Ethical hacking is a territory less explored! The idea of breaking into a system to keep your and others’ system secure is noble. If you too are looking for getting a headstart, this is the guide for you. We have compiled a list of the best ethical hacking tools and software that will be helpful in your learning journey.
Best Ethical Hacking Tools and Software
We have listed the best tools for hacking for Windows and Linux in this article. These hacking tools will help you in conducting security research that can be beneficial for you and your organization. Go ahead and download the best hacking tool which suits your requirements.
Note: We do not endorse or promote any illegal activities associated with these applications. Instead, our aim is to provide valuable insights into the best hacking software for beginners.
Metasploit stands as one of the most exceptional hacking tools available for your PC download. The framework’s cross-platform support ensures seamless compatibility across Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows systems. Whether you’re an experienced security expert or a novice honing ethical hacking skills, Metasploit empowers users with a powerful toolset for conducting penetration testing and thorough security assessments.
- Open-source pen-testing framework, implemented in Ruby.
- Pivotal in recognizing and exploiting security vulnerabilities.
- Enables evasion of detection systems and executes comprehensive security vulnerability scans.
- Facilitates remote attacks and effective network enumeration.
- Ideal for ethical hacking practices and the development of security testing tools.
- Provides capability for website replication, aiding in phishing and social engineering simulations.
Nmap stands out as one of the finest hacking tools available for PC download, especially during the reconnaissance phase of ethical hacking. As a powerful network security mapper, Nmap excels in discovering services and hosts within a network, enabling the creation of comprehensive network maps.
- Capable of probing computer networks, host discovery, and OS detection.
- Script extensibility allows advanced vulnerability detection and adaptation to network conditions.
- Acts as a security scanner, port scanner, and network exploration tool.
- Supports cross-platform operation on Mac, Linux, and Windows.
- Ideal for network inventory, monitoring, and vulnerability assessment.
Also Read: 16 Best Hacking Websites for Free
3. Acunetix WVS
- Fully automated ethical hacking tool for web application security testing.
- Integrates scanner results into other platforms and tools for a comprehensive view.
- Prioritizes risks based on data through a consolidated view.
- Offers advanced Vulnerability Management features.
- Scalable and fast, capable of crawling hundreds of thousands of pages without interruptions.
- Integrates with popular WAFs and Issue Trackers to aid in the SDLC.
- Available as both an On-Premises and Cloud solution for convenience.
Wireshark is undoubtedly one of the best hacking software for beginners if you need to analyze data packets and perform deep inspections of various protocols. This powerful packet analyzer offers live captures and offline analysis, allowing you to identify and address security issues and general networking problems effectively. Wireshark is a versatile and indispensable tool for anyone involved in network analysis and security assessment.
- Cross-platform support on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
- Enables exporting analysis results to various file formats such as XML, PostScript, CSV, and Plaintext.
- User-friendly GUI and TTY-mode TShark utility for browsing captured network data.
- Decodes gzip files on the fly and decrypt various protocols like IPsec, ISAKMP, SSL/TLS, etc.
- Supports up to 2000 different network protocols for extensive network analysis.
- Available for free as open-source software.
Nessus offers a powerful and widely recognized vulnerability scanner. Developed by Tenable Network Security, Nessus efficiently detects critical bugs and vulnerabilities on various systems.
- Detects unpatched services, misconfigurations, and weak passwords (default and common).
- Performs remote vulnerability scanning, password dictionary attacks, and denial of service attacks.
- It supports a variety of platforms such as Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, and popular Linux distros such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Kali Linux, etc.
- Nessus serves various user types with different editions like Nessus Home, Nessus Professional, Nessus Manager, and Nessus Cloud.
Maltego is undeniably one of the best hacking software for beginners if you need a powerful tool dedicated to link analysis and data mining. It offers multiple versions to suit different needs, from the free Community edition to the advanced Maltego XL. Whether you are a security professional or an ethical hacker, Maltego provides valuable insights into network weaknesses and abnormalities, making it an invaluable tool for analyzing and visualizing complex data.
- Supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, catering to different operating systems.
- Performs real-time information gathering and data mining.
- Presents data in graphical formats, making it easy to read and interpret.
- Library of transforms for data discovery from open sources.
Intruder is a highly recommended hacking tool, especially for companies of all sizes. As a fully automated scanner, it excels at finding cybersecurity weaknesses in your digital estate and providing insights on risk assessment and remediation.
- Offers over 9,000 security checks, making enterprise-grade scanning accessible to all.
- Identifies missing patches, misconfigurations, and common web app issues.
- Integrates with Slack, Jira, and major cloud providers for seamless collaboration.
