Free Hacking Tools To Become Powerful Ethical Hacker
A hacking tool is a program designed to assist with or a piece of software which can be used for hacking purposes and save hackers time. In past decades, ethical hacking and penetration testing were performed by only a few security experts. Now almost anyone can report security incidents. Ethical hacking tools allow you to scan, search and find the flaws and vulnerabilities within any company to help make their systems and applications more secure 

Ethical hacking and online security involve a lot of efforts. Many tools are used to test and keep software secure. The same tools can also be used by hackers for exploitation. Becoming a hacker is not easy it requires many skills. You can learn a few hacking tricks from free hacking tutorials online, some really cool hacking books and books on information security. However, Along with all the skills, you need to have the best tools to perform hacking, security threat analysis, and penetration testing.

The existences of hacking tools have made the lives of the hackers much simpler when compared to the times they did not exist. But it does not mean that if the Hacker is equipped with a good hacking tool, his entire job is smoothly done. The hacker still requires the skills of all the aspects of hacking equally well. 

Today we’ll explore the best ethical hacking tools used by modern security researchers

Password Cracker Software

A password cracker software, which is often referred to as a password recovery tool, can be used to crack or recover the password either by removing the original password, after bypassing the data encryption or by an outright discovery of the password. In the process of password cracking, a very common methodology used to crack the user password is to repeatedly make guesses about the probable password and perhaps finally hitting on the correct one. It cannot be denied that whenever we are referring to cybersecurity, passwords are the most vulnerable security links. On the other hand, if the password is too completed, the user might forget it. Password Cracker software is often used by the hackers to crack the password and access a system to manipulate it. Do not unethically use this software for hacking passwords.

In the next section, you would be getting familiar with some of the popular Password Cracker tools which are used by hackers for password cracking.
Hashcrack is password cracker for GPU(s) and CPU(s) using OpenCL. It can run on NVIDIA and AMD devices. It is a very powerful password cracking tool that is also well documented.


Metasploit is an open source cyber-security project that allows infosec professionals to use different penetration testing tools to discover remote software vulnerabilities. It also functions as an exploit module development platform.

One of the most famous results of this project is the Metasploit Framework, written in Ruby, which enables you to develop, test and execute exploits easily. The framework includes a set of security tools that can be used to:

Evade detection systems
Run security vulnerability scans
Execute remote attacks
Enumerate networks and hosts
Metasploit offers three different versions of their software:

Pro: ideal for penetration testing and IT security teams.
Community: used by small companies and infosec students.
Framework: the best for app developers and security researchers.


It is a free password cracker software which is based on the effective implementation of the rainbow tables. It runs on a number of Operating Systems like Mac OS X, Unix/Linux, and Windows Operating System. It is equipped with real-time graphs for analyzing the passwords and is an open source software. Ophcrack has the capability to crack both NTLM hashes as well as LM hashes.


Medusa is one of the best online brute-force, speedy, parallel password crackers which is available on the Internet. It has been designed by the members of the website It is also widely used in Penetration testing to ensure that the vulnerability of the system can be exposed and appropriate security measures can be taken against hacking. 


Rainbow Crack as the name suggests, is a cracker for hashes with the Rainbow Tables. It runs on multiple operating systems such as Linux, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Windows Operating Systems). It supports both Graphical User Interface as well as Command-line Interface. It's software which is used for password cracking by generating rainbow tables, fuzzing all the parameters.


sqlmap is a cool cyber-security tool written in Python that helps security researchers to launch SQL code injection tests against remote hosts. With SQLMap you can detect and test different types of SQL-based vulnerabilities to harden your apps and servers, or to report vulnerabilities to different companies.

Its SQL injection techniques include:

  • UNION query-based
  • time-based blind
  • boolean-based blind
  • error-based
  • stacked queries
  • out-of-band

Main features:

  • Multiple database server support: Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL and MSSQL, MS Access, DB2 or Informix.
  • Automatic code injection capabilities
  • Password hash recognition
  • Dictionary-based password cracking
  • User enumeration
  • Get password hashes
  • View user privileges and databases
  • Database user privilege escalation
  • Dump table information
  • Executes remote SQL SELECTS


Wfuzz is a flexible tool for brute forcing Internet-based applications. It supports many features like Multithreading, Header brute forcing, Recursion when discovering directories, Cookies, Proxy Support, hiding results and encoding the URLs to name a few. Wfuzz is a useful tool for finding unlinked resources like scripts, directories, and servlets as well.


OpenVAS (also known as the old classic “Nessus”) is an open-source network scanner used to detect remote vulnerabilities in any hosts. One of the best-known network vulnerability scanners, it’s very popular among system administrators and DevOps and infosec professionals.

