Hacking has been a part of computing for almost five decades and it is a very broad discipline, which covers a wide range of topics. The first known event of hacking had taken place in 1960 at MIT and at the same time, the term “Hacker” was originated. In this tutorial, we will take you through the various concepts of Ethical Hacking and explain how you can use them in a real-time environment.
Hacking has been a part of computing for almost five decades and it is a very broad discipline, which covers a wide range of topics. The first known event of hacking had taken place in 1960 at MIT and at the same time, the term “Hacker” was originated.
Hacking is the act of finding the possible entry points that exist in a computer system or a computer network and finally entering into them. Hacking is usually done to gain unauthorized access to a computer system or a computer network, either to harm the systems or to steal sensitive information available on the computer.
Hacking is usually legal as long as it is being done to find weaknesses in a computer or network system for testing purpose. This sort of hacking is what we call Ethical Hacking.
A computer expert who does the act of hacking is called a “Hacker”. Hackers are those who seek knowledge, to understand how systems operate, how they are designed, and then attempt to play with these systems.
What are Hacking Tools?
Hacking Tools are computer programs and scripts that help you find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems, web applications, servers and networks. There are a variety of such tools available on the market. Some of them are open source while others are commercial solutions. In this list we highlight the top 20 tools for Ethical Hacking of web applications, servers and networks
Netsparker is an easy to use web application security scanner that can automatically find SQL Injection, XSS and other vulnerabilities in your web applications and web services. It is available as on-premises and SAAS solution.
- Dead accurate vulnerability detection with the unique Proof-Based Scanning Technology.
- Minimal configuration required. Scanner automatically detects URL rewrite rules, custom 404 error pages.
- REST API for seamless integration with the SDLC, bug tracking systems etc.
- Fully scalable solution. Scan 1,000 web applications in just 24 hours.
- Scans for all variants of SQL Injection, XSS, and 4500+ additional vulnerabilities
- Detects over 1200 WordPress core, theme, and plugin vulnerabilities
- Fast & Scalable – crawls hundreds of thousands of pages without interruptions
- Integrates with popular WAFs and Issue Trackers to aid in the SDLC
- Available On Premises and as a Cloud solution.
SaferVPN is an indispensable tool in an Ethical hackers arsenal. You may need it to check targets in different geographies, simulate non personalized browsing behavior, anonymized file transfers, etc.
- No Log VPN with high security and anonymity
- Very fast speeds with 2000+ servers across continents
- Based in Hongkong, it does not store any data.
- Split tunneling and 5 simultaneous logins
- 24/7 support
- Supports Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iPhone, etc.
- 300,000+ IPs
- Port Forwarding, Dedicated IO and P2P Protection
- 31 Day Money-Back Guarantee
4) Burp Suite:
Burp Suite is a useful platform for performing Security Testing of web applications. Its various tools work seamlessly together to support the entire pen testing process. It spans from initial mapping to analysis of an application’s attack surface.
It can detect over 3000 web application vulnerabilities.
- Scan open-source software and custom-built applications
- An easy to use Login Sequence Recorder allows the automatic scanning
- Review vulnerability data with built-in vulnerability management.
- Easily provide wide variety of technical and compliance reports
- Detects Critical Vulnerabilities with 100% Accuracy
- Automated crawl and scan
- Advanced scanning feature for manual testers
- Cutting-edge scanning logic
Luminati is a proxy service provider that offers more than 40 million residential and other IPs all around the world. The website allows you to Integrate proxy IPs via their own API, available in all common coding languages.
- Flexible billing and powerful and configurable tools
- Surf the web using a proxy without requiring coding or complex integration
- Allowing you to manage your proxies without any no coding.
Ettercap is an ethical hacking tool. It supports active and passive dissection including features for network and host analysis.
