Secure Your Network (And Hack It) With MacAnalysis
November 9th, 2003

MacAnalysis 2.3.2 ($55 Demoware)
Lagoon Software, Inc.

Many have pointed out the fact that Mac OS X is pretty secure out of the box because, unlike some other operating systems, it doesn't turn on all sorts of network services unless you specifically enable them. Alas, as with most issues that are related to system security, the biggest problem is not the inherent security of the underlying operating system, but how it is configured by an administrator or user. Enterprise users have some level of protection if they have a security group that knows what it is doing, and keep a tight reign on what they allow users to do, but your average home user can muck things up and not even know it. Fortunately, using a tool like MacAnalysis can offer peace of mind to both home and enterprise users...

MacAnalysis is a tool that, among other things, will scan your network for potential system vulnerabilities, and help you fix them before some nasty hacker (or cracker, for purists) comes along and messes up your system. MacAnalysis does this by probing your systems just like any hacker would, and then reporting the results of its probe so that you can take appropriate action. As of this writing, the MacAnalysis database knows about over 1300 vulnerabilities, and with the paid product, updates its database with about 100 new exploits per month. As you may have guessed, you should only scan systems that you are responsible for. The level of probing that MacAnalysis performs will almost certainly get you into trouble, so use common sense before allowing it to scan.

MacAnalysis Main Screen, with Handy Explanations of Major Features

MacAnalysis isn't just a network vulnerability scanner, however; it also contains a wealth of other tools that any network or security professional can use to understand the inner workings of their system or track down potential attackers. MacAnalysis offers access to all of the usual UNIX network utilities that are typically accessed from the command line, such as ping, traceroute, nslookup, whois and the like. A nifty graphical traceroute feature can pinpoint the physical location of an IP address, and also show what routers packets must pass through to get from your system to a remote system. There are also network monitoring tools that can show you all network data that your computer is sending and receiving.

For those who want to be especially sneaky, MacAnalysis also offers tools that will let you securely chat with others, encrypt your files, and also embed messages in graphic or audio files, also known as steganography.

But wait, there's more! MacAnalysis also includes a firewall, and anti-virus tools to protect you from getting your system infected.

MacAnalysis is the most comprehensive security tool that we've seen on any platform, and should be a part of the security toolbox of any Mac user.

Know about any other tools that help keep your Mac secure? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll check it out.