Main features

  • Powerful web-based interface
  • +50,000 network vulnerability tests
  • Simultaneous multiple host scanning
  • Able to stop, pause and resume scan tasks
  • False positive management
  • Scheduled scans
  • Graphics and statistics generation
  • Exports results to plain text, XML, HTML or LateX
  • Powerful CLI available
  • Fully integrated with Nagios monitoring software
  • While its web-based interface allows it to be run from any operating system, a CLI is also available and works well for Linux, Unix, and Windows operating systems.

The free version can be downloaded from the OpenVAS website, but there is also a commercial enterprise license available from the Greenbone Security (parent company) website.


Brutus is one of the most flexible and free password crackers which operates remotely. It is popular also because of its high speed and operates under operating systems such as Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows 9x. Currently, it does not operate under the UNIX operating system. Brutus was initially designed to check network devices like routers in common as well as default passwords.


L0phtCrack which is now known as L0phtCrack6 is a tool which tests the strength of a password given, as well as to recover lost passwords on Microsoft Windows platform. Thus it is a tool for both password recovery as well as auditing the password. It uses techniques such as Rainbow tables, brute-force, and dictionary attack to recover passwords.


Fgdump is a powerful cracking tool. In fact, it's much more powerful than pwdump6 as the latter has the tendency to hang whenever there is a presence of an antivirus. Fgdump has the capability to handle this problem of hanging by shutting down first. It later restarts the Antivirus software. It supports multi-threading which is very relevant in the multitasking and multi-user environment.


SQLNinja is another SQL vulnerability scanner bundled with Kali Linux distribution. This tool is dedicated to target and exploit web apps that use MS SQL Server as the backend database server. Written in Perl, SQLNinja is available in multiple Unix distros where the Perl interpreter is installed.

SQLninja can be run in different types of modes such as:

  • Test mode
  • Verbose mode
  • Fingerprint remote database mode
  • Brute force attack with a word list
  • Direct shell & reverse shell
  • Scanner for outbound ports
  • Reverse ICMP Shell
  • DNS tunnelled shell

THC Hydra

Every password security study has revealed that the biggest security weaknesses are the passwords. THC Hydra is a tool for cracking logins and it is flexible as it supports various protocols. It is very fast and at the same time, new modules can be easily added. Hydra can run on operating systems like Solaris 11, OSX, Windows, and Linux.

John The Ripper

John the Ripper is a free software for password cracking which was originally designed for the Unix Operating System. At present, it can run on 15 Operating systems which include 11 different versions of UNIX, Win32, DOS, and BeOS. It has the capability to combine several password crackers into a single package which has made it one of the most popular cracking tools for hackers.


It is a network software suite used in 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks. It consists of tools such as a packet sniffer, detector, and a WEP. This tool runs on both Windows and Linux Operating systems. It can work with any type of wireless network interface controller, provided the driver is supporting the raw monitoring mode.


Nikto is another favorite, well-known as part of the Kali Linux Distribution. Other popular Linux distributions such as Fedora already come with Nikto available in their software repositories as well.

This security tool is used to scan web servers and perform different types of tests against the specified remote host. Its clean and simple command line interface makes it really easy to launch any vulnerability testing against your target,.

Nikto’s main features include:

  • Detects default installation files on any OS
  • Detects outdated software applications.
  • Runs XSS vulnerability tests
  • Launches dictionary-based brute force attacks
  • Exports results into plain text, CSV or HTML files
  • Intrusion detection system evasion with LibWhisker
  • Integration with Metasploit Framework

Cain And Abel

Cain and Abel often referred to like Cain, is a tool for recovering the password in the Windows platform. It has the capability to recover various kinds of passwords using techniques such as cracking the password hashes by using brute-forcing, dictionary attacks, cryptanalysis attacks and packet sniffing in the network.


The objective of this security tool is to locate the valid user identities in a Virtual Public Network along with the secret key combinations. Once this is accomplished, this information can be used easily by a hacker to have access to a VPN in an unauthorized manner.


If you’re going to perform ethical hacking, IronWASP is another great tool. It’s free, open source and multi-platform, perfect for those who need to audit their web servers and public applications.

One of the most appealing things about IronWASP is that you don’t need to be an expert to manage its main features. It’s all GUI-based, and full scans can be performed in only a few clicks. So, if you’re just getting started with ethical hacking tools, this is a great way to start.

