Penetration Testing.

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Hi!! Good Morning. I have a simple question for you today. I intend to have a penetration testing done for all of my 3 sites - My US Office, My India Office & My US Datacenter. Can you suggest any trustworthy site which can offer me a free reliable scan? Also, I would like to have you suggestion on available win32 based freeware / trialware software which can help me in this. Awaiting your response. Regards, Nilesh Roy.

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Ok, this is NOT a commercial spam – but, I do this sort of thing for a living.

If you want free, then download and run nessus yourself.


If you want the experienced professional evaluation of the results, they you’re going to have to pay someone.

I’m not trying to give you a hard time, but the people who do serious penetration testing (like me) have only their time and experience to sell.


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  • Pekae1
    I'd certainly agree with Bob. There are any number of very good tools out there, for free, but if you want a proper analysis and/or the whole job done, then you're going to have to pay for that expertise. One company that I would recommend for doing the job is Foundstone - they use remote tools and will show vulnerabilities, etc across your enterprise, irrespective of where you're based. Paul
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  • Zerocool This is the only site you will need for penertration testing. The only other thing to do would be to lock down the ACL's on all routers to help stop attacks and virus spread...
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  • Zerocool This is the only site you will need for penertration testing. The only other thing to do would be to lock down the ACL's on all routers to help stop attacks and virus spread...
    0 pointsBadges:
  • Imazing
    I would have to agree you should pay for the service. We use SecurityMetrics. It doesn't cost much and you have their experience and their dedication since you are paying them to try to be as up to date as possible with their vulnerability tests. good luck.
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  • Solutions1
    "free" may not be worth what you paid. One good toolset comes from Cenzic ( If you want a test primarily to validate for third parties what you believe to be robust sites, then you probably need a fairly formal, repetitive and perhaps expensive testing process. If you want a test because you are uncertain that you will pass, rather than starting with a test perhaps you need to look back at the preventative aspects of your software development, software acquisition and operating system configuration processes - design rules, etc.
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  • PrescientDBA
    A free site that works pretty well is Go to Shields Up! link on page and the site will run a full port scan for vulnerabilities, free of charge. I use this site to verify that I have no ports exposed to the outside world....that I don't want opened.
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  • Nileshroy
    Hi all!! Thanks for your MOST valuable suggestions. Yes I agree on a paid outsourced service. But I am a hands on guy and would prefer to try things own before outsourcing. I am hungry for more feeds. Thanks for your inputs. Best Regards, Nilesh Roy.
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  • Bouncybrit
    Nessus is a great free tool only runs on linux although there is a commercial version which runs on windows. ISS is a very comprehensive tool and runs on windows. ISS produces some very pretty reports nessus reports are not as pretty but equally comprehensive. You should run both because often one scanner will pick up stuff that the other misses. nmap is the grandaddy of al;l port scanners and is a great starting point.remember though tools will really only do a surface vulnerability assesment. another important thing to note, dont use windows XP SP2 with all the hotfixes to do your scanning. When you use windows you almost have to use 2000 server or 2003 server otherwise the results are way off. if you are serious though you should do some research, look at your environment. do a full audit of ALL your equipment, take a look at security focus, and CERT.ORG research what vulnerabilities are out there for your environment. look at avenues of exposure (internet, modems, partners etc) a thorough penetration test is hard work, but worth it. Steve Gibson does good stuff with shields up but all it really does is a port scan of your internet facing IP addreses. (see nmap) this is a brief overview of what you need to do, and thus the reason why you should hire a professional. when hiring a service read carefully exactly what they are going to do, there are supposedly professional pen testing firms who do very little more than run ISS and give you some pretty reports. this all being said if you do decide to do some testing it is a lot of fun and can teach you a lot about your network and your systems. dont do it once and walk away, do it on a regular basis and compare results.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Aalborz
