List of Best Open-Source Security Testing Tools

open source security testing tools

Open-Source security testing tools for web applications help companies and other organizations understand what threats their networks can face and how best to mitigate them. For example, penetration tests report the number of hosts (computers) successfully compromised, which applications were targeted, and what attacks were performed.

Security testing is typically conducted as part of vulnerability management programs and includes offensive and defensive security testing methods. In other words, you can use the same tools, techniques, and processes for both the red team (penetrating) and the blue team (defending). 

Any penetration test aims to uncover weaknesses in your company’s network and its security measures so that you may address them before anyone else does — or to provide valuable information to those who find vulnerabilities in your systems.

Security Testing Tools: Importance, Best Tools & Things You Should Know

Before going through the list of best security testing tools, let’s discuss the importance of these tools for businesses and things you must consider before using security testing tools.

How do Open-Source Security Testing Tools for Web Applications help business entities?

Cybersecurity tools are helpful for many organizations as they improve the security of their internal networks. For example, it can be a source of external attacks targeting enterprises and other organizations, or even the entire Internet if an organization is directly connected via a network connection. 

While the researchers do not publicly disclose their methodology, it involves “manual penetration testing.” This is a simulated attack where attackers manually test their tactics against real-life systems and networks. 

Also, this is to uncover new flaws in network devices and applications exploitable by attackers via traditional methods of social engineering (phishing) and credential theft (privilege escalation). 

In some cases, the team even finds bugs that had already been patched in earlier versions of the operating system, which they then report to the vendor responsible for the bug fix. 

What Factors Must be Considered for Open-Source Tools for Security Testing?

An optimum open-source security testing standards cause a significant impact on what you need to install. It also influences the configuration to get started with the toolkit and how it’s used once installed. This also includes making sure you understand the different types of tools.

  • Integrated development environments (IDEs) support using a compiler directly from within the IDE, rather than invoking a separate compiler process.
  • Static analysis tools which analyze source code without requiring compilation provide a graphical user interface to perform static analysis.
  • Source-to-source translators convert one or more languages to another, typically from the source into the assembly, machine language, bytecode, or other intermediate representation.

This article will let you know the best open-source security testing tools to help you detect threats in your software/application and website.

Best Open Source Security Testing Tools:


Suppose you are familiar with “penetration testing” and “reverse engineering.” In that case, you probably know that penetration testers have to work hard to break the code and find vulnerabilities in web applications they want to hack into. 

The OWASP (The open web application security project) is an open-source and nonprofit community dedicated to security awareness. Researchers and pen-testers are using it. 

Penetration testers need to test web applications for vulnerabilities and any data misuse within the context of the OWASP. Recently, the focus has shifted from trying web application attacks against well-known web servers and frameworks.


Some of the prior features of OWASP are SQL injection, command execution, session fixation, insecure direct object references, insufficient input validation, insecure cryptographic storage, cross-site request forgery, token tampering, and directory traversal.


  • Anyone can access its tools, including more than 30 different plugins. These can test for vulnerabilities in various applications on various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, OS X, and many others using HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols. 
  • Round-the-clock updates/support by the team of OWASP.
  • They are working on more than 1,000 programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, C#, Java, etc., and databases like MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB. 


  • Pretty hard to install and complicated to use compared to premium products such as The Burp Suite.
  • Needs new plugins and additional features.

2. Nikto2:

Nikto2 is a powerful utility and optimum security testing, an open-source tool with many modules available to check for different things on a networked machine and even port scanning in some cases. 

For example, Nikto with Wireshark and tables have to do more advanced penetration testing tasks like brute-force attacks against SSH login credentials, brute-forcing usernames from FTP directories, and password recovery attacks on LDAP accounts. 

The first time you run Nikto, it will prompt for your root password and ask you to create a new user account called “Nikto,” which can be used by all the command lines within the toolkit (this is required if you wish to use the tool without logging into your machine).


Sites will be indexed after running the script (this process is fast, so it’s best to run multiple scans on large areas). If a site is successfully identified, the hand will provide a list of all vulnerable files (if any). 

Scanning can be done with a browser or via a shell script using curl. This makes it achievable to execute scans distantly without being linked to your computer.