Some of its main features include:

  • Powerful GUI-based interface
  • Web scan sequence recording
  • Exports results into HTML and RTF file format
  • 25+ different web vulnerabilities
  • False positive and negative management
  • Full Python and Ruby support for its scripting engine
  • Can be extended by using modules written in C#, Ruby, and Python

Wireless Hacking Tools

Wireless Hacking Tools are those hacking tools which are used to hack into a wireless network which is usually more susceptible to security threats. One must also ensure that the network is completely secured against hacking or other malware. The list of wireless hacking tools which would be discussed now can be used to do a Penetration Testing for a Wireless Network. This is an intentional attack on a network to detect security vulnerabilities by accessing its data and functionality.
It is a software suite specially designed for a wireless network and which operates under both the Windows and the Linux Operating System. Aircrack-ng consists of a packet sniffer, WPA cracker, and analysis tool and a detector for the wireless Local Area Networks (802.11). The best part of this software suite is one need not install it to use it. It is a collection of files which can be easily used with a command prompt.

There have been many wireless hacking tools exposed in recent past. When a hacker hacks a wireless network, it is supposed to defeat the Wireless network’s security devices. The Wi-Fi networks i.e. the Wireless LANs are more exposed to the security threats from a hacker while compared to that of a wired network. While hackers are always more than ready to hack especially if there are weaknesses in a computer network, hacking is often a tedious and complicated procedure. 


Kismet is a wireless detector system which detects possible intrusion to an 802.11 layer2 wireless network, it is also a sniffer. There is certain plug-in supported by Kismet which enables sniffing media like DECT. It also has the capacity to infer whether a beaconing network is present or not via the data traffic in the network and a network is identified by this tool by collecting data packets passively, detecting hidden and standard named networks.


InSSIDer is a network scanner which is used in a Wi-Fi network for the Windows Operating System as well as the Apple OS X. It has been developed by MetaGeek, LLC. It is used to collect information from both software and a wireless card and is useful in selecting the availability of the best wireless channel. It also shows those Wi-Fi network channels which overlap with each other.


It is a discovery tool for a wireless network for the Mac OS X operating system. It has many features which are similar to another wireless detector tool called Kismet. This tool is meant for expert network security personnel and is not very user-friendly for the beginners


NetStumbler is a hacking tool which is used in the Windows Operating system and comes with add-ons which are used to hack a wireless network. It has the capability to convert a WIFI enabled laptop on Windows OS into a network detector in an 802.11 WLAN.


The WebLab is a tool which teaches about the weaknesses of a WEP, how a WEP works and how it is used to break a wireless network which is WEP protected. It has the features of a WEP Security Analyzer.


It is a powerful tool for packet injection in an 802.11 wireless network and is very useful as it has the capability to send in forged de-authentication packets. This feature is usually used by a hacker to bring down a network.


In order to log into a website, a user has submitted details like his or her username and password. The server validates these data and sends back a “cookie”. The websites usually encrypt the password, however, does not encrypt other details which leave the cookie exposed to hacking threats which are also known as HTTP session hijacking. Firesheep has a packet sniffer which can intercept the cookies which are encrypted from Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook and comes with the Firefox web browser. Firesheep is available for both the Windows and Mac OS X operating system. It would also run on the Linux platform in the new future.


KARMA is an attack tool which takes the advantage of the probing techniques that is used by used by a client of a WLAN. The station searches for a Wireless LAN in the list of preferred network and it is then that it makes the SSID open for an attacker who is listening. The disclosed SSID is used by KARMA for impersonation of a valid WLAN and attracts the station to the listening attacker.

Best Network Scanning & Hacking Tools


Nmap or Network Mapper is a free open source utility tool for network discovery and security auditing solution for you. It is a flexible, powerful, portable and easy-to-use tool that is supported by most of the operating systems like Linux, Windows, Solaris, Mac OS, and others.


It is a multi-functional application that is designed for scanning TPC port. This is also a pinger and address resolver. It also has useful features like ping, traceroute, WhoIs and HTTP request. There is no need for installation as it is a portable application.

Angry IP Scanner

It is a fast port and IP address scanner. It is a lightweight and cross-platform application that has the capacity to scan the IP addresses in any range and also in their ports. It simply pings each IP address.

Packet Crafting To Exploit Firewall Weaknesses

Through Packet crafting technique, an attacker capitalizes your firewall’s vulnerabilities. Here are some packet crafting tools


Earlier Hping was used as a security tool. Now it is used as a command-line oriented TCP/IP packet analyzer or assembler. You can use this for Firewall testing, advanced port scanning, network testing by using fragmentation, TOS, and different other protocols.


