Top 30+ Ethical Hacking Tools and Software for 2023 | Simplilearn (2023)

The realm of ethical hacking or penetration testing has witnessed a drastic change with the advent of automated tools. Currently, several tools that can accelerate the process of testing are being developed. Ethical hacking helps organizations in better protecting their information and systems. It is also one of the best methods to augment the skills of security professionals of an organization. Making ethical hacking a part of the security efforts of an organization can prove to be exceptionally helpful.

1. Invicti

Invicti is a web application security scanner hacking tool to find SQL Injection, XSS, and vulnerabilities in web applications or services automatically. It is usually available on SAAS solution


  • It detects Dead accurate vulnerability with the help of unique Proof-Based Scanning Technology.
  • It requires minimal configuration with a scalable solution.
  • It automatically detects URL rewrite rules as well as custom 404 error pages.
  • There is a REST API for seamless integration with the SDLC and bug tracking systems.
  • It scans up to 1,000 plus web applications within just 24 hours.

Price: It will cost from $4,500 to $26,600 with Invicti Security features.

2. Fortify WebInspect

Fortify WebInspect is a hacking tool with comprehensive dynamic analysis security in automated mode for complex web applications and services.

  • It is used to identify security vulnerabilities by allowing it to test the dynamic behavior of running web applications.
  • It can keep the scanning in control by getting relevant information and statistics.
  • It provides Centralized Program Management, vulnerability trending, compliance management, and risk oversight with the help of simultaneous crawl professional-level testing to novice security testers.

Price: It will cost around $29,494.00 provided by HP company with Tran security and virus protection.

3. Cain & Abel

Cain & Abel is an Operating System password recovery tool provided by Microsoft.

  • It is used to recover the MS Access passwords
  • It can be used in Sniffing networks
  • The password field can be uncovered.
  • It Cracks encrypted passwords with the help of dictionary attacks, brute-force, and cryptanalysis attacks.

Price: It is free. One can download it from open source.

4. Nmap (Network Mapper)

Used in port scanning, one of the phases in ethical hacking, is the finest hacking software ever. Primarily a command-line tool, it was then developed for operating systems based on Linux or Unix, and the windows version of Nmap is now available.

Nmap is basically a network security mapper capable of discovering services and hosts on a network, thereby creating a network map. This software offers several features that help in probing computer networks, host discovery as well as detection of operating systems. Being script extensible it provides advanced vulnerability detection and can also adapt to network conditions such as congestion and latency while scanning.

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5. Nessus

The next ethical hacking tool on the list is Nessus. Nessus is the world’s most well-known vulnerability scanner, which was designed by tenable network security. It is free and is chiefly recommended for non-enterprise usage. This network-vulnerability scanner efficiently finds critical bugs on any given system.

Nessus can detect the following vulnerabilities:

  • Unpatched services and misconfiguration
  • Weak passwords – default and common
  • Various system vulnerabilities

6. Nikto

Nikto is a web scanner that scans and tests several web servers for identifying software that is outdated, dangerous CGIs or files, and other problems. It is capable of performing server-specific as well as generic checks and prints by capturing the received cookies. It is a free, open-source tool, which checks version-specific problems across 270 servers and identifies default programs and files.

Here are some of the chief features of Nikto hacking software:

  • Open-source tool
  • Checks web servers and identifies over 6400 CGIs or files that are potentially dangerous
  • Checks servers for outdated versions as well as version-specific problems
  • Checks plug-inns and misconfigured files
  • Identifies insecure programs and files

7. Kismet

This is the best ethical hacking tool used for testing wireless networks and hacking of wireless LAN or wardriving. It passively identifies networks and collects packets and detects non-beaconing and hidden networks with the help of data traffic.

Kismet is basically a sniffer and wireless-network detector that works with other wireless cards and supports raw-monitoring mode.

Basic features of Kismet hacking software include the following:

  • Runs on Linux OS, which may be Ubuntu, backtrack, or more
  • Applicable to windows at times

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8. NetStumbler

This is also an ethical hacking tool that is used to prevent wardriving, which works on operating systems based on windows. It is capable of detecting IEEE 902.11g, 802, and 802.11b networks. A newer version of this called MiniStumbler is now available.

