual Studio, GitHub, CircleCI, etc. This Tool provides multiple pricing plans to meet the unique needs of different business scales.

Snyk

Features:

  • Allows bulk code testing to discover patterns and identify potential vulnerabilities
  • Automatically keeps track of deployed projects and code and alerts when new vulnerabilities are detected
  • Provides users with the ability to alter the security automation feature
  • Direct dependency fix suggestions to improve triaging of transitive vulnerability
  • Vulnerability Detections: Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML external entity injection, etc.
  • API: Yes
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Multiple plans to meet your varied business needs Poor documentation that is not ideal for beginners
Allows filtering and reporting options to get accurate security information
Provides intelligent, actionable steps/recommendations to fix all vulnerabilities

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: JavaScript, .NET, Python, Ruby, etc.
Deployment Options: Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://snyk.io/


8) Vega – Best for monitoring server-client communications

Vega is a powerful, open-source tool f security testing on various platforms. It helps identify vulnerabilities and potential threats by providing valuable warnings. You can use it as a proxy to control communication between a server and a browser. It protects your servers from various security risks, such as SQL injections and brute force attacks.

You can use its advanced API to build robust attack modules to perform security testing according to your needs. It is one of the best software testing tools that automatically log in to the website and check all restricted areas for vulnerabilities.

Vega

Features:

  • Performs SSL interceptions and analyzes all client-server communications.
  • Provides a tactical inspection tool that includes an automatic scanner for regular testing
  • Automatically log into websites when user credentials are provided
  • Proxy feature enables it to block requests from a browser to the web application server
  • Vulnerability Detections: Blind SQL injection, Header injection, Shell injection, etc.
  • API: Yes
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Built-in support for automated, manual, and hybrid security testing The relatively high number of false positives
Actively scans all pages requested by the user through proxy Offers only basic reports with no advanced data-driven analysis
Flexibility to manually enter the base URL or select an existing target scope

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: Java, Python, HTML, etc.
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://subgraph.com/vega/


9) SQLMap – Best for detecting SQL vulnerabilities

SQLMap is a security tool that specializes in securing databases. You can utilize it for scanning for injection flaws, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and potential data breach threats in your database. Its advanced detection engine efficiently performs proper penetration testing. The deep scans help identify critical server misconfigurations and system weaknesses. You can use it to check for SQL injection flaws, sensitive data flaws, etc.

It automatically recognizes passwords with a hash and supports coordinating a dictionary attack to crack them. You can secure various database management systems like MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, etc.

SQLmap

Features:

  • Periodically searched for vulnerabilities using stacked queries, time-based, error-based SQL queries, etc.
  • It automatically obtains the current database information, the session user, and the DBMS banner
  • Testers can easily simulate multiple attacks to check system stability and discover server vulnerabilities
  • Attacks that are supported include enumerating users, and password hashes as well as brute-forcing table
  • Vulnerability Detections: Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML external entity injection, etc.
  • API: No
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It provides an ETA for every query with immense granularity It is not ideal for testing web pages, applications, etc.
Secure DBMS credentials allowing direct login without needing to inject SQL No Graphic User Interface is available.
Efficient bulk database operations, including dumping complete database tables.

Key Specs:

Programming Languages: Python, Shell, HTML, Perl, SQL, etc.
Deployment Options: Linux, macOS, and Windows
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://sqlmap.org/


10) Kali Linux – Best for injecting and password snipping

Kali Linux is an ideal security penetration testing tool for load testing, ethical hacking, and discovering unknown vulnerabilities. Active online communities can assist you in solving all your issues and queries. You can use it to perform sniffing, digital forensics, and WLAN/LAN vulnerability assessment. The Kali NetHunter is a mobile penetration testing software for Android smartphones.

Its undercover mode runs quietly without getting too much attention. You can deploy it in VMs, cloud, USB, etc. Its advanced metapackages allow you to optimize for your use cases and fine-tune your servers.

Kali linux

Features:

  • In-depth documentation with relevant information for beginners as well as veterans
  • Provides many penetrations testing features for your web application, simulates attacks, and performs vulnerability analysis
  • Live USB Boot Drives can be used for testing without interfering with the host operating system
  • Vulnerability Detections: Brute Force Attacks, Network Vulnerabilities, Code Injections, etc.
  • API: No
  • Automated Scanning: Yes
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Stays active all the time to detect and understand common patterns in hacking attempts No API is available.
Kali Undercover works in the background being unnoticeable in daily usage.
Network Mapping can be used to find loopholes in network security.

Key Specs:

Programming Languages Supported: C and asm
Deployment Options: Linux, Windows, and Android
Open Source: Yes

Link: https://www.kali.org/

FAQs

The best tools for security testing are:

Here are essential features of Security Testing Tools:

  • Language Support: The best security tools must be available in all the programming languages you might need for your technological needs.
  • Automated Scanning: It should be capable of automatic scans and adjusting scan frequency based on external parameters.
  • Penetration Testing: Your selected Tool should have proper built-in penetration testing software to perform a penetration test and discover vulnerabilities
  • Vulnerabilities Analyzed: It must be capable of discovering all vulnerabilities in your particular use case, like web security, app security, database security, etc. To find tools that suit your needs, consider exploring these top 5 penetration testing tools.
  • Open Source: You should opt for a security testing tool with entirely open-source code to ensure easy detection of security flaws inside the Tool

Best Open Source Security Testing Tools

Name Vulnerability Detected Deployment Options Programming Languages Link
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus Cross-site scripting, SSRF, XXE injection, SQL injection etc. Windows, MacOS, Linux Java, Python, and JavaScript Learn more
Burp Suite Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML external entity injection, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Java, Python, and Ruby Learn more
SonarQube Cross-site scripting, Privilege gain detection, Directory traversal, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Java, NET, JavaScript, PHP, etc. Learn more
Zed Attack Proxy Security miss-configuration, Broken authentication, Sensitive data exposure, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows JavaScript, Python, etc. Learn more
w3af LDAP injection, SQL injection, XSS injection, etc. Linux, macOS, and Windows Python only Learn more