It is a powerful and interactive packet manipulation program. Scapy has the capability to decode or forge the packets of a large number of protocols at a time. One of the best features is that it can confuse the process of decoding and interpreting.


Netcat is a simple Unix utility program. This program has the capability to read and write data across network connections and it does so by using UDP or TPC protocol. It was created as a reliable back-end tool.


It is a command-line crafting and injecting utility tool used for network packets. This program works for both Unix and Windows operating systems. This is a well-suited tool for testing Network, Intrusion Detection System, IP Stacks, Firewalls and many others


This is again a command-line based utility tool. It has the capability to establish two bidirectional byte streams through which it transfers data. With this tool, streams can be constructed from a large set of different data sinks.


Not all the network protocols are powerful. In order to take advantage of the weakness of certain network protocols, Yersinia is created. It is a full-proof framework that analyzes and tests the deployed networks and systems.

Traffic Monitoring for Network-Related Hacking

These tools allow users to monitor the websites one’s children or employees are viewing. Here’s a list of some of these tools


If you want to convert your data into powerful insights Splunk tools are the best options for you. The Splunk tools are the leading platforms for operational intelligence. It can collect any type of data from any machine in real time.


Nagios is the name for the industry standard in monitoring IT infrastructure. The Nagios tools help you monitor your entire IT infrastructure and have the capability to detect problems well ahead they occur. It can also detect security breaches and share data availability with stakeholders.


It is a versatile passive tool that is used for OS fingerprinting. This passive tool works well on both Linux and Windows operating systems. It has the capability to detect the hooking up of the remote system whether it is Ethernet, DSL or OC3.


Ngrep or network grep is a pcap-aware tool that allows you to extend hexadecimal or regular expressions in order to match it against the data loads of the packet. It can recognize IPv4/6, UDP, TCP, Ethernet, SLIP, PPP, FDDI and many others.

Packet Sniffers To Analyze Traffic

These tools help capture and analyze incoming traffic on your website. Some of the popular ones are listed below


If you want to put a security system, Wireshark is the must-have security tool. It monitors every single byte of the data that is transferred via the network system. If you are a network administrator or penetration tester this tool is a must-have.


Tcpdump is a command-line packet analyzer. After completing the designated task of packet capturing Tcpdump will throw the report that will contain numbers of the captured packet and packets received by the filter. The user can use flags like –v, -r and –w to run this packet analyzer tool.


It is a comprehensive suite in the middle of the attack. It has the feature of sniffing the live connections and content filtering along with many other interesting tricks. It offers three interfaces, traditional command line, GUI, and Ncurses.


Dsniff is the collection of various tools that are used for penetration testing and network auditing. The tools like dsniff, msgsnarf, mailsnarf, webspy and urlsnarf passively monitor a network of interesting data like files, emails, passwords and many others.


EtherApe is graphical network monitor for UNIX model PCs after etherman. This interactive tool graphically displays network activity. It features link layer and TCP/IP modes. It supports Token Ring, FDDI, Ethernet, PPP, SLIP, ISDN and other WLAN devices.

Web Proxies: Proxies fundamentally assist in adding encapsulation to distributed systems. The client can request an item on your server by contacting a proxy server.


It is a Java-based HTTP/HTTPS proxy that helps in assessing the vulnerability of web applications. It supports both viewing and editing HTTP messages on-the-fly. It is supported by Unix and Windows systems. There are some other features as well like client certificate, spiders, proxy chaining and many others.


It is a free web debugging proxy tool that can be used for any browser, platforms or systems. The key features of this tool include performance testing, HTTP/HTTPS traffic recording, web session manipulation, and security testing.


A passive and semi-automated application which is essentially a security audit tool. It can accurately detect and annotate problems on web 2.0 platforms.


This tool is the one that demonstrates HTTPS stripping attack. It has the capability to hijack HTTP traffic on the network in a transparent manner. It watches the HTTPS link and then redirect and maps those links into homograph-similar or look-alike HTTP links.

SSL/TLS Security Test By High-Tech Bridge

This free online service performs a detailed security analysis and configuration test of SSL/TLS implementation on any web server for compliance with NIST guidelines and PCI DSS requirements, as well as for various industry best-practices.

Rootkit Detectors To Hack File System

This is a directory and file integrity checker. It checks the veracity of files and notifies the user if there’s an issue.

AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment)

It is a directory and file integrity checker that helps in creating a database using the regular expression rules that it finds from the config files. This tool also supports message digest algorithms and file attributes like File type, Permissions, Inode, Uid, Gid, and others.

