Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema designed this security tool to assist system administrators in recognizing a number of network-related security problems. SATAN, though a UNIX-based tool, was first designed for SunOS/Solaris and Irix. Today, ports to many other varieties of UNIX now exist, including one for Linux—thereby permitting any individual with a Personal Computer and a Slip/PPP account to get information provided by SATAN (which normally requires root access for execution).
As noted, though SATAN is a UNIX-based tool, it can be configured to scan most networks. SATAN works by procuring as much data as possible about system and network services—such as finger, ftp, NFS, and rexd. SATAN also procures data on known software glitches, network configurations, and poorly set up network utilities. On vulnerabilities discovered, SATAN gives rather limited data on fixing the problem, but despite this limitation, it is a useful tool for testing single computers or entire networks. Its successor, known as SAINT, is also on the market.
Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC). Network Monitoring Tools. [Online, 2004.] CIAC Website. http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/ToolsUnixNetMon.html #Courtney; The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). Info About SATAN. [Online, June 2, 1995.] CERIAS Website. http://www.cerias .purdue.edu/about/history/coast/satan.php.