    I have to agree with everyone's comments, especially Solutions1. The most reliable pen testings are not free and are not one-time type of deals either; you have to make it an ongoing process. Also to make your sites truly secure, you have to create and implement security policies and get everyone in your organization, from your receptionist to your CEO, trained and adapt to them. Otherwise you fall into a false sense of security.
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  • Bobkberg
    Since nileshroy clarified his intent, let me throw a little more value your way, as well as disagree with some of the posters. You should get nessus and nmap to begin with. They're free and will tell you a lot about your network. While you're getting nmap (, check out Fyodor's security tools page. Very good set of tools. You can also look at my website's links page (, although since I just looked at it, I realize that it needs updating (Sigh!). Now to disagree - (Steve Gibson's site) does offer a number of useful things. But it is NOT (Repeat NOT) "all you need"!!! By way of example, a port scan can show that port 80 is open, and whether or not a web server is likely running on it. BUT, different web servers have different vulnerabilities, especially when you add on additional functionality like Java engines, Cold Fusion, and other things each of which offer their own functionality, and their own set of possible compromises. Additionally, good vulnerability checkers look for things like directory access, presence of sample files (many vulnerabilities in those) specific versions products and such. No port scanner can provide that sort of information. Bob
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  • Mousejn
    If you are good at pen. testing nessus is very good. Gibson's site is good for home users and someone not hosting anything. A good source for Security tools is I use SuperScan from for a quick scan of open ports, plus the newer version has couple of options. Another tool I use is GFI LANguard Network Scanner It is not free but for the first 30 it is. If you don't feel comfortable doing the pen test yourself will do a free scan for you but if they find any problems the are considered high, they will just tell you that you have them and charge for the results. This options work if you need an outside party to do the pen. test and you need to check web-facing applications for vulnerabilities.
    5 pointsBadges:
  • Recovery1
    This is not a commercial ad or a offer to sell products. You have a common problem and one that requires experience and knowledge. No commercial program will provide you what you need in complete form. We are a forensic Analysis and Cyber Crime Investigation Firm. We specialize in this area. However, we recognize the need for consumers to have a cost effective solution to this problem and one that is current. We collaborated with a company that provides a freestanding analysis program to analyze your systems and provide valued options to lock down areas of vulnerabilities and areas of likely penetration. Although the product is available, we do not list it on our web site. Personally, we use it as a tool but we also offer it to customers on a fee license basis. If you would like to try a copy please let me know. I am not trying to sell the product but it is a value to consumer and corporate in general. Our knowledge and experience is all we have to sell. You will need this as well as any commercial program you find. There is nothing on the market that can replace years of experience and knowledge but we can at least get you started in the right direction. Let me know if you are interested.
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  • Layer9
    Many free tools to run port scans and even vulnerability scans are available, as has been said in here. But like Recovery1 said, you need to know what you are doing. It is a matter of knowing what you want, what to look for, and how to test it. I also work for a security firm that performs penetration tests and security audits and I can tell you that port scanning and so called "vulnerability" scanning are only as usefull as the skill level of the personnel performing the testing. If all you want to know is what ports are listening on your network, look at your firewall ACL's or you can run a port scan with NMAP which is our choice. The trick is knowing how to use it. Most novices running simple port scans get shunned by good firewalls within the first 30 seconds of the scan. Then you are looking at resets all the way. Port scans should be accompanied by a Protocol Analyzer running concurrently to examine the return packets, and of course that means having some real skills and experience in protocol analysis. If you want to run vulnerability tests, then you need to understand what vulnerabilities would be pertinent to your network services. As for Vulnerability scanners, there are many. NESSUS is hands down the best free one, but the server component only runs on Unix based systems so you will need at least a Linux box for that and a general understanding of Linux. If this is a small network and does not have strong security requirements then you could probably get away with these steps yourself, but if this network has any real security needs you owe it to the company to hire a professionial security consultant. Chris Weber
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  • EnterpriseDesktopATE
    For additional information on penetration testing, check out this collection of five security testing tips from
    2,525 pointsBadges:

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