The NetStumbler ethical hacking software has the following uses:

  • Identifying AP (Access Point) network configuration
  • Finding causes of interference
  • Accessing the strength of signals received
  • Detecting unauthorized access points

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9. Acunetix

This ethical hacking tool is fully automated, detecting and reporting on more than 4500 web vulnerabilities, including every variant of XSS and SQL Injection. Acunetix fully supports JavaScript, HTML5, and single-page applications so you can audit complex authenticated applications.

Basic features include:

  • Consolidated view
  • Integration of scanner results into other platforms and tools
  • Prioritizing risks based on data

10. Netsparker

If you want a tool that mimics how hackers work, you want Netsparker. This tool identifies vulnerabilities in web APIs and web applications such as cross-site scripting and SQL Injection.

Features include:

  • Available as an on-line service or Windows software
  • Uniquely verifies identified vulnerabilities, showing that they are genuine, not false positives
  • Saves time by eliminating the need for manual verification

11. Intruder

This tool is a completely automated scanner that searches for cybersecurity weaknesses, explains the risks found, and helps address them. Intruder takes on much of the heavy lifting in vulnerability management and offers over 9000 security checks.

Features included:

  • Identifies missing patches, misconfigurations, and common web app issues like cross-site scripting and SQL Injection
  • Integrates with Slack, Jira, and major cloud providers
  • Prioritizes results based on context
  • Proactively scans systems for the latest vulnerabilities

Also Read: Introduction to Cyber Security

12. Nmap

Nmap is an open-source security and port scanner, as well as a network exploration tool. It works for single hosts and large networks alike. Cybersecurity experts can use Nmap for network inventory, monitoring host and service uptime, and managing service upgrade schedules.

Among its features:

  • Offer binary packages for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
  • Contains a data transfer, redirection, and debugging tool
  • Results and GUI viewer

13. Metasploit

The Metasploit Framework is open-source, and Metasploit Pro is a commercial offering, with a 14-day free trial. Metasploit is geared towards penetration testing, and ethical hackers can develop and execute exploit codes against remote targets.

The features include:

  • Cross-platform support
  • Ideal for finding security vulnerabilities
  • Great for creating evasion and anti-forensic tools

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14. Aircrack-Ng

Wireless network use is rising, so it’s becoming more important to keep Wi-Fi secure. Aircrack-Ng offers ethical hackers an array of command-line tools that check and evaluate Wi-Fi network security. Aircrack-Ng is dedicated to activities such as attacking, monitoring, testing, and cracking. The tool supports Windows, OS X, Linux, eComStation, 2Free BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris.

Among its features:

  • Supports exporting data to text files
  • It can crack WEP keys and WPA2-PSK, and check Wi-Fi cards
  • Supports multiple platforms

15. Wireshark

Wireshark is a great hacking software for analyzing data packets and can also perform deep inspections of a large number of established protocols. You can export analysis results to many different file formats like CSV, PostScript, Plaintext, and XML.


  • Performs live captures and offline analysis
  • Cross-platform support
  • Allows coloring rules to packet lists to facilitate analysis
  • It’s free

16. OpenVAS

The Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner is a fully featured tool performs authenticated and unauthenticated testing and performance tuning. It is geared towards large-scale scans.

OpenVAS has the capabilities of various high and low-level Internet and industrial protocols, backed up by a robust internal programming language.

17. SQLMap

SQLMap is an open-source hacking software that automates detecting and exploiting SQL Injection flaws and taking control of database servers. You can use it to connect directly with specific databases. SQLMap completely supports a half-dozen SQL injection techniques (Boolean-based blind, error-based, stacked queries, time-based blind, UNION query-based, and out-of-band).

SQLMap’s features include:

  • Powerful detection engine
  • Supports executing arbitrary commands
  • Supports MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and more.

Also Read: Why Businesses Need Ethical Hackers?

18. Ettercap

Ettercap is a free tool that is best suited for creating custom plug-ins.

Among its features:

  • Content filtering
  • Live connections sniffer
  • Network and host analysis
  • Active and passive dissection of a lot of protocols

19. Maltego

Maltego is a tool dedicated to link analysis and data mining. It comes in four forms: The free Community version, Maltego CE; Maltego Classic, which costs $999; Maltego XL, costing $1999, and the server products like Comms, CTAS, and ITDS, starting at $40000. Maltego is best suited to working with very large graphs.

Its features include:

  • Support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS
  • Performs real-time information gathering and data mining
  • Displays results in easy-to-read graphics

20. Burp Suite

This security-testing tool comes in three price tiers: Community edition (free), Professional edition (starting at $399 per user/per year), and Enterprise edition (starting at $3999/year). Burp Suite distinguishes itself as a web vulnerability scanner.

