So we had to ask ourselves if we only could use just a few pentesting tools lets say 7 what would be those tools we would have to have to conduct any pentest out of all the rest. We have our 7 see if you agree or what you would switch out.
In 2017, the average cost of cyber-crime increased by a whopping 27%, as reported by Accenture. The rise hasn’t stopped ever since. In such trying times, being preemptive and preventive, when it comes to cybersecurity, is paramount. Even if you think that you have a rigorous enough security infrastructure in place, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels. Keeping up your network’s defenses against the constantly evolving modern hacker, is a never-ending process. Running malware and vulnerability scans periodically help you identify flaws, but to an extent. To go the extra mile, you have to actually simulate potential attacks on your network, and see how well-equipped it is to fight off the most sophisticated intrusion attempts. This process of trying to breach your own defenses (without incurring any costs) is known as penetration testing (or pentesting).
Pentesting is a great way of identifying potential vulnerabilities before they are discovered by hackers. Today, we even have some sophisticated, automated penetration testing tools that make it easy to perform penetration testing. So, if you are a small business owner with not too much money to spare, fret not, as what follows is a list of the best penetration testing tools available right now:
Nmap (The Network Mapper)
Arguably the most important part of a pentesting effort is the vulnerability scanning, and Nmap helps you with that. It’s completely free and open-source. Using it, you can scan the most important components of a network, including hosts, installed operating systems, firewalls, and running services etc. Nmap is as good for huge enterprise networks, as it’s for a personal computer.
In addition to providing the tester with a vivid understanding of the target network, it also lets them monitor uptime/downtime of a service or host. It is easy-to-use, heavily documented, and even comes with a GUI (Zenmap). Best of all, it supports almost all famous operating systems, including Windows, Solaris, Mac, NetBSD, Ubuntu and more.
Find more about Nmap here.
Metasploit is one of the most powerful penetration testing tools available today. It’s completely open source and has been getting contributions from developers and security experts for years now. It has an extensive set of vulnerability detection features, including vulnerability validation, tracking real-time statistics, and sharing validation results with Nexpose.
Metasploit has a very extensive documentation that can be helpful for beginners and experts alike. Its exploit feature lets you choose the hosts you want to exploit, opt from a variety of payload options, collect evidence from live sessions, perform transport evasion, and even run multiple exploits currently.
Know more about Metasploit here.
Aircrack-ng offers a comprehensive suite of Wi-Fi network security assessment features. From allowing you to capture packets and export them to text files for further processing, to performing attacks like fake access points, deauthentication, and replay attacks; it does it all. Moreover, you can also use it to crack WPA PSK and WEP keys.
Aircrack-ng is also open-source and available for the Windows platform. The documentation is not as extensive as some of the other tools we have mentioned, but it can still help you get started.
Get to know Aircrack-ng more here.
Almost every developer has used Wireshark at some point in their career. It’s incredibly powerful and lets you monitor all the traffic that goes through your network. You can filter based on transport layer protocol, contained AVPs, packet size, and source and destination ports and IP addresses.
The best part about Wireshark is that it lets you go deep. Information about all layers (network, application, transport) is available for all the packets. You can also identify relationships between packets, e.g. which packet was sent in response to a specific request packet.
Know all there is about Wireshark here.
Nessus is a paid vulnerability assessment tool which is well-designed and easy to use. It supports more than 47,000 CVEs (common vulnerabilities and exposures), which is way more than any other product in the market. It comes with a lot of pre-built templates which make it easy to get started with it. With the simple click of a button, you can get access to features like cloud infrastructure audit, bash shellshock detection, internal PCI network scan, mobile device scan, offline config audit, shadow brokers scan, and much more.
The vulnerability management tool on Nessus is very intuitive. You can choose to snooze off vulnerabilities, group them based on different factors, and set severity levels as you see fit.
You can learn more about the product here.
John the Ripper
Nothing breaches security more than weak passwords. After all, if you know the administrator password to a server, nobody can stop you from wreaking as much havoc on it as you want. This is why penetration testing often involves a lot of password cracking. For this purpose, John the Ripper is widely used by pentesters (and hackers) around the world.
It offers a comprehensive packaging of the most sophisticated password cracking tools in the world. It supports different password hash types and ciphers including (but not limited to) crypt (3), Kerberos/AFS, DES-based tripcodes, and Windows LM hashes. You can install John on Windows, DOS, and most flavors of Unix. The package also includes a lot of huge password and dictionary files, which you can pass to john as an input (you can also create your own files too of course).
Find all about John the Ripper here.
Burp Suite is a vulnerability scanning and exploitation tool, made byPortSwigger Ltd. It can help you identify a ridiculous potential vulnerabilities, including SQL injection, cross side scripting, guessable credentials, and unhandled exceptions etc.
With Burp, you can inject payload into any part of the HTTP request; this includes the POST data, query string, URL path, and the cookies. It runs on many famous Linux distributions, Mac OS, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.
Visit the official Burp documentation here.
You can never be too careful when it comes to cybersecurity; especially in a world where more sophisticated ways of hacking are being discovered every day. Penetration testing is a great way to introspect, examine, and mitigate potential security risks within a system. In the article above, we mentioned some of the top penetration testing tools that can come in handy for anyone, regardless of their level of experience. If you would like even more detail and a more comprehensive list definitely check out the top penetration testing tools by actual pentesters.