Introduction to Ethical Hacking Tools: A complete guide

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Photo by Hacker Noon on Unsplash


We can see the growth of technology everywhere today. With this growth, the range of technological problems has also expanded. And, hacking is the only option to avoid these problems. Ethical hacking is a way for unknown sources to escape attacks. In this sense, ethical hacking training helps a lot. To safeguard confidential information inside the system and networks, these techniques are extremely useful.

An ethical hacker uses ethical hacking techniques to solve threats and malware by looking for the system’s weak points. In hacking, some different instruments and techniques are used to support this action. Also, to protect our systems and data, we can use some tools. These tools are termed as Ethical Hacking Tools.

Tools and strategies for ethical hacking are the ultimate products used for the safety and security of different systems.

Having said that, let’s dive a bit deeper to understand what ethical hacking means and what are the popular hacking tools available in the market that can help us safeguard our systems from cyber attacks.

What is ethical hacking?

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Ethical Hacking is an accepted system security bypass practice to detect possible data breaches and threats in a network. To verify the system’s protections, the corporation that owns the system or network, licenses cybersecurity engineers to conduct those activities. Thus this phase is designed, authorized, and more importantly, legal, unlike malicious hacking.

Ethical hackers try to analyze the device or network for weak points that can be abused or damaged by malicious hackers. They collect and analyze the data to find ways to enhance system/network/application protection. They can strengthen the safety footprint by doing so and this can help the system withstand or divert attacks.

What are ethical hacking tools?

Software applications and scripts that help you discover and manipulate vulnerabilities in computer systems, web apps, servers, and networks are called hacking tools. These tools are extremely easy to download and can be easily used by anyone. Some of them are open source, and others are industry alternatives. Simply put, ethical hacking tools allow you to check, search, and discover any company’s software vulnerabilities to help make their systems and applications safer.

Top 12 Ethical Hacking Tools

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Photo by Shamsudeen Adedokun on Unsplash

To lead you through the first steps of a security study, we’ve gathered some of the most common ethical hacking tools. You’ll see some of the iconic tools that seem to have been around forever and some modern tools that may not be familiar. So, let’s get started!

1. Nmap (Network Mapper)

A common technique in ethical hacking, which is used in port scanning, is the finest hacking technique ever. Nmap works on the same strategy. It was originally a command-line tool, then it was built for Linux or Unix-based operating systems, and finally, the Windows version of Nmap is now available.

Basically, Nmap is a network security mapper capable of discovering network services and hosts, thereby generating a network map. This software includes many features that assist in computer network inspection, host discovery, as well as operating system detection. As an extensible script, it offers advanced identification of vulnerabilities and can also adjust to network conditions, such as congestion and scanning latency.

2. Kismet

This is considered the best ethical hacking tool for wireless network research and wireless LAN or wardrive hacking. With the assistance of data traffic, it passively recognizes networks and gathers packets, and detects non-beaconing and secret networks.

Kismet is essentially a wireless network and sniffer detector that interacts with other wireless cards and supports the mode of raw monitoring.

Kismet runs on a Linux OS that can be Ubuntu, backtrack, or more and is sometimes also applied to Windows.

3. Nikto

Nikto is a web scanner that is capable of scanning and checking various web servers to detect obsolete applications, unsafe files or CGIs, and other issues. By collecting the obtained cookies, it is capable of performing server-specific as well as generic checks and prints. It is a free open-source application that tests version-specific issues across 270 servers and recognizes files and default programs.

Some of Nikto’s key features include monitoring web servers and finding over 6400 potentially hazardous CGIs or data, checking plug-ins and misconfigured files, and checking servers for obsolete versions and version-specific issues.

4. NetStumbler

NetStumbler, as a hacking tool, prevents wardriving, which operates on windows-based operating systems. It is also competent in identifying networks of IEEE 902.11g, 802, and 802.11b.

NetStumbler is used as an ethical hacking tool to classify network configuration for AP (Access Point), access signal frequency, detect unauthorized access points, and find sources of interference.

5. Nessus

On the list, the next ethical hacking tool is Nessus. Nessus is the most well-known vulnerability scanner in the world, which has been developed with sustainable network protection in mind. It is free and recommended mainly for non-enterprise use. On any given device, this network-vulnerability scanner detects critical bugs effectively.

The following vulnerabilities are observable by Nessus:

6. Acunetix

Acunetix is a completely automated solution for ethical hacking that mimics a hacker to prevent malicious intruders one step ahead. The security scanner for web applications reliably scans HTML5, JavaScript, and single-page applications. Using Acunetix, complex, authenticated web apps can be audited and compliance and management reports on a wide variety of web and network vulnerabilities that are troublesome can be identified.

7. Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a generic framework commonly used to conduct web application security testing. It has different tools that work together to help the entire testing process from initial mapping and review of the attack surface of an application to detection and exploitation of security vulnerabilities.

Burp is quick to use and gives total power to the administrators to combine advanced manual techniques with automation for successful testing. It is simple to customize Burp and it provides features to support even the most seasoned testers with their work.

8. EtherPeek

EtherPeek is a powerful tool that provides easy network analysis in a multiprotocol, heterogeneous network environment. It is a small tool and can be mounted easily (less than 2 MB) in a matter of minutes. EtherPeek sniffs traffic packets proactively on a network and also provides protocols including AppleTalk, IP, IP ARP, NetWare, UDP, NetBEUI. TCP and NBT packets.

9. WebInspect

WebInspect is a powerful network application security and evaluation tool that helps detect known and unknown vulnerabilities within the Web application layer. It also helps to verify whether a Web server is properly configured and helps detect common web attacks such as injection of parameters, cross-site scripting, directory traversal, and more.

10. ToneLoc

Tone Locator, abbreviated as ToneLoc, is a popular ethical hacking tool. In the early 1990s, it was a common war dialing (a method of automatically searching a list of telephone numbers using a modem, usually dialing every number in a local area code) computer program written for MS-DOS.

Using war dialing, the resulting lists are used by malicious hackers to breach computer security — to guest user accounts or find modems that could provide an entry point into computers or other electronic networks. Security staff may use it to identify unauthorized devices on the telephone network of a corporation.

11. AngryIP Scanner

The Angry IP scanner is a cross-platform, lightweight IP address and port scanner. It can search for any number of IP addresses It uses a multithreaded approach to increase the scanning speed of IP addresses. Also, during this scanning, a separate scanning thread is produced for each scanned IP address.

To verify if the address is alive, Angry IP Scanner directly pings each IP address and then determines its hostname, decides the MAC address, scans ports, etc. You can save the sum of data collected for each host to a list of TXT, XML, CSV, or IP-Port files. The Angry IP Scanner can collect some information about scanned IPs with the aid of plugins.

12. QualysGuard

QualysGuard is an integrated tool suite that can be used to simplify security operations and reduce compliance costs. It offers essential on-demand security information and automates the entire audit, enforcement, and security continuum for IT systems and web applications.

QualysGuard provides a series of resources that your global network can track, identify, and defend.


The first documented hacking case took place at MIT in 1960 and the word “Hacker” emerged at the same time. Therefore, we can say that, for almost a half-century, hacking has been a part of computing, and it is a very diverse system that incorporates a broad category of subjects.

In today’s world, cybersecurity among many companies has become a trending subject of rising interest. The position of ethical hackers has become increasingly relevant across all industries, with malicious hackers finding newer ways to penetrate network defenses almost every day. For cybersecurity professionals, it has created a multitude of opportunities and encouraged people to take up ethical hacking as their career.

Therefore, to increase our cyber knowledge, we learned what hacking means and what are the ethical hacking tools available in the market.

What do you think about this? Do you think we missed some ethical hacking tools? Let us know in the comments!

Writer | Engineer

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