Its features include:

  • Scan scheduling and repeating
  • Uses out-of-band techniques
  • Offers CI integration

21. John the Ripper

This free tool is ideal for password cracking. It was created to detect weak UNIX passwords, and can be used on DOS, Windows, and Open VMS.


  • Offers a customizable cracker and several different password crackers in one bundle
  • Performs dictionary attacks
  • Tests different encrypted passwords

22. Angry IP Scanner

This is a free tool for scanning IP addresses and ports, though it’s unclear what it’s so angry about. You can use this scanner on the Internet or your local network, and supports Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Noted features:

  • Can export results in different formats
  • Command-line interface tool
  • Extensible with lots of data fetchers

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23. SolarWinds Security Event Manager

SolarWinds emphasizes computer security improvement, automatically detecting threats and monitoring security policies. You can easily keep track of your log files and get instant alerts should anything suspicious happen.

Features include:

  • Built-in integrity monitoring
  • Intuitive dashboard and user interface
  • Recognized as one of the best SIEM tools, helping you easily manage memory stick storage

24. Traceroute NG

Traceroute focuses on network path analysis. It can identify host names, packet loss, and IP addresses, providing accurate analysis via command line interface.

Features include:

  • Supports IP4 and IPV6
  • Detects paths changes and alerts you about them
  • Permits continuous network probing

25. LiveAction

This is one of the best ethical hacking tools available today. Used in conjunction with LiveAction packet intelligence, it can diagnose network issues more effectively and faster.

Among its top features:

  • Easy to use workflow
  • Automates network’s automated data capture is fast enough to allow rapid response to security alerts
  • Its packet intelligence provides deep analyses
  • Onsite deployment for use in appliances

26. QualysGuard

If you want a hacker security tool that checks vulnerabilities in online cloud systems, look no further. QualysGuard lets businesses streamline their compliance and security solutions, incorporating security into digital transformation initiatives.

Top features:

  • Globally trusted online hacking tool
  • Scalable, end-to-end solution for all manner of IT security
  • Real-time data analysis
  • Responds to real-time threats

27. WebInspect

WebInspect is an automated dynamic testing tool that’s well-suited for ethical hacking operations. It offers hackers a dynamic comprehensive analysis of complex web applications and services.

Its features include:

  • Lets users stay in control of scans through relevant statistics and information at a glance
  • Contains a variety of technologies suited for and level of tester, from novice to professional
  • Tests dynamic behavior of web applications for the purpose of spotting security vulnerabilities

28. Hashcat

Password cracking is a big part of ethical hacking, and Hashcat is a robust cracking tool. It can help ethical hackers audit password security, retrieve lost passwords, and discover the data stored in a hash.

Notable features include:

  • Open source
  • Multiple platform support
  • Supports distributed cracking networks
  • Supports automatic performance tuning

29. L0phtCrack

This is a password recovery and audit tool that can identify and assess password vulnerabilities over local networks and machines.


  • Easily customizable
  • Fixes weak passwords issues by forcing a password reset or locking out accounts
  • Optimizes hardware courtesy of multicore and multi-GPU support

30. Rainbow Crack

Here’s another entry in the password-cracking category. It employs rainbow tables to crack hashes, employing a time-memory tradeoff algorithm to accomplish it.

Its features include:

  • Runs on Windows and Linux
  • Command-line and graphic user interfaces
  • Unified rainbow table file format

31. IKECrack

IKECrack is an authentication cracking tool with the bonus of being open source. This tool is designed to conduct dictionary or brute-force attacks. IKECrack enjoys a solid reputation for successfully running cryptography tasks.

Its features include:

  • Strong emphasis on cryptography
  • Ideally suited for either commercial or personal use
  • Free

32. Sboxr

SBoxr is another open source hacking tool that emphasizes vulnerability testing. It has a favorable reputation as a customizable tool that lets hackers create their own custom security scanners.

Its main features include:

  • Easy to use and GUI-based
  • Supports Ruby and Python
  • Uses an effective, powerful scanning engine
  • Generates reports in RTF and HTML formats
  • Checks for over two dozen types of web vulnerabilities

33. Medusa

Medusa is one of the best online speedy, brute-force parallel password crackers tools out there for ethical hackers.


