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Top 10 Ethical Hacking Tools and their Features

Ethical hacking is the act of discovering vulnerabilities and weaknesses of systems and applications by reproducing the reasons and actions of dangerous hackers. Ethical Hacking Tools are simply computer scripts and programs that help us in discovering and exploiting liabilities in various systems like computer systems, networks, and web applications.

Many of these tools are available for use in the market, few of them being open-sourced, while others being paid solutions.

Top Ethical Hacking Tools and their Features

Below are some significant ethical hacking tools that are as follows.

1. Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a valuable instrument for web applications as it is helpful in performing security testing for these applications. The many tools provided in this suite work effortlessly together to assist the entire testing process, from an initial analysis of the application’s surface of attack to discovering and exploiting security vulnerabilities.


  • It helps in scanning custom-built applications and open-source software.

  • It can perceive over 3000 vulnerabilities in a web application.

  • It allows for automatic scanning with the help of its Login Sequence Recorder.

  • It provides for a wide span of reports, both technical and compliance.

  • It has the provision of built-in vulnerability management.

  • It has an automated crawl and scans feature, including an innovative scanning feature for manual testers.

2. Ettercap

Ettercap is the short form for Ethernet Capture. It is a security tool that sniffs out and captures live connections and content filtering. It is used mainly for Man-in-the-Middle attacks. Ettercap can be run on most operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.


  • It supports the division of many protocols, including active and passive division.

  • Ettercap has inbuilt features for host and network analysis.

  • It includes a feature to sniff out a switched LAN by means of ARP poisoning.

  • It is capable of sniffing out an SSH connection.

  • Ettercap can inject characters into a server or into a client, all while upholding a live connection.

  • Even when there is a proxy connection, Ettercap allows for sniffing out of HTTP SSL secured data.

  • Ettercap has APIs which allow us to create custom plugins.

3. Aircrack

AirCrack is a well-known security suite for home and corporate security environments. It works by seizing network packets and then analyzing them to crack the WiFi. It also includes full support for WEP and WPA networks.


  • It supports numerous drivers and WiFi cards.

  • It supports Windows, MAC, and Linux detection for WiFi.

  • It has launched a WEP attack known as PTW.

  • It has an express cracking speed.

  • It has documentation that ranges extensively, from Wiki pages to more.

  • It can be integrated with third-party tools.

4. Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP scanner is a lightweight, open-source and cross-platform scanning tool. It scans IP addresses in any range and also easily scans ports. It uses a multithreaded approach to increase the speed of its scanning. A separate scanning thread is made for each and every scanned IP address. Angry IP Scanner works by pinging an IP address to check if it is alive and then resolving its hostname to determine the scans ports, MAC address, etc.


  • It scans local networks along with the Internet.

  • It is an open-source tool, which can be accessed easily.

  • The file procured after scanning can be in any file format.

  • It can be used extensively with various data fetchers.

  • It offers us a command-line interface.

  • There is no need for any installation process.

5. QualysGuard

QualysGuard is a security tool that is used to streamline the security and compliance issues of businesses. It provides critical security intelligence and also automates the various systems for auditing and compliance. QualysGuard can also inspect online cloud systems for performance vulnerability.


  • QualysGuard is a scalable solution in nearly all IT security aspects.

  • It does not require us to buy any hardware.

  • Critical security intelligence is stored securely in an n-tiered architecture.

  • QualysGuard offers us continuous visibility with the help of its sensor.

  • The data analysis is done in real-time.

  • It can respond to real-time threats.

6. WebInspect

WebInspect is an automated security assessment tool that helps us in identifying known and unknown liabilities in the web application layer. It also helps us in checking whether a Web server is configured properly or not.


  • WebInspect tests the dynamic behaviour of running applications which in turn helps us in identifying security vulnerabilities.

  • It provides pertinent information on a quick look, which helps us control our scan.

  • It uses advanced technologies like simultaneous crawl professional testing.

  • WebInspect makes it easy to inform the management of compliance management, trending vulnerabilities, and risk overview.

7. LC4

Formerly known as L0phtCrack, LC4 is a powerful password audit and recovery tool. It tests password strength and recovers lost Microsoft Windows passwords with the help of methods like a dictionary, brute-force, and hybrid attacks. It also helps in identifying and assessing password vulnerability over local networks and machines.


  • LC4 has optimized hardware, including multicore & multi-GPU support.

  • Customization is easy in LC4.

  • LC4 has a simple method for loading passwords.

  • LC4 is capable of scheduling tasks for enterprise-wide password.

  • It can correct weak password problems by forcing a password reset or locking the account.

8. IronWASP

IronWASP is a free and open-source tool, which supports many platforms. It is suitable for auditing public servers and applications. IronWASP has a customizable design to help users create their own security scanners. It is GUI-based, with full scans being performed within a few clicks.


  • IronWASP is very easy to use for a beginner as it is GUI-based.

  • It has a powerful and efficient scanning engine.

  • IronWASP reports can be in either HTML or RTF format.

  • It can record the Login sequence.

  • It examines the application for more than 25 kinds of vulnerabilities.

  • IronWASP can detect false positives and negatives.

9. SQLMap

SQLMap automates the process of identifying and testing different kinds of SQL-based liabilities and reporting them. A few of the SQL injection techniques are:

  • Boolean-based blind

  • Time-based blind

  • UNION query

  • Error-based

  • Out-of-band

  • Stacked queries


  • SQLMap supports multiple database servers like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, MS Access, IBM DB2, SQLite, and Informix.

  • It comprises capabilities like automatic code injection.

  • It uses techniques like password hash recognition and dictionary-based password cracking.

  • SQLMap allows us to view various databases and their user privileges.

  • It executes remote SQL SELECT statements and also gives up information about the dump table.

10. Cain & Abel

Cain & Abel is a recovery tool for passwords for Microsoft OS machines.


  • It helps in recovering MS Access passwords.

  • It employs methods like sniffing the networks for password recovery.

  • It helps in uncovering the password field.

  • It cracks encrypted passwords using methods like the dictionary and brute-force attacks.


Ethical hacking tools are evolving over time by making ethical penetration testing faster, more reliable, and easier than ever. These tools play an important role in identifying the security defects in applications, enabling the developer to quickly revert the vulnerability and bring the application back to a secure state.

Source: EDUCBA, Wikipedia

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