Firewalls: Firewalls monitor and control network traffic. A firewall is the quintessential security tool used by novices and tech experts alike. Here are a few of the best ones for hackers:


Netfilter offers software for the packet filtering framework that works within the Linux 2.4.x and later series of the kernel. The software of Netfilter help in packet mangling including packet filtering along with network address and port translation.

PF: OpenBSD Packet Filter

It is an OpenBSD system that enables filtering of TCP/IP traffic and also performs Network Address Translation. It also helps in conditioning and normalizing of TCP/IP traffic along with packet prioritization and bandwidth control.

Fuzzers To Search Vulnerabilities

Fuzzing is a term used by hackers for searching a computer system’s security vulnerabilities. Here is a list of a few:


It's a reconnaissance web application security tool. Some of its features are dictionary-based probes and recursive crawls. A website's sitemap is eventually annotated for security assessments.


This tool is designed in such a way that it helps in brute-forcing web applications. Wfuzz can be used for finding resources but it does not play any role in finding the links to directories, servlets, scripts, and others. It has multiple injection points and allows multi-threading.


Wapiti is a web application vulnerability scanner that allows you to audit the security of the web applications that you are using. The scanning process is “black-box” type and detects the vulnerabilities like file disclosure, data injection, XSS injection, and many others.


It is a web application attack and audit framework that helps in auditing any threat that the web application experiences. This framework is built on Python and is easy-to-use and can be extended. It is licensed under GPLv2.0.


These tools are used for computer forensics, especially to sniff out any trace of evidence existing in a particular computer system. Here are some of the most popular.

Sleuth Kit

It is an open source digital intervention or forensic toolkit. It runs on varied operating systems including Windows, Linux, OS X and many other Unix systems. It can be used for analyzing disk images along with in-depth analysis of file systems like FAT, Ext3, HFS+, UFS, and NTFS.


This is a Linux based incident response system. It is also used in system investigation and analysis along with data recovery and security auditing. The most recent version of this tool is based on Ubuntu that promises ease of use and stability.


It is an open source forensic and intelligence application. It can be used for gathering information in all phases of security-related work. It saves you time and money by performing the task on time in a smarter way.


Encase is the fastest and most comprehensive network forensic solution available in the market. It is created following the global standard of forensic investigation software. It has the capability of quickly gathering data from a wide variety of devices.

Debuggers To Hack Running Programs

These tools are utilized for reverse engineering binary files for writing exploits and analyzing malware.


GDB is a GNU Project Debugger. The unique feature of this debugger enables the user to see what is happening inside one program while it is being executed or check a program at the moment of the crash.

Immunity Debugger

It's a powerful debugger for analyzing malware. Its unique features include an advanced user interface with heap analysis tool and function graphing.

Other Hacking Tools: Besides the aforementioned tools, there is myriad of hacking tools used by hackers. They don’t belong to a particular category, but are very popular among hackers nonetheless:


It is a featured network utility tool. It has the capability to read and write data across all network connections that use TCP/IP protocol. It is a reliable back-end tool that can be easily and directly driven by other scripts and programs.


It is a tracer or IP tracking tool that displays the path of internet packets through which it traversed to reach the specific destination. It identifies the IP address of each hop along the way it reaches the destination.

It is the tracing tool that helps the user to know the time that the data packets took to reach the host. This is an online application where you just need to place the hostname or IP address and fetch the result.


It is a complete searching and indexing system that is used for a domain or internet. It works on both Linux and Windows system. It, however, does not replace the internet-wide search systems like Google, Infoseek, AltaVista, and Lycos.


It is a free and open source software command-line tool that transfers data with URL syntax. It supports HTTP/HTTPS, Gopher, FTPS, LDAP, POP3, and many others. It can run under a wide variety of operating systems. The recent stable version is v7.37.1.

Hacking Operating Systems

There are numerous professionals who aspire to have a career as ethical hackers. Hacking is not an easy task as it requires great insight into technology and programming. There are specific operating systems as well that are specially designed for the hackers to use. These operating systems have preloaded tools and technologies that hackers can utilize to hack. This article offers a detailed overview of various operating systems that are built keeping hacking in mind. All these operating systems are unique from each other and have proved to be a great resource for hackers around the world.

Backtrack 5r3

This operating system is built keeping the savviest security personnel in mind as the audience. This is also a useful tool even for the early newcomers in the information security field. It offers a quick and easy way to find and also update the largest database available for the security tools collection to date.

Kali Linux

This is a creation of the makers of BackTrack. This is regarded as the most versatile and advanced penetration testing distribution ever created. The documentation of the software is built in an easy format to make it the most user-friendly. It is one of the must-have tools for ethical hackers that is making a buzz in the market.