Tools used in the assignments

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This page is an index of tools you can see me use in the labs or tools I sometimes refer to in class. If you are looking for a specific program - you will most likely find it here.

All the programs are free, unless specifically marked as commercial.


  • Python - the most awesome programming language.
    • Personally I rely on the 2.x branch - so all the samples are written in 2.x;
    • Even though I have a 64-bit system, I'm running the 32-bit version of Python and I think you will prefer to do the same. If you plan to use some third-party modules in other classes, x64 modules might be harder to find.


  • PyScripter - an IDE for Python, I believe it is the best Python IDE for Windows
  • oSpy - network sniffer, can sniff the traffic of a specific process as well as decrypt SSL traffic for processes that rely on the Windows API for encryption
  • Microsoft Network Monitor - network sniffer
  • Sysinternals suite - a handful of awesome tools for various purposes
    • Tcpview - view TCP and UDP connections in realtime, something like netstat but with a GUI
    • Procmon - view the file system and registry activity of a process
    • Process explorer - an advanced task manager that shows various metadata associated with a process (open file handles, mutexes, semaphores, etc)
    • Strings - extracts the strings from a file
  • Putty - SSH and telnet client that can do port forwarding and many other things
  • FAR - file manager, good for viewing large files and many other things
  • HxD - hex editor, good for viewing and editing large files, or comparing binary files
  • WinMerge - file comparison tool (non-binary)
  • Notepad++ - awesome file editor with syntax highlighting
  • Cain and Abel - security tool, does many many things.


Nothing special here, most Linux distros come with everything on-board. My preferences are: Gnome, gedit and a terminal with screen.

You might want to take a look at the cross platform section for some recommendations.

Cross platform

  • Wireshark - network sniffer
  • Nmap - port scanner, it has several GUI front-ends for Linux and Windows
  • Inkscape - vector graphics editor for drawing sketches and diagrams
  • X-mind - mind-mapping tool

Web based

  • RegExr - regular expressions debugger