Top 5 Valuable Ethical Hacking Tools

The realm of ethical hacking or penetration testing has witnessed a drastic change with the advent of automatic tools. Currently, several tools that can pace up the process of testing are being developed. Ethical hacking helps organizations in better protecting their information and systems. It is also one of the best methods to augment the skills of security professionals of an organization. Making ethical hacking a part of security efforts of an organization can prove to be exceptionally helpful.

Here are some of the widely used top tools in ethical hacking:

1.Nmap (Network Mapper)

Used in port scanning, one of the phases in ethical hacking, is the finest hacking tool ever. Primarily a command-line tool, it was then developed for operating systems based on Linux or Unix, and the windows version of Nmap is now available.
Nmap is basically a network security mapper capable of discovering services and hosts on a network, thereby creating a network map. This software offers several features that help in probing computer networks, host discovery as well as detection of operating systems. Being script extensible it provides advanced vulnerability detection and can also adapt to network conditions such as congestion and latency while scanning.


Nessus is the world’s most well-known vulnerability scanner, which was designed by tenable network security. It is free and is chiefly recommended for non-enterprise usage. This network-vulnerability scanner efficiently finds critical bugs on any given system.
Nessus can detect the following vulnerabilities:

  • Unpatched services and misconfiguration
  • Weak passwords – default and common
  • Various system vulnerabilities


Nikto is a web scanner that scans and tests several web servers for identifying software that are outdated, dangerous CGIs or files and other problems. It is capable of performing server-specific as well as generic checks and prints by capturing the received cookies. It is a free, open-source tool, which checks version-specific problems across 270 servers and identifies default programs and files.
Here are some of the chief features of Nikto:

  • Open source tool
  • Checks web servers and identifies over 6400 CGIs or files that are potentially dangerous
  • Checks servers for outdated versions as well as version-specific problems
  • Checks plug-inns and misconfigured files
  • Identifies insecure programs and files


This is the best tool used for testing wireless networks and hacking of wireless LAN or wardriving. It passively identifies networks and collects packets and detects non-beaconing and hidden networks with the help of data traffic.
Kismet is basically a sniffer and wireless-network detector that works with other wireless cards and supports raw-monitoring mode.
Basic features of Kismet include the following:

  • Runs on Linux OS, which maybe Ubuntu, backtrack or more
  • Applicable to windows at times


This is also a tool used to prevent wardriving, which works on operating systems based on windows. It is capable of detecting IEEE 902.11g, 802 and 802.11b networks. A newer version of this called MiniStumbler is now available.
NetStumbler has the following uses:

  • Identifying AP (Access Point) network configuration
  • Finding causes of interference
  • Accessing the strength of signals received
  • Detecting unauthorized access points 


With the growing Internet security threats, employers now seek skilled and certified ethical hackers to prevent fraudulent crimes and identity thefts. End users have always been the weakest links using which cyber criminals crack even highly sophisticated defenses. Recent past has witnessed several large businesses announcing major security breaches. Ethical hacking tools help companies identify possible short comings in Internet security and prevent data breach.

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