  • PHP5 and MySQL database with root user.
  • Nikto is considered a powerful utility with many modules available to check for different things on a network machine and even port scanning in some cases.
  • It comes with various utilities and covers almost all the conventional needs.
  • It is optimum for testing IDS (intrusion detection systems).


  • Not helpful for beginners, Lacks a Graphical user interface and has no support from the community.

3. W3af

It is an application security testing tool and is helpful for security auditors in the future. W3AF toolkit has become the de facto standard for many organizations seeking to implement an enterprise web application firewall solution. W3af focuses on identifying vulnerabilities in web applications while offering security analysis capabilities and providing a framework for building custom web application firewalls. 

W3af is one of the most well-known open-source scanners that provide a comprehensive set of functions for network security testing and vulnerability assessment purposes (i.e., web application scanners) to discover vulnerabilities and suggest improvements to their configurations. In addition, it can be used by penetration testers, security professionals, and developers.


The comprehensive utility of w3af is vital in preventing the attack attempts, such as DDoS attacks, which can be very expensive to deal with and sometimes cost organizations millions of dollars to fix. 

The new features are mainly centered around security scanning. They include improvements in W3AF core functionalities such as support for Python 3, HTTP clients (including web browsers), additional configuration parameters, and better error handling.


  • This security testing open-source tool allows you to write your custom plugins to do whatever you want.
  • The easy-to-use interface performs actions like running the scanner, capturing packets, and dumping files to disk.


  • This tool is not an optimum open-source application security testing tool for anyone who does not have prior experience with similar devices such as Burp Suite or Acunetix Free Edition.
  • It requires a lot of time and knowledge to use effectively to get the most out of it (if you are new to web application security, then W3af is not for you).

4. WPScan

WPScan is an open-source web security testing tool that works by scanning websites for common vulnerabilities using various automated techniques such as web application fingerprinting and multiple types of malware analysis. 

It is suitable for non-technical users and security experts’ production deployments, not just pen testers and white hats. It is for anyone who wants to keep their websites safe from automated threats and vulnerabilities attackers try to exploit. 


The current version of WPScan is v3.8.21. This specific version comprises many new features and fixes introduced in the past two months, exceptionally compatible with more recent versions of WordPress core and plugins, so using beta versions might not be the best solution.


  • To perform a penetration test on your website with the help of WPScan. You can do it without worrying about the configuration or other details of the software itself. This may confuse new users trying to set it up from scratch.
  • Specially built for WordPress, you can use WPScan on Kali Linux to scan the installation, and it provides an easy-to-read report on all of its vulnerabilities.  


  • There are limited API quotes for the free plan.
  • If you abstain from using Kali Linux, Absence of GUI, there are numerous perquisites.
  • If you are on Windows, it has some quirks that make it difficult to install without errors.

5. BeEF

Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF) is an open-source, free and dynamic application security testing tool. Google develops it to allow penetration testers and researchers to test out new ways to attack websites without worrying about the risks of testing. BeEF is an optimum tool for hackers. 

It uses exploits to drop itself into memory and then starts an instance of the Metasploit Framework, a robust framework for hacking computer systems. Furthermore, the beef server runs as a service in windows that can be stopped/started by anyone.


The prior feature of BeEF enables you to deploy custom beacons without writing code yourself quickly. It can work on various platforms and is highly configurable for multiple goals.


  • The beEF comes packed with “bait” apps that attackers can deploy to get users to visit their sites and trigger the exploits.
  • It’s easy to set up and can be used for any device with a web browser — smartphones, tablets, laptops, routers, servers, etc.
  • Quite effective when targeted at mobile devices and other modern technologies such as JavaScript (especially Node).
  • With the help of BeEF, one can easily breach the firewall of a target. 


  • The general phishing modules are unsuitable; most of the time, it doesn’t go hand in hand with cybersecurity employees. 

The Bottom Line

The tools mentioned above are the best open source security testing tools, and we performed fundamental research before presenting these to you. We know that the security test also depends upon the tester. 

They need to understand only the external behavior of the program or system under test and check its functionality and usability by trying different inputs and observing their effect. 

The security testing has become simple with a plug-and-play software tool called the TestOS from TestGrid. At TestGrid, we are ready to help at every step and concretely render the optimum security testing according to your requirement. TestGrid helps you to look for vulnerabilities and loopholes in your application.