Popular Open Source Tools for Security Testing
Technical Feed
Pratheesh Kumar April 13, 2018

What is Security Testing?

Security testing is performed to ensure that the data within an information system is protected and not accessible by unauthorized users. It protects applications against serious malware and other unanticipated threats that may crash the application. It helps to figure out all the loopholes and weaknesses of the system in the initial stage and ensures that the application has encoded security code. Security testing mainly covers the below critical areas:

  1. Authentication
  2. Authorization
  3. Availability
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Integrity
  6. Non-repudiation

Purpose of Security Testing

  • The primary purpose of security testing is to identify security leakage and fix it in the initial stage.
  • It also rates the stability of the current system, helping it to sustain in the market for a longer time.

The following security considerations need to be performed for every phase in the software development life cycle:

Security Considerations in SDLC

Need for Security Testing:

Security testing helps avoid:

  • Loss of customer trust
  • Leakage of important information
  • Stealing of information by unauthorized user
  • Inconsistent website performance
  • Unexpected breakdown
  • Additional costs required to repair websites after an attack

Popular Open Source Tools for Security Testing:

ZED Attack Proxy (ZAP)

It is an open source tool designed to help security professionals to find out the security vulnerabilities present in web applications. It has been developed to run on Windows, Unix/Linux and Macintosh platforms. It can be used as a scanner/filter of web pages. Its top features are Intercepting Proxy, Passive Scanning, Automated Scanner and a REST based API.

Link for download — https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Zed_Attack_Proxy_Project

Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)

The application is dedicated to providing information about application security. The OWASP top 10 web application security risks, commonly found in web applications are Funct Access Control, SQL Injection, Broken Auth/Session, Direct Object Ref, Security Misconfig, Cross Site Request Forgery, Vulnerable Components, Cross Site Scripting, Unvalidated Redirects and Data Exposure. These top ten risks will make the application harmful because they may allow the stealing of data or completely take over your web servers.

We can execute OWASP using GUI as well as command prompt:

  • Command to trigger OWASP through CLI — zap-cli –zap-path “+EVConfig.ZAP_PATH+” quick-scan –self-contained –spider -r -s xss http://”+EVConfig.EV_1_IP+” -l Informational
  • Steps to run OWASP from GUI :
    • Set the local proxy in browser and record the pages.
    • Once recording gets completed, right click over the link in OWASP tool, then click on ‘active scan’.
    • After the completion of scanning, download the report in .html format.

The other option to execute OWASP:

  1. Set the local proxy in the browser.
  2. Enter the URL in the ‘URL to attack’ text box; then click on ‘Attack’ button.
  3. On the left side of the screen, view the scanned sitemap content.
  4. At the bottom, view request, response and bug severity.

GUI screenshot:

GUI Screenshot - OWASP

Burp Suite

It is a tool used for performing security testing of web applications. It has professional and community editions. With over a 100 predefined vulnerability conditions, it ensures the safety of applications by applying these predefined conditions to figure out vulnerabilities.


Burp Suite itself has more than 100+ predefined test conditions like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), Xpath injection and more and applies these conditions to code for every execution. Scanning can be performed at different levels of speed such as fast, normal and more. Using this tool, we can scan an entire application or a particular branch of a site, or an individual URL.

Burp Suite - Coverage

Clear vulnerability presentation:

Burp suite presents the result in a tree view. We can drill down to the details of the individual items by selecting a branch or a node. The scanned result comes up in red if any vulnerability is found. Vulnerabilities are marked with confidence and severity for easy decision making. Detailed custom advisories are available for all reported vulnerabilities with a full description of the issue, confidence type, issue severity and path of the file. HTML reports can be downloaded.

Burp Suite - Vulnerability Presentation


It is an open source tool to measure the quality of source code. Though written in Java, it can analyze over twenty different programming languages. It can easily integrate with continuous integration tools such as Jenkins server. The results will be populated to SonarQube server with ‘green’ and ‘red lights’. Visually applealing charts and project level issue lists can be viewed. We can invoke it from GUI as well as command prompt.

  • To perform the analysis, download the SonarQube Runner and unzip it
  • Place this file in the root directory of your project
  • Open a terminal/console in the root directory of your project to check and run the `sonar-runner`/`sonar-runnter.bat` script:SonarQube - Command Prompt

After the successful execution of the SonarQube Runner, you can find the results in http://localhost:9000 web page.


 Project wise home page:

This tool classifies bugs by various conditions like Bugs, vulnerabilities, code smells, code duplication and beyond.

Project Wise Home Page

 Issue list:

We will be navigated to the issue list page if we click on bug count in the project dashboard. Bugs will be listed with severity, status, assignee, reported time and time taken to fix the issue.

Issue List

Detect tricky issues:

Issue code will be marked in red and suggestions can be found to fix the issue quickly.

Detect Tricky Issues

Integration with Jenkins:

Jenkins has a separate plugin to perform sonar scanner that uploads the result to SonarQube server once the testing is done.

Integration with Jenkins


It is a code analysis tool that is used to identify security, safety and reliability issues of the programming languages CC++Java and C#. We can easily integrate it with continuous integration tools like Jenkins, and can raise bugs in Jira upon encountering new issues.

Project wise scanned result:

Printout of the result can be taken using the tool. In the home page, we can view all the scanned projects with ‘new’ and ‘existing’ issue count. The range and ratio of the issue can be viewed by clicking the ‘Report’ icon.

Project Wise Scanned Result - Klocwork

Detailed issue:

By entering various search conditions in the ‘search’ text box, we can filter the result. Issues are presented with severity, state, status and taxonomy fields. By clicking on the issue, we can find the line of issue.

Detailed Issue

Mark the issue code:

For quick identification, Klocwork highlights the ‘line of code’ with the issue, cites the cause and suggests measures to overcome the same.

Mark the Issue Code

Export to Jira:

We can directly raise a Jira by clicking on “Export to Jira” button.

Integration with Jenkins:

Jenkins has a plugin to integrate with Klocwork, To integrate, first we need to configure Klocwork details in Jenkins configure page.  After that, Jenkins will take care of uploading the report to the Klocwork server whenever the execution gets completed.

Jenkins configuration for Klocwork

Jenkins Configuration for Klocwork