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Top Kali Linux Tools For Ethical Hacking

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By: Shimon Brathwaite

July 21, 2021

Kali Linux is one of the best Linux distributions for ethical hacking. The fact that it is open-source and accessible to users is a big reason. Still, the major draw is that Kali Linux comes pre-installed with all of the hacking tools a professional cybersecurity needs. Kali Linux makes this easy by preparing most of the top software applications in one convenient package. Here are some of the top Kali Linux tools used for ethical hacking:


The vast majority of penetration tests begin with a Nmap scan; it is one of the most routine elements of a penetration test and something any penetration tester should be comfortable doing. Nmap is a port scanner. This means it can scan a system and tell you what ports are open on the machine and its services. This is important because the open ports will tell you a lot about the machine and dictate how you can approach your assessment. All of this can be done if you have URLs or IP addresses of the machine you want to scan. Nmap is one of the simplest yet most effective tools you will find in Kali Linux.


Metasploit is one of the most diverse tools in Kali Linux. While Nmap focuses more on the information gathering/reconnaissance part of the penetration test, Metasploit focuses on the exploitation aspect. Once you have figured out what vulnerability you want to target on a system, it can be used to exploit that vulnerability and give you access to the computer remotely. The tool can do this in multiple ways, but some of its most commonly used features are to import scripts from sources like exploit-DB and use them to exploit the systems. You can also create custom payloads (scripts) from scratch if you want them to do something very specific. Kali Linux provides a free version of Metasploit, but a professional version is available for purchase if you want more advanced features.

Burp Suite

Burp Suite is another tool that is primarily used for exploitation, similar to Metasploit. However, the biggest difference in their usage is that Burp Suite is mostly used for web applications. It is known as an application security testing software, so if you're ever doing a penetration test for a client's website, this is something you want to consider using. This vulnerability finder tool allows you to edit HTTP headers, intercept traffic and map the target. It also comes equipped with a fuzzer that can be used for brute force or dictionary attacks, a repeater for sending user requests with modifications, and a decoder for encoding like URL, HTML, Base64, Hex, etc. These are only some tools included in Burp Suite. For a more extensive list of its features, you can find it here. It has a community edition and a professional edition that comes with more features.


Kali Linux is a free, open-source Linux distribution that comes equipped with all of the security tools you need to be a successful computer hacker. In addition to the three tools discussed in this article, It comes with several other useful tools, and you can install any of the tools you like. Kali Linux is by far the most popular distribution for ethical hacking, rivaled only slightly by parrot OS, another popular Linux distribution. It is the industry standard, and if you're interested in making a career out of hacking computers, it is almost essential that you get familiar with this platform.

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