“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six of them sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
The above saying is a constant reminder that approaching a problem with the right set of tools is critical for success. In today’s ever-evolving digital world, having the right hacking tools will help you find and exploit weaknesses in networks, and prevent unauthorized access to important data. It is important to think with the mind of the hacker in order to know the tools that they use. Penetration testing is now a common practice to identify the level of security.
- Metasploit is an open-source penetration testing tool, which allows you to locate vulnerabilities on different platforms. Considered as one of the best hacker software tools, it is used by ethical hackers and cybersecurity professionals, as it allows them to perform several tasks. It helps security teams by providing them with information about vulnerabilities, strategies, and methods for exploitation. It is compatible with all major platforms including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It offers two options: the free and commercial option. It also integrates with Nmap.
- Nmap stands for Network Mapper and it is a free and open-source network scanner. It is suitable for both beginners, because it is easy to use, and experienced users, as it offers advanced features. This tool has been primarily designed to scan large networks. However, it works great for scanning single hosts too. It also has many other characteristics, as it is used by security professionals to manage the schedule of service upgrade, network inventory, monitor host, or service uptime, etc. Nmap supports all main computer operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Wireshark is considered as one of the most important network security tools, used to monitor traffic in real-time, and then it displays these data in a format that is readable for the user (you can export the data in different formats). It can execute a profound analysis of many internet protocols. If you are planning to become a penetration tester, this tool is a must. There are a lot of online learning resources that can help you familiarize yourself with Wireshark. This tool is free and supports operating systems such as Windows and Linux.
- Burp Suite is an integrated platform that has tools to perform penetration testing of web applications. It can identify over 3000 web application vulnerabilities. It is very popular due to its ease of use and is considered “a one-in-all” set of tools. You can extend the capabilities of this tool, by installing additional extensions through the store called BApp. It helps identify vulnerabilities and verify attack vectors that are affecting web applications. As a community edition, Burp Suite is available for free; however, the Professional edition costs $399/year per user and the Enterprise edition costs $3,999 per year. Supported operating systems by Burp Suite include Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Hackers today are capable of compromising your network and stealing valuable information. This is why organizations need to take proactive measures. Employing an ethical hacker is an investment that organizations cannot miss, in order to “fight” against the growing threat of IT security.
Today’s system automation is changing the way how ethical hacking is done — now is it easier and faster. By doing this, you will be able to increase the security of your systems. The above list of ethical hacking tools is not conclusive; however, these are the most recommended tools. This will also depend on the user’s preferences.