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List of Vulnerability Scanners

Vulnerability scanner does automated search for security weaknesses in web applications, computers and theirs services and reports them in details about possible vulnerabilities and probable defense or ways to prevent it.

This is a list of both commecial and free scanners out there. It is hard to rate which is better than other so there will be no ratings or comparisons but only listing of vulnerability scanners:

Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner

Acunetix has pioneered the the web application security scanning technology: Its engineers have focused on web security as early as 1997 and developed an engineering lead in web site analysis and vulnerability detection. Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner includes many innovative features:

  • An automatic Javascript analyzer allowing for security testing of Ajax and Web 2.0 applications
  • Industries’ most advanced and in-depth SQL injection and Cross site scripting testing
  • Visual macro recorder makes testing web forms and password protected areas easy
  • Extensive reporting facilities including VISA PCI compliance reports
  • Multi-threaded and lightning fast scanner crawls hundreds of thousands of pages with ease
  • Intelligent crawler detects web server type and application language
  • Acunetix crawls and analyzes websites including flash content, SOAP and AJAX



GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner

GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner (N.S.S.) checks your network for possible security vulnerabilities by scanning your entire network for missing security patches, service packs, open shares, open ports, unused user accounts and more. With this information (displayed in customizable reports), you can easily lock down your network against hackers. GFI LANguard N.S.S. can also remotely deploy missing patches and service packs in applications and OS.

As an administrator, you often have to deal separately with problems related to vulnerability issues, patch management and network auditing, at times using multiple products. However, with GFI LANguard N.S.S., these three pillars of vulnerability management are addressed in one package. Using a single console with extensive reporting functionality, GFI LANguard N.S.S.’s integrated solution helps you address these issues faster and more effectively

GFI LANguard N.S.S. makes use of state of the art vulnerability check databases based on OVAL and SANS Top 20, providing over 15,000 vulnerability assessments when your network is scanned. GFI LANguard N.S.S. gives you the information and tools you need to perform multi-platform scans across all environments, to analyze your network’s security health and effectively install and manage patches on all machines across different operating systems and in different languages.



Nessus™ vulnerability scanner

Nessus is a comprehensive vulnerability scanning program. Its goal is to detect potential or confirmed weaknesses on the tested machines. For example:

  • Vulnerabilities that allow a remote cracker to control the machine or access sensitive data (eg reading confidential files), denial of service…
  • Misconfiguration (e.g. open mail relay).
  • Unapplied security patches, even if the fixed flaws are not exploitable in the tested configuration.
  • Default passwords, a few common passwords, and blank/absent passwords on some system accounts. Nessus can also call Hydra (an external tool) to launch a dictionary attack.
  • Denials of service against the TCP/IP stack.

On UNIX (including Mac OS X), it consists of nessusd, the Nessus daemon, which does the scanning, and nessus, the client, which controls scans and presents the vulnerability results to the user. For Windows, Nessus 3 installs as an executable and has a self contained scanning, reporting and management system.



Retina Network Security Scanner

Retina Network Security Scanner, the industry and government standard for multi-platform vulnerability management, identifies known and zero day vulnerabilities plus provides security risk assessment, enabling security best practices, policy enforcement, and regulatory audits.




SAINT, or the Security Administrator’s Integrated Network Tool, uncovers areas of weakness and recommends fixes. With SAINT® vulnerability assessment tool, you can:

  • Detect and fix possible weaknesses in your network’s security before they can be exploited by intruders.
  • Anticipate and prevent common system vulnerabilities.
  • Demonstrate compliance with current government regulations such as FISMA, Sarbanes Oxley, GLBA, HIPAA, and COPPA.




Qualys is the first company to deliver an on demand solution for security risk and compliance management. QualysGuard is the widest deployed security on demand platform in the world, performing over 150 million IP audits per year – with no software to install and maintain



N-Stalker Web Application Security Scanner

N-Stalker Web Application Security Scanner 2006 is a web security assessment solution developed by N-Stalker. By incorporating the well-known N-Stealth HTTP Security Scanner and its 35,000 Web Attack Signature database, along with a patent-pending Component-oriented Web Application Security Assessment technology, N-Stalker is capable of sweeping your Web Application for a large number of vulnerabilities common to this environment, including Cross-site Scripting and SQL injection, Buffer Overflow and Parameter Tampering attacks and much more.



Other notable security scanners/ penetration testing tools / vulnerability assesment softwares:

Core Impact : An automated, comprehensive penetration testing product

ISS Internet Scanner : Application-level vulnerability assessment

MBSA : Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Nikto : A more comprehensive web scanner

Hailstorm : Security assessment scanner

WebInspect : Web Application Scanning

NTOSpider : Web application vulnerability scanner

Grabber : Web application scanner. Basically it detects some kind of vulnerabilities in your website.

Paros : Web application security assessment

Wapiti : Web application vulnerability scanner / security auditor

I am sure there are many more that I might have missed. Feel free to mention them in comments.
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About The Author


  • Huge List of Vulnerability Scanners « Security News

    October 24th, 2007 04:22

    […] read more | digg story […]

  • VJ

    October 24th, 2007 09:00

    ManageEngine Security Manager Plus: Network Security Scanner with Patch Management & Compliance

  • serge

    April 2nd, 2008 11:06

    can you please add our site to your list? we do vulnerability scanning. thanks!

