With the help of a few tools and knowledge of their true capabilities, hackers can perform security testing. While talking about hacking tools, remember that this is a wide topic and our list presents only a small amount of this area. The following tools have different backgrounds and are used for a wide range of purposes. In other words, they are incomparable. Let's find out about the top 10 hacking tools.
Nmap or Network Mapper is a very well-known free open source hacker’s tool. It is mainly used for network discovery and performing security audits. It uses raw IP packets in creative ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are providing information about, what operating systems (fingerprinting) and what type and version of packet filters/firewalls are being used by the target. Nmap is cross-platform and works on Mac, Linux, and Windows. It has gained immense popularity in the hacking community due to its ease of use and powerful searching and scanning abilities.
Metasploit is a vulnerability exploitation tool that can be considered as a collection of hacking tools and frameworks that can be used to execute various tasks. Its best-known open source framework, is a tool for developing and executing exploit code against a remote target machine. Metasploit is essentially a security framework that provides the user with critical information regarding known security vulnerabilities and helps to formulate penetration testing and IDS testing plans, strategies and methodologies for exploitation.
John the Ripper is a password cracking tool that is most commonly used to perform dictionary attacks.The tool takes text string samples (from a text file, referred to as a ‘wordlist’, containing popular and complex words found in a dictionary or real passwords cracked before), encrypting it in the same way as the password being cracked (including both the encryption algorithm and key), and comparing the output to the encrypted string. This tool can also be used to perform a variety of alterations to dictionary attacks.
THC Hydra is another very popular password cracker. It is worth mentioning that its team is constantly taking care of their project by updating it and helping the community. THC Hydra is a fast and stable network login hacking tool that will use a dictionary or brute-force attacks to try various password and login combinations against a login page. When you need to brute force crack a remote authentication service, Hydra is often the tool of choice. It can perform rapid dictionary attacks against more than 50 protocols, including Telnet, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, smb, several databases, and much more.
The OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is an easy to use integrated penetration testing tool for finding vulnerabilities in web applications. It is designed to be used by people with a wide range of security experience and as such is ideal for developers and functional testers who are new to penetration testing as well as being a useful addition to an experienced pen testers toolbox. It has a lot of support and the OWASP community is an excellent resource for everyone interested in cyber security or working in this area.
WireShark is the network protocol analyzer tool that lets you check different things in your office or home network. You can live capture packets and analyze packets to find various things related to the network by checking the data at the micro-level. This tool is available for Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD and other platforms. WireShark has been highly developed, and it includes filters, color-coding and other features that let the user dig deep into network traffic and inspect individual packets.
The Aircrack is a wireless hacking tool that is renowned because of its effectiveness in password cracking. It is an 802.11 WEP and WPA-PSK keys cracking, hacking tool that can recover keys when sufficient data packets have been captured (in monitor mode). It is useful to know that Aircrack-ng implements standard FMS attacks along with some optimizations like KoreK attacks, as well as the PTW attacks to make their attacks more potent. It is a highly recommended tool for those who are interested in wireless hacking. For wireless auditing and penetration testing, learning aircrack is essential.
Maltego is a digital forensic tool that is used to deliver an overall cyber threat picture to the enterprise or local environment in which an organization operates. The focus of Maltego is analyzing real-world relationships between information that is publicly accessible on the Internet. This includes foot-printing Internet infrastructure as well as gathering information about the people and organizations who own it. Maltego provides results in a wide range of graphical layouts that allow for clustering of information, which makes seeing relationships instant and accurate. This makes it possible to see hidden connections, even if they are three or four degrees of separation apart.
Cain & Abel is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Operating Systems. It allows easy recovery of various kinds of passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary, Brute-Force, and Cryptanalysis attacks, recording VoIP conversations, decoding scrambled passwords, recovering wireless network keys, revealing password boxes, uncovering cached passwords and analyzing routing protocols.
Nikto is an Open Source (GPL) web server scanner that performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 6500 potentially dangerous files/CGIs, checks for outdated versions of over 1250 servers, and version specific problems on over 270 servers. It also checks for server configuration items such as the presence of multiple index files, HTTP server options, and will attempt to identify installed web servers and software. Scan items and plugins are frequently updated and can be automatically updated.
The above list presents the most recommended and popular tools from security professionals. There are many other tools, some with even wider capabilities; after all, everything depends on preferences and for what you would like to use those tools. If you have your own suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message!