5 Top Tools for Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking

19 Dec 2016     Sonya Morrison

From security engineers to hackers and geeks, there are some tools for ethical hacking and penetration testing that they are absolutely fond of. We did some research for you, and here are the best 5 that we have come up with. Each of these tools is highly expedient once you have gotten an idea of how to use it. Numerous resources including training guides and courses are available online to help you get the best of these tools.

Metasploit Penetration Testing Software

  • Purpose: Vulnerability Exploitation
  • Availability: Free / Paid
  • Description:

    Metasploit has a bunch of tools and frameworks for hacking, and is highly popular among professional testers as well as ethical hackers. It provides the user with a comprehensive database comprising essentials of security-related vulnerability, and aids in planning penetration and IDS tests. This system security project executes codes to exploit machines for carrying out different tasks. A number of books and other tools are available for helping users get their hands adept in exploiting this tool.

Nmap Network Mapper

  • Purpose: Port Scanning and Network Mapping
  • Availability: Free
  • Description:

    This open-source hacking tool is the best for detecting networks and auditing them for security. Its uses include discovering open ports, management of schedules for upgrading service, and monitoring uptime for service as well as host. This innovative tool employs raw packets in exploring a network for available hosts, finding the application version and name of their services, scanning fingerprints for deriving the operating systems, and obtaining information about the firewalls or filters that they have along with the version. The main reason why this tool is so popular is its ability to identify the need of patching in a network or its nodes. Zenmap, Nmap’s user-interface version, is advised to be shifted to once the user is adept in using Nmap.

Nikto Website Vulnerability Scanner

  • Purpose: Web Server Penetration Testing
  • Availability: Free
  • Description:

    This tool, popular among penetration testers, is an open-source web-scanning product of NetSparker. It explores through software for dangers by checking against an enormous database of 6,800 programs and files. It also, of course, carries out the general task of detecting version issues from a database of 275 servers, and unpatched servers from among 1,300. Another notable plus point in this tool is its ability to identify configuration components like options in HTTP servers, installed web applications and servers, multiple index files, etc. White box testing is the most inviting domain for Nikto because of its compatibility with most IDS tools.


  • Purpose: Wireless Network and Intrusion Detection
  • Availability: Free
  • Description:

    This tool effectively sniffs layer 2 WiFi networks including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. The chief reason that professionals use this tool is for troubleshooting WiFi. Any WiFi consisting of rfmon mode will smoothly support it. Some platforms for which Kismet is available are Windows, OS X, Linux and BSD. It uses the technique of passive accumulation of packets in order to get information regarding not just standard, but also hidden networks. This open source software is applicable for the most recent standards in wireless IDS and incorporates a client-server architecture.


  • Purpose: Network Vulnerability Scanner
  • Availability: Free / Paid
  • Description:

    Introduced by Tenable Network Security, Nessus is one of the best tools available for free for home users. It is designed specifically for the identification and resolution of known issues in time, before they are illegitimately taken advantage of. With a client-server framework, this powerful tool is highly flexible in penetration testing. While the server carries out the penetration tests on the network, the client systems furnish it with features of reporting and configuration.

Ethical Hacking is a growing domain which will increase with increase in the digitized world. Ethical hacking is an extremely specialized and revered work domain in which individuals can make tremendous careers. Ethical hacking is here to stay and will not leave in decades to come.

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