  • application scanner

    June 4th, 2008 21:49

    […] vulnerabilities and probable defense or ways to prevent it. This is a list of both commecial Ada/SQL Structured Query Language Application Scanner.This IDA Memorandum Report identifies and […]

  • Kat

    August 12th, 2008 04:08

    For a vulnerability scanner you should check out:

    They have an automated vulnerability scanner that scans your network perimeter, OUTSCAN, and an internal vulnerability assessment tool, HIAB. They have been around for awhile, and they are really big globally, especially in Europe. You should definitely check them out. =)

  • jcran

    September 26th, 2008 16:35

    Rapid7 NeXpose ( – Vulnerability scanner for Windows / Linux that scans network services / web applications / databases / systems. Given credentials, it can audit a machine’s (windows / *nix) permissions, policies, patches, etc. It’s designed for enterprise deployment and includes user management, scheduling, and management of sites and asset groups.

    It can be installed locally or run as a service (externally or internally).

    Disclosure: I work for Rapid7 as a pentester.

  • Scarlet

    October 27th, 2008 23:18

    Thanks for the great list
    I am trying to scan my website that i just hosted online for free.. and I could not find a good tool for .NET code vulnerability scanner …….. please provide me with software that helps me with that .. i have a paper due in a week and I need this software as soon as possible….

  • didier rutmann

    December 21st, 2008 07:37

    Attackers are well-aware of the valuable information accessible through Web applications, and
    their attempts to get at it are often unwittingly assisted by several important factors.
    Conscientious organizations carefully protect their perimeters with intrusion detection systems
    and firewalls, but these firewalls must keep ports 80 and 443 (SSL) open to conduct online
    business. These ports represent open doors to attackers, who have figured out thousands of
    ways to penetrate Web applications.
    The standard security measures for protecting network traffic, network firewalls and Intrusion
    Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), do not offer a solution to
    application level threats. Network firewalls are designed to secure the internal network
    perimeter, leaving organizations vulnerable to various application attacks.
    Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems (IDS/IPS) do not provide thorough analysis of
    packet contents. Applications without an added layer of protection increase the risk of harmful
    attacks and extreme vulnerabilities.

    Web Application Level Attacks is the Achilles heel. In the past, security breaches occurred at the
    network level of the corporate systems. Today, hackers are manipulating web applications
    inside the corporate firewall. This entry enables them to access sensitive corporate and
    customer data. An experienced hacker can break into most commercial websites with even the
    smallest hole in a company’s website application code. These sophisticated attacks have
    become increasingly threatening to organizations.

    I recommend a service call GamaSec ( remote online web vulnerability-assessment service
    that tests web servers, web-interfaced systems and web-based applications against thousands
    of known vulnerabilities with dynamic testing, and by simulating web-application attacks during
    online scanning. The service identifies security vulnerabilities and produces recommended
    solutions that can fix, or provide a viable workaround to the identified vulnerabilities

  • Robert

    April 10th, 2009 00:39

    I tried some of the tools mentioned here, but I ended up subscribing to an automated service that checks me weekly for security holes, including network based and also web application vulnerabilities. It helped me find and fix the problems that I have and after I fixed it all I got a special ‘security seal’ for my web site.
    The nice thing about this service is that it costs a lot less than the ones you mentioned.

    Check it out here:

    BTW, These guys claim to be the people behind the “” portal (but I didn’t verify if it’s true or not).

  • Joel

    May 27th, 2009 09:28

    Try Open source Powerfuzzer ( Gets the job done.

  • rose

    September 3rd, 2009 03:21

    i was trying to find any software that can provide automated scanning that we can set the time and date to do scanning. is anyone have any idea?

  • devloop

    December 29th, 2009 03:54

    Hello !

    Since yesterday a new version of Wapiti is available with new features :)

  • Jess

    February 27th, 2010 18:11

    It would be nice it you publish similar review about online scanners.
    I know only one, currently:
    Are there any other free online scanners available?

  • didier

    March 10th, 2010 06:22

    The http://www.gamasec.con online scanner have the option to schedule scan on demand via a freindly control panel.

    Also the cloud computing SaaS provid automated web application layer scanning

  • anonymous

    May 31st, 2010 05:01

    WebCruiser – Web Vulnerability Scanner

    WebCruiser – Web Vulnerability Scanner, a compact but powerful web security scanning tool that will aid you in auditing your site! It has a Vulnerability Scanner and a series of security tools.

    It can support scanning website as well as POC( Prooving of concept) for web vulnerabilities: SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting, XPath Injection etc. So, WebCruiser is also an automatic SQL injection tool, a XPath injection tool, and a Cross Site Scripting tool!

    * Crawler(Site Directories And Files);
    * Vulnerability Scanner(SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting, XPath Injection etc.);
    * POC(Proof of Concept): SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting, XPath Injection etc.;
    * GET/Post/Cookie Injection;
    * SQL Server: PlainText/Union/Blind Injection;
    * MySQL: PlainText/Union/Blind Injection;
    * Oracle: PlainText/Union/Blind/CrossSite Injection;
    * DB2: Union/Blind Injection;
    * Access: Union/Blind Injection;
    * Post Data Resend;
    * Administration Entrance Search;
    * Time Delay For Search Injection;
    * Auto Get Cookie From Web Browser For Authentication;
    * Report Output.

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