Top Kali Linux Tools Every Penetration Tester Should Know About and Learn

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Hello friends how are you doing? I hope that everything is fine and you are enjoying your hacking 😀 so I thought to add a little more to your hacking skills ” Top Kali Linux Tools Every Hacker Should Know About and Learn ” these tools are most favorite tools for all the hackers and the use these tools in their day to day penetration tasks.

Most of the hacking tools are pre-included in Kali Linux by the Offensive Security team. There are over 300+ tools included and this site covers those tools also and we will be creating full detailed articles about most of the tools that come with Kali Linux 2.0.

Becoming an Ethical Hacker is not as easy as to become a software developer. You will quickly realize this when you will start to learn it. To do a simple hack on your own, a hacker needs to have a good understanding of multiple topics. Many people say that you should have in-depth knowledge about programming languages like C++, Python, HTL, etc.. and advance Linux/Unix networking knowledge to get started in this field.

But this is not enough even if you are really good at that still there will be things that you don’t know about. The software and its security are evolving every day so as a hacker you must keep learning we things at a really fast pace.

What is new in Kali Linux 2.0?

If you are into Network Penetration and hacking stuff then Kali Linux is the best Linux Distro out with all the tools pre-installed and just ready to be used. That eases the user to use it and it is a real-time saver and you can own the network 😀

Top Kali Linux Tools:-

Now let’s get started with the list of my favorite tools.

1. Metasploit:-

Metasploit is a framework for developing exploits, shellcodes, fuzzing tools, payloads, etc. And it has a very vast collection of exploits and exploitation tools bundled into this single framework. It is available for all major Operating Sytems out there Windows, OS X, and Linux and comes pre-installed in Kali Linux. It is an offensive tool and to attack your own or your company’s infrastructure to check for security loopholes and to fix them before an actual attacker can break-in.

Here is a Video Demo of Using Metasploit:-

It can also be used to target web applications, networks, and servers, etc. You get both a GUI and command-line interface. There are to products for Metasploit a Free Community version and a paid Metasploit Pro.

2. Nmap (Network Mapper):-

Nmap is used to scan whole networks for open ports and for mapping networks and a lot more things. It is mainly used for scanning networks and discover the online PC’s and for security auditing. Most of the network admins use Nmap to discover online computers, open ports and manage services running. It uses raw IP packets in such a creative way to know what hosts are available on the network and what ports are open which services (applications name and version) are running on those systems.

It comes into version GUI and Command-Line. Zenmap is the GUI version what I recommend is that first learn the command line and then move on to the GUI if you feel confident.

3. Armitage:-

Armitage is a graphical cyber attack management tool and it provides a GUI interface for all Metasploit features and makes it easier to understand and use. If you really want to understand and grow into the advanced features then Armitage is a great choice for you.

Armitage organizes Metasploit’s capabilities around the hacking process. There are features for discovery, access, post-exploitation, and maneuver.

And if you are working in a team then it can be a real help to share information with your team:

  • Use the same sessions
  • Share victim hosts, capture data, download files, etc.
  • Communicate using a shared event log.
  • Run bots to automate the tasks.

4. John The Ripper (JTR):-

John The Ripper is a very popular tool for password cracking it is also known as JTR and also it has the coolest name of all the tools. Mostly it is simply referred to as ‘Jhon’ it is the most commonly used tool for password cracking and to perform dictionary attacks. John The Ripper takes text files, referred to as a ‘wordlist’, which contains the list of commonly used passwords or real passwords cracked before, and it encrypts the password in the wordlist in the same way as the password which is being cracked. And then compare the output string with the encrypted string of the provided password.

This tool can be used to perform different types of dictionary attacks. If you are confused between Jhon The Ripper and THC Hydra then the most simple way to explain it is that THC Hydra is used to crack a password for online services and Jhon The Ripper is used for offline password cracking.

5. Wireshark:-

Wireshark is an open-source tool for network analysis and profiling network traffic and packets and this kind of tool is referred to as Network Sniffers.

Wireshark, previously known as Ethereal, is used to monitor network traffic and analyze the packets that are sent out. Wireshark can intercept network traffic ranging from connection-level information to bits of the information which make up a signal packet. All of this is done in real-time and show to the user in a readable format. There are a lot of developments made in the tool (platform) over the years and it includes filters, color-coding the packets depending on their information and these features really help the penetration testers to dig deeper into the network traffic and inspect the packets in detail.

Note: If you are really interested in Network administration and penetration testing then knowing how to use Wireshark is a required skill. There are a lot of resources available online from where you can learn about using Wireshark in depth.

