A free tool developed by Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema in 1995 for remotely analyzing the security of networks. Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks (SATAN) consists of a variety of routines that probe a network for security holes in a similar way that hackers do. SATAN tests the vulnerabilities of TCP/IP hosts using common TCP/IP protocols, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Network File System (NFS), and Network Information System (NIS), and analyzes how the host responds to requests based on these protocols. The results are stored in a database and can be displayed using a Web browser.
SATAN runs on machines running UNIX and needs the Perl interpreter to operate. Typically, SATAN identifies weaknesses in the setup and configuration of network software; network administrators can use it to check the configuration of their network software. SATAN can also identify the network services that are running and provide information about the types of hardware and software and the topology of the network.
Because SATAN is free and can be downloaded from numerous places on the Internet, it can be used both by network administrators and by hackers. If you are concerned about the possible misuse of SATAN against your network, you can obtain various types of free anti-SATAN software on the Internet that alert you to a SATAN attack so that you can take remedial action.