Ethical Hacking Terminologies

Hacking definition: What is hacking?

Hacking refers to activities that seek to compromise digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even entire networks. And while hacking might not always be for malicious purposes, nowadays most references to hacking, and hackers, characterize it/them as unlawful activity by cybercriminals—motivated by financial gain, protest, information gathering (spying), and even just for the “fun” of the challenge.

Who are hackers?

Many think that “hacker” refers to some self-taught whiz kid or rogue programmer skilled at modifying computer hardware or software so it can be used in ways outside the original developers’ intent. But this is a narrow view that doesn’t begin to encompass the wide range of reasons why someone turns to hacking. To learn about the various motivations different types of hackers might have, read under the hoodie why money ,power and ego drive hackers to cyber crime.

Best Ethical Hacking Tools & Software for Hackers (2021)

ByGeorge McGovernUpdatedNovember 11, 2021https://8e5b81770b919f851d83e3d4bfdc37b6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

What are Hacking Tools?

Hacking Tools are computer programs and scripts that help you find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems, web applications, servers and networks. There are a variety of such tools available in the market. Users can easily download hack tools for ethical hacking. Some of them are open source while others are commercial solution.

Following is a handpicked list of Top 20 Best Ethical Hacking Tools, with their popular features and website links to download hack tools. The hacking devices list contains top hacking tools both open source(free) and commercial(paid).

Top Hacking Tools, Programs & Software: Free Downloads

NamePlatformPricingLink
NetsparkerWindows, LinuxFree Trial, PaidLearn More
AcunetixWindows, Linux, MacFree Trial, PaidLearn More
Traceroute NGWindows, LinuxFree TrialLearn More

1) Netsparker

Netsparker

Netsparker is an easy to use web application security scanner that can automatically find SQL Injection, XSS and other vulnerabilities in your web applications and web services. It is available as on-premises and SAAS solution.

Features

  • Dead accurate vulnerability detection with the unique Proof-Based Scanning Technology.
  • Minimal configuration required. Scanner automatically detects URL rewrite rules, custom 404 error pages.
  • REST API for seamless integration with the SDLC, bug tracking systems etc.
  • Fully scalable solution. Scan 1,000 web applications in just 24 hours.

2) Acunetix

Acunetix is a fully automated ethical hacking solution that mimics a hacker to keep one step ahead of malicious intruders. The web application security scanner accurately scans HTML5, JavaScript and Single-page applications. It can audit complex, authenticated webapps and issues compliance and management reports on a wide range of web and network vulnerabilities.

Acunetix

Features:

  • Scans for all variants of SQL Injection, XSS, and 4500+ additional vulnerabilities
  • Detects over 1200 WordPress core, theme, and plugin vulnerabilities
  • Fast & Scalable – crawls hundreds of thousands of pages without interruptions
  • Integrates with popular WAFs and Issue Trackers to aid in the SDLC
  • Available On Premises and as a Cloud solution.

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3) Traceroute NG

Traceroute NG is application that enables you to analyze network path. This software can identify IP addresses, hostnames, and packet loss. It provides accurate analysis through command line interface

SolarWinds Traceroute NG

Features:

  • It offers both TCP and ICMP network path analysis.
  • This application can create a txt logfile.
  • Supports both IP4 and IPV6.
  • Detect path changes and give you a notification.
  • Allows continuous probing of a network.

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4) SolarWinds Security Event Manager

SolarWinds Security Event Manager is a tool that helps you to improve your computer security. This application can automatically detect threats, monitor security policies, and protect your network. SolarWinds allow you to keep track of your log files with ease and receive instant alerts if anything suspicious happens.

SolarWinds Security Event Manager

Features:

  • This network security software has inbuilt integrity monitoring.
  • This is one of the best SIEM tools which helps you to manage your memory stick storage
  • It has an intuitive user interface and dashboard.
  • SolarWinds contains integrated compliance reporting tools.
  • It has a centralized log collection.
  • The tool can find and respond to threats faster.

5) Burp Suite:

Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a useful platform for performing Security Testing of web applications. Its various hacker tools work seamlessly together to support the entire pen testing process. It spans from initial mapping to analysis of an application’s attack surface.

Features:

It is one of the best hacking tools that can detect over 3000 web application vulnerabilities.

  • Scan open-source software and custom-built applications
  • An easy to use Login Sequence Recorder allows the automatic scanning
  • Review vulnerability data with built-in vulnerability management.
  • Easily provide wide variety of technical and compliance reports
  • Detects Critical Vulnerabilities with 100% Accuracy
  • Automated crawl and scan
  • It is one of the best hackers tools which provides advanced scanning feature for manual testers
  • Cutting-edge scanning logic

Download link: https://portswigger.net/burp/communitydownload


6) Ettercap:

Ettercap ethical hacking tool

Ettercap is an ethical hacking tool. It supports active and passive dissection includes features for network and host analysis.

Features:

  • It is one of the best hacker tools that supports active and passive dissection of many protocols
  • Feature of ARP poisoning to sniff on a switched LAN between two hosts
  • Characters can be injected into a server or to a client while maintaining a live connection
  • Ettercap is capable of sniffing an SSH connection in full duplex
  • It is one of the best hackers tools that allows sniffing of HTTP SSL secured data even when the connection is made using proxy
  • Allows creation of custom plugins using Ettercap’s API

Download link: https://www.ettercap-project.org/downloads.html


7) Aircrack:

Aircrack

Aircrack is one of the best, trustable, ethical hacking tools in the market. It cracks vulnerable wireless connections. This hacking machine tool is powered by WEP WPA and WPA 2 encryption Keys.

Features:

  • More cards/drivers supported
  • Support all types of OS and platforms
  • New WEP attack: PTW
  • Support for WEP dictionary attack
  • Support for Fragmentation attack
  • Improved tracking speed

Download link: https://www.aircrack-ng.org/downloads.html


8) Angry IP Scanner:

Angry IP Scanner

Angry IP Scanner is open-source and cross-platform ethical hacking tool. It scans IP addresses and ports.

Features:

  • This network hacking tool scans local networks as well as the Internet
  • Free and open-source hack tool
  • Random or file in any format
  • Exports results into many formats
  • Extensible with many data fetchers
  • Provides command-line interface
  • This hacking software works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • No need for Installation

Download link: http://angryip.org/download/#windows

WHAT IS ETHICAL HACKING?

What is ethical hacking?

Ethical hacking involves an authorized attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, application, or data. Carrying out an ethical hack involves duplicating strategies and actions of malicious attackers. This practice helps to identify security vulnerabilities which can then be resolved before a malicious attacker has the opportunity to exploit them.

Also known as “white hats,” ethical hackers are security experts that perform these assessments. The proactive work they do helps to improve an organization’s security posture. With prior approval from the organization or owner of the IT asset, the mission of ethical hacking is opposite from malicious hacking. 

What are the key concepts of ethical hacking?

Hacking experts follow four key protocol concepts:

  1. Stay legal. Obtain proper approval before accessing and performing a security assessment
  2. Define the scope. Determine the scope of the assessment so that the ethical hacker’s work remains legal and within the organization’s approved boundaries.
  3. Report vulnerabilities. Notify the organization of all vulnerabilities discovered during the assessment. Provide remediation advice for resolving these vulnerabilities.
  4. Respect data sensitivity. Depending on the data sensitivity, ethical hackers may have to agree to a non-disclosure agreement, in addition to other terms and conditions required by the assessed organization. 

How are ethical hackers different than malicious hackers?

Ethical hackers use their knowledge to secure and improve the technology of organizations. They provide an essential service to these organizations by looking for vulnerabilities that can lead to a security breach.

An ethical hacker reports the identified vulnerabilities to the organization. Additionally, they provide remediation advice. In many cases, with the organization’s consent, the ethical hacker performs a re-test to ensure the vulnerabilities are fully resolved. 

Malicious hackers intend to gain unauthorized access to a resource (the more sensitive the better) for financial gain or personal recognition. Some malicious hackers deface websites or crash backend servers for fun, reputation damage, or to cause financial loss. The methods used and vulnerabilities found remain unreported. They aren’t concerned with improving the organizations security posture.  

Phases of

Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking is a process of detecting vulnerabilities in an application, system, or organization’s infrastructure that an attacker can use to exploit an individual or organization. They use this process to prevent cyberattacks and security breaches by lawfully hacking into the systems and looking for weak points. An ethical hacker follows the steps and thought process of a malicious attacker to gain authorized access and test the organization’s strategies and network.

An attacker or an ethical hacker follows the same five-step hacking process to breach the network or system. The ethical hacking process begins with looking for various ways to hack into the system, exploiting vulnerabilities, maintaining steady access to the system, and lastly, clearing one’s tracks.

The five phases of ethical hacking are:

1. Reconnaissance

First in the ethical hacking methodology steps is reconnaissance, also known as the footprint or information gathering phase. The goal of this preparatory phase is to collect as much information as possible. Before launching an attack, the attacker collects all the necessary information about the target. The data is likely to contain passwords, essential details of employees, etc. An attacker can collect the information by using tools such as HTTPTrack to download an entire website to gather information about an individual or using search engines such as Maltego to research about an individual through various links, job profile, news, etc.

Reconnaissance is an essential phase of ethical hacking. It helps identify which attacks can be launched and how likely the organization’s systems fall vulnerable to those attacks.

Footprinting collects data from areas such as:

  • TCP and UDP services
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Through specific IP addresses
  • Host of a network

In ethical hacking, footprinting is of two types:

Active: This footprinting method involves gathering information from the target directly using Nmap tools to scan the target’s network.

Passive: The second footprinting method is collecting information without directly accessing the target in any way. Attackers or ethical hackers can collect the report through social media accounts, public websites, etc.

2. Scanning

The second step in the hacking methodology is scanning, where attackers try to find different ways to gain the target’s information. The attacker looks for information such as user accounts, credentials, IP addresses, etc. This step of ethical hacking involves finding easy and quick ways to access the network and skim for information. Tools such as dialers, port scanners, network mappers, sweepers, and vulnerability scanners are used in the scanning phase to scan data and records. In ethical hacking methodology, four different types of scanning practices are used, they are as follows:

  1. Vulnerability scanning This scanning practice targets the vulnerabilities and weak points of a target and tries various ways to exploit those weaknesses. It is conducted using automated tools such as Netsparker, OpenVAS, Nmap, etc.
  2. Port Scanning: This involves using port scanners, dialers, and other data-gathering tools or software to listen to open TCP and UDP ports, running services, live systems on the target host. Penetration testers or attackers use this scanning to find open doors to access an organization’s systems.
  3. Network Scanning: This practice is used to detect active devices on a network and find ways to exploit a network. It could be an organizational network where all employee systems are connected to a single network. Ethical hackers use network scanning to strengthen a company’s network by identifying vulnerabilities and open doors.

3. Gaining Access

The next step in hacking is where an attacker uses all means to get unauthorized access to the target’s systems, applications, or networks. An attacker can use various tools and methods to gain access and enter a system. This hacking phase attempts to get into the system and exploit the system by downloading malicious software or application, stealing sensitive information, getting unauthorized access, asking for ransom, etc. Metasploit is one of the most common tools used to gain access, and social engineering is a widely used attack to exploit a target.

Ethical hackers and penetration testers can secure potential entry points, ensure all systems and applications are password-protected, and secure the network infrastructure using a firewall. They can send fake social engineering emails to the employees and identify which employee is likely to fall victim to cyberattacks.

4. Maintaining Access

Once the attacker manages to access the target’s system, they try their best to maintain that access. In this stage, the hacker continuously exploits the system, launches DDoS attacks, uses the hijacked system as a launching pad, or steals the entire database. A backdoor and Trojan are tools used to exploit a vulnerable system and steal credentials, essential records, and more. In this phase, the attacker aims to maintain their unauthorized access until they complete their malicious activities without the user finding out.

Ethical hackers or penetration testers can utilize this phase by scanning the entire organization’s infrastructure to get hold of malicious activities and find their root cause to avoid the systems from being exploited.

5. Clearing Track

The last phase of ethical hacking requires hackers to clear their track as no attacker wants to get caught. This step ensures that the attackers leave no clues or evidence behind that could be traced back. It is crucial as ethical hackers need to maintain their connection in the system without getting identified by incident response or the forensics team. It includes editing, corrupting, or deleting logs or registry values. The attacker also deletes or uninstalls folders, applications, and software or ensures that the changed files are traced back to their original value.

  1. Using reverse HTTP Shells
  2. Deleting cache and history to erase the digital footprint
  3. Using ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) Tunnels

These are the five steps of the CEH hacking methodology that ethical hackers or penetration testers can use to detect and identify vulnerabilities, find potential open doors for cyberattacks and mitigate security breaches to secure the organizations. To learn more about analyzing and improving security policies, network infrastructure, you can opt for an ethical hacking certification. The Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH v11) provided by EC-Council trains an individual to understand and use hacking tools and technologies to hack into an organization legally.

ETHICAL HACKING TERMINOLOGIES

Following is a list of important terms used in the field of hacking.

  • Adware − Adware is software designed to force pre-chosen ads to display on your system.
  • Attack − An attack is an action that is done on a system to get its access and extract sensitive data.
  • Back door − A back door, or trap door, is a hidden entry to a computing device or software that bypasses security measures, such as logins and password protections.
  • Bot − A bot is a program that automates an action so that it can be done repeatedly at a much higher rate for a more sustained period than a human operator could do it. For example, sending HTTP, FTP or Telnet at a higher rate or calling script to create objects at a higher rate.
  • Botnet − A botnet, also known as zombie army, is a group of computers controlled without their owners’ knowledge. Botnets are used to send spam or make denial of service attacks.
  • Brute force attack − A brute force attack is an automated and the simplest kind of method to gain access to a system or website. It tries different combination of usernames and passwords, over and over again, until it gets in.
  • Buffer Overflow − Buffer Overflow is a flaw that occurs when more data is written to a block of memory, or buffer, than the buffer is allocated to hold.
  • Clone phishing − Clone phishing is the modification of an existing, legitimate email with a false link to trick the recipient into providing personal information.
  • Cracker − A cracker is one who modifies the software to access the features which are considered undesirable by the person cracking the software, especially copy protection features.
  • Denial of service attack (DoS) − A denial of service (DoS) attack is a malicious attempt to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users, usually by temporarily interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the Internet.
  • DDoS − Distributed denial of service attack.
  • Exploit Kit − An exploit kit is software system designed to run on web servers, with the purpose of identifying software vulnerabilities in client machines communicating with it and exploiting discovered vulnerabilities to upload and execute malicious code on the client.
  • Exploit − Exploit is a piece of software, a chunk of data, or a sequence of commands that takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
  • Firewall − A firewall is a filter designed to keep unwanted intruders outside a computer system or network while allowing safe communication between systems and users on the inside of the firewall.
  • Keystroke logging − Keystroke logging is the process of tracking the keys which are pressed on a computer (and which touchscreen points are used). It is simply the map of a computer/human interface. It is used by gray and black hat hackers to record login IDs and passwords. Keyloggers are usually secreted onto a device using a Trojan delivered by a phishing email.
  • Logic bomb − A virus secreted into a system that triggers a malicious action when certain conditions are met. The most common version is the time bomb.
  • Malware − Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs.
  • Master Program − A master program is the program a black hat hacker uses to remotely transmit commands to infected zombie drones, normally to carry out Denial of Service attacks or spam attacks.
  • Phishing − Phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking emails, in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.
  • Phreaker − Phreakers are considered the original computer hackers and they are those who break into the telephone network illegally, typically to make free longdistance phone calls or to tap phone lines.
  • Rootkit − Rootkit is a stealthy type of software, typically malicious, designed to hide the existence of certain processes or programs from normal methods of detection and enable continued privileged access to a computer.
  • Shrink Wrap code − A Shrink Wrap code attack is an act of exploiting holes in unpatched or poorly configured software.
  • Social engineering − Social engineering implies deceiving someone with the purpose of acquiring sensitive and personal information, like credit card details or user names and passwords.
  • Spam − A Spam is simply an unsolicited email, also known as junk email, sent to a large number of recipients without their consent.
  • Spoofing − Spoofing is a technique used to gain unauthorized access to computers, whereby the intruder sends messages to a computer with an IP address indicating that the message is coming from a trusted host.
  • Spyware − Spyware is software that aims to gather information about a person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such information to another entity without the consumer’s consent, or that asserts control over a computer without the consumer’s knowledge.
  • SQL Injection − SQL injection is an SQL code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution (e.g. to dump the database contents to the attacker).
  • Threat − A threat is a possible danger that can exploit an existing bug or vulnerability to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
  • Trojan − A Trojan, or Trojan Horse, is a malicious program disguised to look like a valid program, making it difficult to distinguish from programs that are supposed to be there designed with an intention to destroy files, alter information, steal passwords or other information.
  • Virus − A virus is a malicious program or a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
  • Vulnerability − A vulnerability is a weakness which allows a hacker to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
  • Worms − A worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself.
  • Cross-site Scripting − Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject client-side script into web pages viewed by other users.
  • Zombie Drone − A Zombie Drone is defined as a hi-jacked computer that is being used anonymously as a soldier or ‘drone’ for malicious activity, for example, distributing unwanted spam e-mails.

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