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Satan: double-edged sword

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2 Author(s)
Ram, P. ; North Dakota Univ., Grand Forks, ND, USA ; Rand, D.K.

Who can resist the allure of free software tools-especially software tools designed to do something as important as detect network vulnerabilities? As you might suspect, anything free generally carries a hidden price tag. Security Administrator Tools for Analyzing Networks (Satan) was released as freeware on April 5, 1995 (April 4 on many popular anonymous ftp sites). Developed by Dan Farmer (formerly employed by Silicon Graphics Inc. and now at Sun Microsystems) and Wietse Venema (Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands), it was designed to detect security vulnerabilities in any computer on the Internet. Satan can help discover the relative security issues inherent in your own network as well as security faults on networks outside your administrative domain. To be able to detect vulnerabilities, Satan would have to be run as super user on a Unix system, but with the wide availability of Unix lookalikes on PCs (such as Linux and freeBSD), root execution is not a limiting factor

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )