The 11 Most Popular Ethical Hacking Software Options in 2021

Are you out of the loop when it comes to what the best ethical hacking tools are in 2021?

The mere mention of hacking might conjure images of breaking into government department websites or eliminating your credit card debt with a financial institution.

But that’s not what ethical hacking is about at all.

Ethical hacking is about testing the defenses of a business or organization. Around the water cooler, it’s referred to as penetration testing. Ethical hacking tools can help determine if a company has any vulnerabilities or is exposed to hackers who are looking to cause chaos.

So what tools do ethical hackers need to stay ahead of the game? New tricks and techniques are getting developed every day to overthrow governments and organizations. However, if you can get your hands on these ethical hacking tools, then you’ll be the one that’s got the advantage.

How Do You Become an Ethical Hacker?

Anyone who uses their hacking tools as a defensive move is considered an ethical hacker. They utilize their skills and abilities to test security measures, identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited, document their findings, and propose solutions on how to improve infrastructures.

Companies that are always online need to perform penetration testing on a regular basis. It can get performed using automated hacking software. However, sometimes the best results come from ethical hackers who will test workarounds and get creative with overcoming security defenses.

Ethical hackers need to be fluent in a number of different programming languages. Some of the most common include:

·     HTML

·     PHP

·     SQL

·     Python

·     Bash

·     Ruby

·     Perl

·     C and C++

·     VBScript

·     Java

·     C Sharp

·     Visual Basic

There are certifications in ethical hacking that provide courses on these languages as well as the best web applications and tools to use to perform penetration testing. It can also help you in devising a strategy to prevent malicious hackers into the system.

What Are the Best Ethical Hacking Tools?

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your software or compare your existing tools against what’s out there, here are the best ethical hacking tools you should consider for your penetration testing needs.

1.    Acunetix

If you want an automated web application to do your ethical hacking for you, then it’s hard to look past Acunetix. It conducts audits on all of your web applications and looks for cross-site scripting issues, SQL injections, and anything else that could get exploited.

This hacking software can scan any websites or web applications that use a browser and an HTTP/HTTPS protocol. It can also check software using AJAX, Java, and even Web 2.0 applications. Many ethical hackers trust it for finding almost any file that shouldn’t exist in the code, so you should believe in it too.

2.    Kiuwan

This ethical hacking software is perfect if you need a web application to find and fix vulnerabilities during the development of a new site. It doesn’t matter what language you’re using. The hacking tool can integrate with your DevOps tools and IDE to provide you with instant feedback.

It also supports applications for mobile apps as well as desktop and web apps. Kiuwan can identify all sorts of vulnerabilities using the latest security standards such as CWE, OWASP, HIPPA, SANS 25, and many others.

Don’t wait until you’ve finished building your website to perform penetration testing. All this will do is cause a whole lot of rework. Instead, run Kiuwan and ensure you’re building your web applications the right way.

3.    Nmap

Do you need an ethical hacking tool that tests network exploitations, port scanning, and is also a web application security scanner? Then Nmap could be the open-source software you need to tick off these tasks and more.

Nmap comes with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS packages and can manage service upgrade schedules, monitor host and service uptime, and network inventory.

Perhaps the best part of this open-source ethical hacking tool is that it’s completely free. It’s also easy to use, which makes it perfect for brand new ethical hackers looking to test their skills.

4.    Metasploit

Another open-source ethical hacking tool is Metasploit. While it’s not free, you can try the web application for a couple of weeks as a trial to see if it meets your penetration testing needs.

The hacking tool is surprisingly easy to use and allows you to hack into your own network to discover security risks and prioritize what vulnerabilities need to get solved first. It even allows you to replicate websites to test for social engineering and phishing scams.

It’s one of the best hacking tools for anyone new to ethical hacking so they can hone their skills and practice penetration testing. You can use Metasploit for all your hacking needs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

5.    Wireshark

One of the best hacking tools that also happens to be free and open-source is Wireshark. This ethical hacking tool monitors and analyses your web traffic in real-time, courtesy of its patented sniffing technology.

It’s able to detect security issues in any network and can also solve connection problems. The web application intercepts concerns and provides them to you in a readable format so you can make a judgment call on if there is a threat or not.

No matter if you’re working on a Linux, Windows, or Mac device, Wireshark can support 2000 different types of network protocols as well as protect your network and web applications from anything fishy.

6.    Intruder

Some of the best ethical hacking tools are built by IT security professionals, as is the case with Intruder. It comes with over 9000 security checks and provides you with enterprise-grade vulnerability scanning no matter how large your business is.

Not only does this web application identify risks, but it provides you with recommendations on how to remediate them. It’s easy to use and understand that anyone within your organization will be able to decipher what needs to be done to resolve issues.

Intruder works with Jira, Slack, and many major cloud providers too. It’s the ultimate ethical hacking tool made by ethical hackers.

7.    Aircrack-Ng

There are security professionals and ethical hacking experts that prefer command-line tools instead of a pretty user interface. A command-line interface provides you with complete control over the hacking and penetration testing you want to conduct.

This ethical hacking tool specifically evaluates Wi-Fi network security. You’re able to test cards and drivers, hack WEP network keys, and perform attacks to see what results you get.

The only downside with a command-line interface is that you need to know what to type. If you’re an expert at password cracking through a series of codes, then this ethical hacking platform is the right one for you.

8.    Nikto from Kali Linux

Brought to you via the Kali Linux Distribution partners, Nikto is a favorite among the ethical hacking community. The web application security tool is capable of scanning servers as well as perform multiple types of hacking tests against remote hosts.

As it’s part of the Kali Linux group, it comes with a command-line interface to launch the tests you want to run. So if you’re unfamiliar with other Kali Linux products, then this ethical hacking tool might not be the one for you.

But if you stick with it, it can detect default installation files for operating systems, analyze outdated software applications, and export results in multiple formats. It could be one of the hacking tools to force you into learning command-line interfaces.

9.    John the Ripper

It’s perhaps one of the most popular ethical hacking tools of all time. John the Ripper is primarily used to test the password strength of your operating systems or on remote devices.

The web application security tool is able to automatically detect the type of encryption being used in any password. It’s constantly learning too. It will alter the algorithm based on the results of the tests it performs

It’s completely open-source and can work with your other hacking tools on Linux, Mac, Windows, and even Android.

10. Wapiti

There’s no need to continue searching for a free, open-source Python vulnerability scanner. Wapiti is one of the most popular platforms used by the ethical hacker community as it can uncover almost any security flaw in web applications.

It’s able to track down XSS attacks, XPath injections, SQL injections, and many other issues that can cause problems for your code.

Wapiti’s popularity isn’t just because it’s free and open-source. It has a reputation for protecting your web applications from anything malicious happening to them.

How to Stay Safe While Using a Hacking Tool

Identifying security vulnerabilities, password cracking, and protecting an operating system is what ethical hacking is all about. Cyber security attacks are becoming more prominent, and without penetration testing, businesses are leaving themselves exposed to potential breaches and data leaks.

In order to protect yourself from cyber security breaches, you’re going to need ethical hacking specialists who have access to the right tools at their disposal. Without the hacking tools listed above, they won’t be able to identify the security vulnerabilities and provide recommendations for remediation.

Another recommended tool to prevent your devices from any kind of hacking is a VPN. A virtual private network can help you remain anonymous online and protect your personal information.

Fortunately, you don’t need to do any hacking to uncover the best VPN for you. Just head over to VPN Testing for all the information you need to make the decision to protect you, your personal information, and your network.