6. THC Hydra:-

THC Hydra is another tool for password cracking and mostly Jhon The Ripper and Hydra are used hand to hand.  THC Hydra is also known as Hydra is a really popular password cracking tool for hacking Network Login it uses both Brute Force attack as well as dictionary attacks at the login page. And it supports the wide range of network protocols like SSH, Mail (POP3, IMAP, etc.), Database, SMB, VNC, LDAP, SMB, and a whole lot of other protocols.

Here is the video showing how to use THC Hydra:-

7. Burp Suite:-

Burp Suite is a web application penetration testers Dream tool and the most powerful tool out there on the internet can it can be used to cover everything fully in-depth that you ever wanted. So I will be my best to thoroughly explain all the details as there are a lot of things to cover. Here is a quick list of Burp Suite components:

  • Intercepting Proxy – This part of Burp lets to inspect and modify all the requests and responses that your browser makes to the target application.
  • Spider – It is a very handy tool for listing out all the directories and files on the server and its functionality.
  • Web Scanner* – The important part as it detects a list of vulnerabilities present in the site.
  • Intruder – This is used to create and perform customized attacks to find and exploit unexpected errors.
  • Repeater – Modify and re-send any individual requests.
  • Sequencer – to test the randomness of the tokens (csrf , authenticity_token etc )
  • Extensions* – Allow you to write and add your own custom-designed plugin or download pre-made plugins, to performs complex and fully customized attacks.

* Donates those features which are only available in the pro version.

8. OWASP Zed:-

OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is also a well-known Proxy tool and is a pretty good alternative for Burp Suite and the good thing is that its free and open source. And if you have read all of the above-written content than that means that you already know about this stuff a little bit 😀 and you might be familiar with what is OWASP.

And if you don’t know what OWASP is then here is a short and easy to understand OWASP is the free and open-source software security community.

And if you are getting into web penetration testing then you must read the OWASP Top 10 it is  ‘guide-book’ of web application security.

This tool does the job pretty good and is also easy to use program that finds vulnerabilities in web applications. What makes OWASP ZAP good to use tools is because it has a lot of support from the OWASP security Community. You can use it to scan the target and run an automated scan to find vulnerabilities and you can also do manual testing like the pro-style.

9. Social Engineering Toolkit:-

The Social-Engineering Toolkit or popularly known as SET is a really handy and useful tool in terms of that the attacks are targeted at the human element instead of the system. It has really useful features that let you send emails to victims to create backdoor Java applets etc and you can do really cool stuff with this. It is a command-line interface and works on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

10. Aircrack-ng:-

Again a Password cracking tool here and this time it is used to crack Wifi password. These kind of tools are really effective if used in the right hands. For those new to this wireless-specific hacking program, Aircrack-ng is an 802.11 WEP and WPA-PSK keys cracking tool that can recover keys when sufficient data packets have been captured (in monitor mode). For those tasked with penetrating and auditing wireless networks Aircrack-ng will become your best friend.

And if you are getting into Wifi hacking and are a mediocre hacker then it will take you few minutes to crack WEP wireless password and to crack WPA/WPA2 you will have to do a lot of work.

For those who are interested in wireless hacking do check out Reaver another popular wifi hacking utility.

11. BeEF:-

BeEF is an abbreviation of The Browser Exploitation Framework it is mainly focused on the web browser-based penetration testing tool. That mean’s that it takes advantage of the vulnerabilities that exist in the web application used by the victim. Mainly it takes advantage of Cross-Site Scripting and after the payload is executed the attacker can fully take over victims web browser.

12. Maltego:-

This tool gathers all information available about the target over the internet like emails, DNS records and many others. It can be used to gather information about individuals or either networks. It is in the category of digital forensics.

Here is a complete article about how you can use Maltego:

13. Ettercap:-

It is a free and open-source network security tool for man-in-the-middle attacks on LAN. It can be used for your network protocol analysis and security auditing. It is available on Windows, Unix, Linux BSD, and other distros.

14. Nikto Website Vulnerability Scanner:-

Nikto is an open-source vulnerability scanner use to test for different vulnerabilities in web servers.  The system searches against a database of over 6800 potentially dangerous files/ programs it also checks for outdated (unpatched) versions of over 1300 servers checks for bad configuration practices like multiple index files, HTTP server options and it will check to find the webserver that is installed.

Final Words:-

These are not the only tools that are helpful and can be used for penetration testing there are many other tools out there that can be used for the same thing and you can get better results for your penetration testing.