Firms need to constantly conduct ethical hacking to combat the increasing threat to IT security. Ethical hacking helps identify vulnerabilities, understand the system’s security posture, and mitigate the risks.
Ethical hackers present a maturity scorecard highlighting the overall risk, vulnerabilities, and suggestions to improve. The goal is to ensure data privacy and eliminate potential threats.
Here are the top 10 ethical hacking tools:
Canvas by Immunity offers more than 800 exploits for testing remote networks. It provides a reliable development framework for pen testers and security professionals. The tool allows companies to take snapshots of remote systems, download passwords, and modify files.
The solution allows ethical hackers to write new exploits. Moreover, it integrates with other programs for port scanning over mid to large networks. Canvas supports Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Wireshark is a free and open-source solution with a solid GUI. It allows companies to assess network traffic in real time. Its sniffing technology enables it to detect network security issues and help address general networking problems.
With the help of network sniffing, ethical hackers can intercept and read results in a human-readable format. It makes it simple to determine potential threats and vulnerabilities. The tool offers rich VoIP analysis and helps inspect and decompress gzip files. Wireshark efficiently reads other capture file formats like Sniffer Pro, Cisco Secure IDS IPlog, and tcpdump Microsoft network monitor.
Moreover, it exports results to plain text, CSV, Postscript, and XML. The tool supports up to 2000 network protocols and is compatible with Linux, Windows, and MacOSX. But, the tool cannot send, generate, or alter the packets. It is time-consuming and cannot manipulate data or objects on the network.
Written in Ruby, Metasploit is an open-source pen-testing framework. It is a public resource for developing code and researching weaknesses. The tools allow users to break into their network to determine security risks and document the defects.
Metasploit allows firms to replicate websites for phishing and other social engineering approaches. It offers security tools to evade detection systems, run scans, and execute remote attacks. Moreover, it helps enumerate networks and hosts. It supports Linux, Windows, and MacOSX. However, as the tool is Command Line Interface (CLI) driven, it has a restricted GUI-based utility.
4. John the Ripper (JTR)
JTR is an open-source, multi-platform tool. It is available for Mac, Linux, Windows, and Android. It tests the password strength and effectively cracks them. The tool actively auto-detects the type of encryption used in any password and alters its password test algorithm.
The solution uses brute force tech to decipher passwords and algorithms like DES, MD5, Blowfish, and Kerberos AFS. It can decode Hash LM, used in Windows NT / 2000 / XP / 2003, and MD4, LDAP, and MySQL (with third-party modules).
Nmap is a security and port scanner and a powerful exploration tool. The free, open-source tool supports cross-platform. Companies can use it for network inventory, monitoring host and service uptime, and managing service upgrade schedules.
It works for a single host and large networks. Moreover, it offers binary packages for MacOSX, Linux, and Windows. The Nmap suite has-
- Nact- It is a data transfer, debugging, and redirection tool
- Ndiff- It scans results comparing utility
- Nping-Packet generation and response analysis tool
- Nping- It is a results and GUI viewer
- Nmap uses IP packets to find hosts on the network, their operating systems, and the hosts’ packet filters.
Intruder is a fully automated scanner that detects, explains weaknesses, and suggests remediation. With over 9000 security checks, the tool is ideal for enterprise-grade vulnerability scanning for firms of all sizes.
The platform identifies misconfigurations, missing patches, and web application issues like cross-site scripting and SQL injection.
Intruder saves time by prioritizing results as per the context. Moreover, it integrates with Slack and Jira, key cloud developers. However, the internal agent distribution process is largely manual. It cannot track deeper into the target file system for vulnerable data.
7. Burp Suite
Burp Suite offers a web vulnerability scanner and advanced manual tools. The platform provides many features for web application security. Burp Suite is available in three editions- community, enterprise, and professional.
The community version offers essential manual tools, while paid versions have more features like web vulnerability scanners. The tool allows companies to schedule and repeat the scan. Burp Suite scans for generic weaknesses and uses out-of-band techniques (OAST).
Moreover, it gives detailed customs advisory for the report vulnerabilities and offers CI integration. However, firms need to update the plugins without network connectivity manually.
Aircrack-Ng is an ethical hacking tool to crack WEP and WPA-PSK in Windows. It also helps assess Wi-Fi network security. The solution runs on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Open/Free/Net BSD, and Solaris.
It aims at numerous aspects of Wi-Fi security, like monitoring, attacking, testing, and cracking. As every tool is command line-based, heavy scripting is possible.
Aircrack-Ng comes with a pre-installed Kali Linux and easily breaks wireless network encryption. Also, the tool can easily capture and export data packets. But, it has no GUI, and its WPA-TKP utilities lack efficiency.
Tanable’s Nessus is a remote security and vulnerability scanning tool. Companies can use it for penetration testing engagements and vulnerability testing assessments. The tool conducts real-time evaluations to determine and resolve weaknesses across systems rapidly.
Nessus is ideal for admins who manage internet-connected computers. It helps them keep their domains free of the easy network flaws that viruses and hackers try to exploit. The tool uses a port scanner to check the security of the web. It uses a vulnerability editor that allows one to create or modify their customer exploit attacks.
Acunetix is a web app security testing tool. It helps network admins and web developers secure servers and apps. The tool performs a website security audit by running a series of attacks against it. It offers clear reports of discovered vulnerabilities and suggests remediation to fix them.
Acunetix allows white hat hackers to create a target website that can be divided into subcategories. With a combination of DAST and IAST, it can detect more than 7000 vulnerabilities. It supports importing state files from other well-known application testing tools.
However, the tool does not support multiple endpoints. Modern apps have authentication challenges when using services and apps with different URLs.
Firms constantly need to conduct ethical hacking to combat the increasing threat to IT security. Ethical hacking helps identify vulnerabilities, understand the system’s security posture, and mitigate the risks. Ethical hackers present a maturity scorecard highlighting the overall risk and vulnerabilities and suggestions for improvement. The end goal is to ensure data privacy and eliminate potential threats.