  • Includes flexible user input which can be specified in many ways
  • Supports many services that allow remote authentication
  • One of the best tools for thread-based parallel testing and brute-force testing

34. Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel is a tool used to recover passwords for the Microsoft Operating System. It uncovers password fields, sniffs networks, recovers MS Access passwords, and cracks encrypted passwords using brute-force, dictionary, and cryptanalysis attacks.

35. Zenmap

This open source application is the official Nmap Security Scanner software, and is multi-platform. Zenmap is ideal for any level of experience, from newbies to experienced hackers.

Among its features:

  • Administrators can track new hosts or services that appear on their networks and track existing downed services
  • Graphical and interactive results viewing
  • Can draw topology maps of discovered networks

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Top 30+ Ethical Hacking Tools and Software for 2023 | Simplilearn? ›

Is Ethical Hacking a Good Career Option in 2023? Yes. The industry has seen a tremendous rise in terms of both money spent and in employment. The need for ethical hackers is also expected to rise along with the number of cyber threats and the necessity for cybersecurity.

Is ethical hacking a good career in 2023? ›

Is Ethical Hacking a Good Career Option in 2023? Yes. The industry has seen a tremendous rise in terms of both money spent and in employment. The need for ethical hackers is also expected to rise along with the number of cyber threats and the necessity for cybersecurity.

What is the salary of ethical hacker in 2023? ›

As of Sep 15, 2023, the average annual pay for an Ethical Hacker in the United States is $135,269 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $65.03 an hour. This is the equivalent of $2,601/week or $11,272/month.

What tools and softwares do ethical hackers buy? ›

Top Tools for Ethical Hacking
  • Nmap. Short for Network Mapper, no ethical hacker can do without this tool because of its powerful searching and scanning abilities. ...
  • Nessus. Second on the list is Nessus, the world's most renowned vulnerability scanner. ...
  • Burp Suite. ...
  • Metasploit. ...
  • Netsparker. ...
  • Acunetix. ...
  • Aircrack-Ng. ...
  • John the Ripper.
Sep 12, 2023

Can Ethical Hacking make you a millionaire? ›

In short, the answer is yes. You can definitely start ethical hacking tutorials without any programming experience. You can pick up all you need to know along the way. However, your chances of success will be much lower than someone who already knows how to program.

Is hacking harder than coding? ›

When asked if coding knowledge is needed for hacking, the answer is almost always the same: It's possible to become a great hacker without coding knowledge, but having coding experience makes it a whole lot easier. Knowing how software is built in theory makes it easier to break.

What is the maximum salary of a ethical hacker in USA? ›

An experienced, ethical hacker salary in US is $121,875 a year, or $58.59 per hour. The highest-paid employees can earn up to $156,780 a year.

Who is the highest paid ethical hacker? ›

Kevin Mitnick is the world's most famous, or rather No. 1 ethical hacker. Mitnick's Global Ghost Team holds a 100% success rate for penetrating any security system.

How much do entry level ethical hackers make? ›

Ethical hackers may receive a bump in pay every year or two they're employed. According to Payscale, an entry-level ethical hacker may earn an average of £25,000 in their first year, while their pay raises £39,000 with one to four years of experience [3].

What do hackers mostly use? ›

Some of the most famous hacking tools in the market are Nmap (Network Mapper), Nessus, Nikto, Kismet, NetStumbler, Acunetix, Netsparker, and Intruder, Nmap, Metasploit, Aircrack-Ng, etc.

What every hacker needs? ›

Programming is the most important skill that every hacker must master. Anything that is connected to the internet can be hacked. And anything that has digital security requires the knowledge of coding. This is why a hacker must be well-versed with multiple computer languages for hacking.

How do hackers learn to hack? ›

Hackers learn to hack by getting an education in cybersecurity, obtaining certifications, and getting jobs that require hacking capabilities. Here is more information on how hackers learn to hack: Get an education in cybersecurity. There are many different paths to starting a career in hacking and cybersecurity.

What is the best RAM for ethical hacking? ›

5. How much RAM do I need for hacking? The hacking laptops must have at least 8 GB of RAM. However, having 16 GB or even 32 GB RAM can be even better.

What is the hardest ethical hacking course? ›

1. Offensive Security Certified Professional. Offensive Security's "PEN-200 Penetration Testing with Kali Linux," which culminates in Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification, is the top course recommended to anyone looking to become an ethical hacker or improve their hacking skills.

Where to start when hacking? ›

Where should beginner hackers start? Beginners should start with the fundamental cybersecurity skills one will always need when hacking: Networking, