Ready to Start Your Career?

Top Hacking Tools For Cybersecurity

Shimon Brathwaite's profile image

By: Shimon Brathwaite

September 29, 2021

Cybersecurity professionals need to know many different things. For ethical hacking, several industry-standard tools have proven to be most effective. Especially as a beginner, when one’s programming skills aren’t highly developed, it helps to rely on pre-made software tools to find vulnerabilities and perform security assessments. Here I’ve provided a list of the top hacking tools one should learn to be an effective, ethical hacker. Most of these tools can be found in Kali Linux, a Linux distribution with several security tools pre-installed.

Nessus

Nessus is one of the premier vulnerability scanners used in cybersecurity. One can put in the website name or IP address to target, and this tool will examine the target and then provide a detailed list of the vulnerabilities associated with that target. Nessus also ranks these vulnerabilities according to severity and provides a detailed description of each finding that explains what it can do and how to correct it. Nessus is often used commercially by consultants and can perform a vulnerability scan without much need for intervention by the penetration tester.

Nmap

Nmap is the most popular port scanner in cybersecurity. A port scanner can examine a machine and see what ports are open and what services are running on the machine. This way, the tester can see the best way to attack the machine. There is also a python library called nmap that has all the same functionality as the tool used in your computer scripts.

Metasploit

Metasploit is another important tool that is used for active exploitation. Metasploit allows one to create custom payloads that exploit different vulnerabilities in a machine. It’s considered one of the most diverse and well-rounded security tools. In addition to creating payloads, it can be used for port scanning, OS fingerprinting, and import pre-made exploits, to name a few.

Wireshark

Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. A data packet is the smallest unit in which data is sent over a computer network. A packet analyzer allows one to intercept these data packets and then analyze them to see what information is being sent. This analysis is important to test a company’s overall security when it comes to network communications by seeing how easy it is for someone to eavesdrop on its communications. It is also important if one needs to perform an investigation of the company network.

__Burp Suite __

Burp Suite is the best ethical hacking tool for exploiting web applications. It allows interception of HTTP requests, mapping the file directories of an application/website, editing HTTP requests (POST, GET, etc.), and many other utilities that help hack web applications. It also has a feature that scans web applications to find vulnerabilities, making it the first and only vulnerability scanner on this list tailored specifically for web applications.

Exploit-db

Exploit-db is a database containing many scripts for exploiting known vulnerabilities that are free to download. Here you can search for vulnerabilities based on the software name and version and download a ready-made exploit. In addition to the exploit, it usually comes with instructions that guide the tester on customizing the script for specific purposes. This is a great way to speed up the exploitation process by leveraging other people’s work rather than personally creating an exploit.

Conclusion

Using the right hacking tools will significantly reduce the time spent working, increase the findings during any given security assessment, and give clients more confidence in the results. Employers and clients tend to have more confidence in findings that use industry-standard tools rather than just one’s favorite techniques. To build out a successful career, master these tools and others that may become prominent in the next few years.

Schedule Demo
Build your Cybersecurity or IT Career
Accelerate in your role, earn new certifications, and develop cutting-edge skills using the fastest growing catalog in the industry