Ethical hacking is the major component of cyber security, which is widely practiced to protect organizations against unethical hacking techniques. In recent years, the industry has undergone a significant transformation due to the emergence of various ethical hacking tools.
By using computer programs and scripts, ethical hacking tools can help detect vulnerabilities in web applications, computer systems, servers, and networks. To secure a computer system from unauthorized access, there are a number of open-source and commercial security tools widely available in the market. Below we’ve listed the top 10 best hacking tools.
One of the most popular and widely used tools for ethical hacking, Nmap is a free and open-source port and security scanner which can also be used as a network explorer. This tool works equally well on single hosts as well as large networks. This software is used primarily for conducting security audits and disclosure tests. Cybersecurity professionals can use Nmap for monitoring service and host uptime, managing service upgrade schedules and network inventory. It can also be used for monitoring open ports, managing stock, and many more functions.
Key features of Nmap:
- It shows graphical and interactive results
- An overview of a single host or a full network scan can be conveniently viewed.
- A topology map of the discovered networks can be generated.
- Contains a debugging, redirection, and data transfer tool.
- You can see the difference between the two scans with this tool.
- It allows administrators to keep track of new hosts and services that appears on their networks. Also, they can monitor an already existing service that has been down.
- Binary packages are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X
Acunetix is an automated web security scanner and ethical hacking tool that has the capability of detecting and reporting more than 4500 web vulnerabilities including all types of XSS attacks and SQL Injection.
In addition to providing advanced Vulnerability Management capabilities, it prioritizes vulnerabilities based on data via a single, consolidated data view, and integrates the results of the scanner into other platforms or tools.
Key features of Acunetix:
- It can automate WordPress security by scanning and detecting over 1200 vulnerable WordPress themes, misconfigurations, plugins, and core files.
- It integrates easily with popular WAFs and Issue Trackers to assist in the SDLC.
- Scan of over 4500 vulnerabilities, including nearly every form of SQL Injection and XSS.
- Both on-premises and cloud-based solutions are available.
One of the most popular tools for ethical hacking, Burp Suite detects over 3000 vulnerabilities in web applications. Businesses can use this tool to perform security testing on web applications. This tool consists of an extensive set of hacking tools that seamlessly work together to support the entire pen-testing process. From the initial mapping process to the application’s attack surface analysis, this tool covers everything.
Key features of Burp Suite:
- Scans open-source code, software, and custom applications.
- Its Login Sequence Recorder allows automated scanning and is easy to use.
- Provides perfect accuracy in detecting critical network vulnerabilities.
- Easy to generate a variety of technical and compliance reports.
- It utilizes OAST (out-of-band techniques)
- It facilitates CI integration.
- Automated crawl and scan feature for scheduling and repeating the security scans.
As a free and open-source tool with a wide range of capabilities, Wireshark is a network traffic profiling and packet analysis tool of ethical hacking that is useful for investigating systems and making improvements to programming conventions. This bundle analyzer tool has been created using advanced calculations that offer you compelling features. It is an important device for individuals who wish to pursue careers in cybersecurity.
Besides this, Wireshark is compatible with more than 2000 different network protocols, and it can be run on any major operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Key features of Wireshark:
- Analyzes offline and live captured data
- It supports cross-platform environments
- Facilitates analysis of packet lists by allowing the application of coloring rules
- You can use it for free.
Netspark is a highly accurate hacking tool that can mimic what a hacker would do to identify vulnerabilities in web apps and web APIs, such as Cross-site Scripting and SQL Injection.
Network Sparker identifies vulnerabilities and validates them to ensure they are not false positives. This means that once a scan is done, will not have to spend hours for manual verification of identified vulnerabilities. It is available both as an online service and as a Windows software.
Key features of Netsparker:
- Automated vulnerability management and scanning including post-fix scanning.
- The application discovery service identifies all web applications and scans them.
- It saves a lot of time by eliminating manual verification.
As a fully automated scan tool, Intruder identifies cybersecurity gaps in your system, informs you about the potential risks and aids you in fixing them. It’s an excellent addition to any ethical hacker’s arsenal.
By offering over 9,000 security checks, Intruder is able to offer enterprises of all sizes enterprise-grade vulnerability scanning solutions. Among its security checks are identifying missing patches, misconfigurations, and general web application vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
A product designed by security experts, Intruder simplifies the process of managing vulnerabilities, so you can concentrate on what really matters. With Intruder, you will save a lot of time by evaluating results according to their context and scanning your systems proactively for the latest vulnerabilities.
Key features of Intruder:
- It can detect misconfigurations, missing patches, and common web application vulnerabilities like SQL Injection and cross-site scripting.
- Integrates with major cloud providers, including Jira and Slack.
- Results are prioritized based on context
- Conducts proactive system scans to identify the latest vulnerabilities
As a web scanner, Nikto can scan and test different web servers to detect outdated software, harmful CGIs or files, and any other security issues. Nikto is a free, open-source tool that checks 270 servers for version-specific issues and identifies default files and programs. This tool can perform both server-specific as well as generic checks and prints from the captured cookie data.
Key features of Nikto:
- It’s a free and open-source tool
- This tool identifies over 6400 potentially dangerous files or CGIs on web servers
- Checks misconfigured files and plug-ins
- Detects insecure files and programs
SQMap tool is designed for automated detection and exploitation of SQL injection vulnerabilities as well as taking control of databases.
It is an open-source tool and has a powerful detection engine. It fully supports Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and many others. It also supports six techniques of SQL Injection, time-based blind, Boolean-based blind, error-based, stacked queries, UNION query-based, and out-of-band.
SQLMap allows you to perform arbitrary commands and retrieve their output, find databases by name, download and upload any files, etc. This tool can directly connect to a database.
Key features of SQLMap:
- Strong detection engine
- Supports the execution of arbitrary commands
- Supports Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and more
SolarWinds Security Event Manager
By using SolarWinds Security Event Manager, you can improve the security of your computer. This application can automatically detect threats, monitor security policies, and makes sure your network is safe. With SolarWinds, you can easily track your log files and receive instant notifications when anything suspicious occurs. Businesses can easily track log files using SolarWinds and receive real-time alerts when any suspicious behavior occurs.
Key features of SolarWinds Security:
- Built-in integrity monitoring system.
- An intuitive user interface and dashboard.
- This SIEM tool provides users with the ability to manage their memory stick storage.
- Compliance reporting tools are integrated into the system.
- Centralized system for collecting logs.
- Responds to threats quickly by identifying them.
As a web application-based security scanner, Invicti automatically detects vulnerabilities such as SQL Injections, XAA, and a variety of other vulnerabilities that may exist in your applications and web services. Invicti is available for purchase both as a SaaS solution as well as an on-premises solution.
Key features of Invicti:
- Its proof-based scanning technology provides highly accurate vulnerability detection.
- Invicti automatically detects custom 404-page errors and URL rewriting rules, thus requiring minimal configuration.
- This is a highly scalable solution that is capable of scanning 1000 web applications in one day
- Easily integrates with SDLC, bug tracking systems, etc., using REST API.
Ethical hacking is a good way for security professionals to improve their skills. By integrating the best ethical hacking tools and ethical hacking practices into the organization’s security practices, ethical hackers and organizations can enhance their data and system security.
Also Read: 9 Steps to Reduce Cybersecurity risk