- It supports active and passive dissection of many protocols
- Feature of ARP poisoning to sniff on a switched LAN between two hosts
- Characters can be injected into a server or to a client while maintaining a live connection
- Ettercap is capable of sniffing an SSH connection in full duplex
- Allows sniffing of HTTP SSL secured data even when the connection is made using proxy
- Allows creation of custom plugins using Ettercap’s API
Aircrack is a trustable ethical hacking tool. It cracks vulnerable wireless connections. It is powered by WEP WPA and WPA 2 encryption Keys.
- More cards/drivers supported
- Support all types of OS and platforms
- New WEP attack: PTW
- Support for WEP dictionary attack
- Support for Fragmentation attack
- Improved tracking speed
8) Angry IP Scanner:
Angry IP Scanner is an open-source and cross-platform ethical hacking tool. It scans IP addresses and ports.
- Scans local networks as well as the Internet
- Free and open-source tool
- Random or file in any format
- Exports results into many formats
- Extensible with many data fetchers
- Provides command-line interface
- Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
9) GFI LanGuard:
It is an ethical tool that scans networks for vulnerabilities. It can act as your ‘virtual security consultant’ on demand. It allows creating an asset inventory of every device.
- It helps to maintain a secure network over time is to know which changes are affecting your network and
- Patch management: Fix vulnerabilities before an attack
- Analyze network centrally
- Discover security threats early
- Reduce cost of ownership by centralizing vulnerability scanning
- Help to maintain a secure and compliant network
It is an ethical hacking tool. It performs performance issues and reduces security risk with the deep visibility provided by Omni peek. It can diagnose network issues faster and better with Savvies packet intelligence.
- Powerful, easy-to-use network forensics software
- Savvies automates the capture of the network data required to quickly investigate security alerts
- Software and integrated appliance solutions
- Packet intelligence combines deep analysis
- Rapid resolution of network and security issues
- Easy to use Intuitive workflow
- Expert and responsive technical support
- Onsite deployment for appliances
- Commitment to our customers and our products
Qualys guard helps businesses streamline their security and compliance solutions. It also builds security into their digital transformation initiatives. This tool can also check the performance vulnerability of the online cloud systems.
- It is trusted globally
- No hardware to buy or manage
- It is a scalable, end-to-end solution for all aspects of IT security
- Vulnerability data securely stored and processed on an n-tiered architecture of load-balanced servers
- It sensor provides continuous visibility
- Data analyzed in real time
- It can respond to threats in a real-time
WebInspect is automated dynamic application security testing that allows performing ethical hacking techniques. It provides comprehensive dynamic analysis of complex web applications and services.
- Allows to test dynamic behavior of running web applications to identify security vulnerabilities
- Keep in control of your scan by getting relevant information and statistics at a glance
- Centralized Program Management
- Advanced technologies, such as simultaneous crawl professional-level testing to novice security testers
- Easily inform management on vulnerability trending, compliance management, and risk oversight
Hashcat is a robust password cracking ethical hacking tool. It can help users to recover lost passwords, audit password security, or just find out what data is stored in a hash.
- Open-Source platform
- Multi-Platform Support
- Allows utilizing multiple devices in the same system
- Utilizing mixed device types in the same system
- It supports distributed cracking networks
- Supports interactive pause/resume
- Supports sessions and restore
- Built-in benchmarking system
- Integrated thermal watchdog
- Supports automatic performance tuning
L0phtCrack 6 is a useful password audit and recovery tool. It identifies and assesses password vulnerability over local machines and networks.
- Multicore & multi-GPU support helps to optimize hardware
- Easy to customize
- Simple Password Loading
- Schedule sophisticated tasks for automated enterprise-wide password
- Fix weak passwords issues by forcing password resets or locking accounts
- It allows multiple auditing OSes
15) Rainbow Crack:
RainbowCrack is a password cracking tool widely used for ethical hacking. It cracks hashes with rainbow tables. It uses a time-memory tradeoff algorithm for this purpose.