- A valuable tool for companies seeking efficient and comprehensive vulnerability scanning to enhance their cybersecurity posture.
John the Ripper is one of the best tools for hacking for Windows and Linux, especially for password cracking. This open-source tool is highly effective in detecting weak UNIX passwords and can be utilized on Windows, DOS, and Open VMS.
- Performs dictionary attacks and tests various encrypted passwords.
- Utilizes brute force technology to decipher passwords and various algorithms.
- Auto-detects encryption type for intelligent password testing.
Also Read: What is Ethical Hacking?
Invicti is undoubtedly a great hacking tool, especially for web application security scanning. This web application security scanner is equipped with unique Proof-Based Scanning Technology, ensuring dead accurate vulnerability detection, including SQL Injection and Cross-site Scripting in web applications and APIs.
- Requires minimal configuration for user-friendliness and efficiency.
- Seamless integration with SDLC, bug tracking systems, etc., through REST API.
- Capable of identifying URL rewrite rules and custom 404 error pages.
- Fully scalable solution, scanning up to 1,000 web applications within 24 hours.
- Available as both Windows software and online SAAS solution for flexibility and convenience.
CANVAS by Immunity is a powerful and comprehensive ethical hacking tool that offers a wide range of exploits and an automated exploitation system for penetration testers and security professionals. With over 800 exploits available, it provides robust and reliable exploit development capabilities.
- Enables users to take screenshots and download passwords from remote systems.
- Allows modification of files and escalation of privileges for administrator access.
- Integrates an alternative to Nmap called scanand for efficient port scanning in mid to large networks.
- Supports custom exploit development and a shellcode generator for enhanced flexibility.
Aircrack-ng is undoubtedly one of the best hacking tools to download for your PC, especially for assessing and securing Wi-Fi network security. This versatile tool offers a range of command-line utilities dedicated to activities like attacking, monitoring, testing, and cracking Wi-Fi networks. Aircrack-ng supports multiple platforms, including Windows, OS X, Linux, Free BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, and eComStation 2, making it widely accessible to ethical hackers.
- Performs WEP and WPA2-PSK key cracking using FMS attacks, PTW attacks, and dictionary attacks.
- Allows exporting data to text files for convenient analysis and reporting.
- Checks Wi-Fi cards and driver capabilities for compatibility and optimization.
- Ideal for monitoring Wi-Fi security, performing replay attacks, and detecting fake access points.
- Trustable and widely recognized ethical hacking tool in the market.
Also Read: 20 Best WiFi Hacking Tools for PC
Wapiti is a powerful and free web application vulnerability scanner that helps identify security weaknesses in web applications. Its automatic detection feature scans for various vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and more.
- Automatic detection of web application vulnerabilities.
- Manual testing features for in-depth analysis.
- Comprehensive reporting of security issues.
- Integration capabilities with other security tools.
- Targets various vulnerabilities, including XSS, SQL injection, and more.
13. Angry IP Scanner
Angry IP Scanner (ipscan) is a great choice as hacking software if you need a fast and user-friendly network scanner. As an open-source and cross-platform tool, it efficiently scans IP addresses and ports, making it popular among network administrators, enterprises, banks, and government agencies worldwide.
- Supports IP range, random IPs, or files in different formats for scanning.
- Provides an extensible interface with multiple data fetchers for enhanced functionality.
- Over 29 million downloads, testifying to its popularity and reliability.
- Requires no installation, making it a hassle-free hacking tool for PC users.
Ettercap is a wonderful hacking tool if you need a powerful network security tool for man-in-the-middle attacks on a LAN. As a free and open-source tool, Ettercap offers a wide range of features, including sniffing live connections, content filtering on the fly, and active and passive dissection of multiple protocols.
- Enables network and host analysis for enhanced security auditing.
- Capable of conducting man-in-the-middle attacks, password sniffing, and web traffic interception.
- Supports DNS spoofing, ARP poisoning, and SSH/HTTPS tunneling for advanced penetration testing.
- A versatile and essential tool for ethical hackers and security professionals.
Also Read: 15 Best WiFi Hacking Apps For Android (2023)
NetStumbler is a great hacking tool, especially if you need a reliable wireless network scanner for Windows. As a free and open-source tool, NetStumbler allows scanning and displaying information about wireless networks in the area, including network names, SSIDs, channels, and encryption types.
- Supports 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g WLANs for efficient detection.
- Capable of detecting rogue access points for enhanced security assessment.
- Integrated support for a GPS unit, providing comprehensive network analysis and tracking.
- Ideal for verifying network configurations, locating areas with poor coverage, and detecting wireless interference.
- A valuable tool for security professionals and hobbyists interested in wireless network scanning and analysis.
sqlmap is one of the best hacking software for beginners if you need a powerful penetration testing tool for detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws in various database management systems. As an open-source tool, sqlmap offers full support for a wide range of database systems, including MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and many more.
- Supports direct database connection without passing via SQL injection by providing credentials and server details.
- Allows enumeration of users, password hashes, privileges, databases, tables, and columns.
- Automatic recognition of password hash formats and support for dictionary-based cracking.
- Provides the ability to dump database tables, search for specific data, and download/upload files.
- Supports out-of-band stateful TCP connections, enabling interactive command prompts or Meterpreter sessions.
OpenVAS is undoubtedly one of the best hacking tools to download for your PC if you need a comprehensive vulnerability scanner. Developed and driven forward by Greenbone since 2006, OpenVAS is a full-featured tool that can perform both unauthenticated and authenticated testing, making it highly effective in identifying vulnerabilities.
- Includes a powerful internal programming language for customizable vulnerability tests.
- Obtains vulnerability tests from a feed with a long history and daily updates.
- Part of the Greenbone Community Edition, along with other open-source modules.
- A powerful and reliable tool for security professionals and ethical hackers seeking to identify and address vulnerabilities in their systems.
SQLNinja is a powerful and specialized ethical hacking tool designed to exploit SQL Injection vulnerabilities on web applications that use Microsoft SQL Server as their backend database. Its primary objective is to provide remote access to the vulnerable DB server, even in hostile environments.
- Automates the process of taking over a DB server when a SQL Injection vulnerability is found.
- Tests database schema and fingerprints remote databases for assessment.
- Performs brute force attacks using word lists for penetration testing.
- Supports direct shell and reverse shell access for versatile exploitation.
SolarWinds offers a top-notch security information and event management (SIEM) solution to improve your security posture and demonstrate compliance effectively. With centralized log collection and normalization, it ensures comprehensive monitoring and threat detection.
- Centralized log collection and normalization for comprehensive monitoring.
- Intuitive dashboard and user interface for a user-friendly experience.
- Built-in file integrity monitoring to enhance security measures.
- Simple and affordable licensing for a cost-effective solution.
- A lightweight and ready-to-use SIEM solution to improve security and compliance, making it an essential hacking tool for your PC.
20. Burp Suite
Burp Suite is undoubtedly one of the best hacking tools to download for your PC, particularly for web application security testing. With three distinct editions available, including the free Community edition, it caters to different needs and budgets. Burp Suite excels as a web vulnerability scanner, offering advanced and essential manual tools for security testing.
- Available in three editions: Community (free), Professional (starting at $399 per user/per year), and Enterprise (starting at $3999/year).
- Offers scan scheduling and repeating for efficient security testing.
- Utilizes out-of-band techniques (OAST) for accurate vulnerability detection.
- Provides detailed custom advisories for reported vulnerabilities and CI integration.
- Capable of detecting over 3000 web application vulnerabilities for comprehensive scanning.
- Suitable for both beginners and experienced manual testers, offering cutting-edge scanning logic. 14. Superscan 4.0
Nikto is undeniably one of the best hacking tools to download for your PC, especially for web server scanning and vulnerability testing. As an open-source tool, Nikto is capable of identifying over 6700 potentially dangerous files and checks for outdated versions and version-specific problems on web servers.
- Supports various file formats for report saving, including text, XML, HTML, NBE, and CSV.
- Full HTTP proxy support for versatile scanning capabilities.
- Can be used on systems with basic Perl installation, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX.
- Capable of executing dictionary-based brute force attacks for comprehensive testing.
- Exports result in plain text, CSV, or HTML files for easy analysis and reporting.
Also Read: 16 Best Game Hacking Apps for Android
Kismet stands as one of the best ethical hacking tools to download for your PC, especially for testing wireless networks, hacking wireless LANs, or wardriving. This versatile tool acts as a sniffer and wireless network detector, passively identifying networks, collecting packets, and detecting non-beaconing and hidden networks through data traffic analysis.
- Passively identifies networks and collects packets, detecting hidden networks through data traffic analysis.
- Supports raw monitoring mode with various wireless cards.
- Works with 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n traffic.
- Compatible with Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS X, and offers a client for Microsoft Windows.
- This hacking tool is completely free to use.
Navigating the realm of ethical hacking can be an exhilarating journey, especially for beginners looking to sharpen their cybersecurity skills. Throughout this tech blog, we have highlighted the best hacking software for beginners, emphasizing their legal and responsible use. As you embark on your ethical hacking endeavors, always uphold the principles of legality, ethics, and integrity. Stay curious, stay responsible, and keep exploring the dynamic world of cybersecurity.