- Full time-memory trade-off tool suites, including rainbow table generation
- It Support rainbow table of any hash algorithm
- Support rainbow table of any charset
- Support rainbow table in raw file format (.rt) and compact file format
- Computation on multi-core processor support
- GPU acceleration with multiple GPUs
- Runs on Windows OS and Linux
- Unified rainbow table file format on every supported OS
- Command line user interface
- Graphics user interface
IKECrack is an open source authentication crack tool. This ethical hacking tool is designed to brute-force or dictionary attack. This tool also allows performing cryptography tasks.
- IKECrack is a tool that allows performing Cryptography tasks
- Initiating client sends encryption options proposal, DH public key, random number, and an ID in an unencrypted packet to the gateway/responder.
- It is freely available for both personal and commercial use. Therefore, it is perfect choice for user who wants an option for Cryptography programs
IronWASP is an open source software for ethical hacking too. It is web application vulnerability testing. It is designed to be customizable so that users can create their custom security scanners using it.
- GUI based and very easy to use
- It has powerful and effective scanning engine
- Supports for recording Login sequence
- Reporting in both HTML and RTF formats
- Checks for over 25 types of web vulnerabilities
- False Positives and Negatives detection support
- It supports Python and Ruby
- Extensible using plug-ins or modules in Python, Ruby, C# or VB.NET
Medusa is one of the best online brute-force, speedy, parallel password crackers ethical hacking tools. This tool is also widely used for ethical hacking.
- It is designed in such a way that it is speedy, massively parallel, modular, login brute-forcer
- The main aim of this tool is to support as many services which allow remote authentication
- Allows to perform Thread-based parallel testing and Brute-force testing
- Flexible user input. It can be specified in a variety of ways
- All the service module exists as an independent .mod file.
- No modifications are needed to the core application to extend the supported list of services for brute-forcing
NetStumbler is used to detect wireless networks on the Windows platform.
- Verifying network configurations
- Finding locations with poor coverage in a WLAN
- Detecting causes of wireless interference
- Detecting unauthorized (“rogue”) access points
- Aiming directional antennas for long-haul WLAN links
SQLMap automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL Injection weaknesses. It is open source and cross platform. It supports the following database engines.
- MS SQL Server
- MS Access
- IBM DB2
- Sybase and SAP MaxDB
It supports the following SQL Injection Techniques;
- Boolean-based blind
- Time-based blind
- UNION query
- Stacked queries and out-of-band.
21) Cain & Abel
It is a Microsoft Operating System passwords recovery tool. It is used to –
- Recover MS Access passwords
- Uncover password field
- Sniffing networks
- Cracking encrypted passwords using dictionary attacks, brute-force, and cryptanalysis attacks.
Nessus can be used to perform;
- Remote vulnerability scanner
- Password dictionary attacks
- Denial of service attacks.
Types of Hacking
We can segregate hacking into different categories, based on what is being hacked. Here is a set of examples −
- Website Hacking − Hacking a website means taking unauthorized control over a web server and its associated software such as databases and other interfaces.
- Network Hacking − Hacking a network means gathering information about a network by using tools like Telnet, NS lookup, Ping, Tracer, Net stat, etc. with the intent to harm the network system and hamper its operation.
- Email Hacking − It includes getting unauthorized access on an Email account and using it without taking the consent of its owner.
- Ethical Hacking − Ethical hacking involves finding weaknesses in a computer or network system for testing purpose and finally getting them fixed.
- Password Hacking − This is the process of recovering secret passwords from data that has been stored in or transmitted by a computer system.
- Computer Hacking − This is the process of stealing computer ID and password by applying hacking methods and getting unauthorized access to a computer system.
Advantages of Hacking
Hacking is quite useful in the following scenarios −
- To recover lost information, especially in case you lost your password.
- To perform penetration testing to strengthen computer and network security.
- To put adequate preventative measures in place to prevent security breaches.
- To have a computer system that prevents malicious hackers from gaining access.
Disadvantages of Hacking
Hacking is quite dangerous if it is done with harmful intent. It can cause −
- Massive security breach.
- Unauthorized system access on private information.
- Privacy violation.
- Hampering system operation.
- Denial of service attacks.
- Malicious attack on the system.
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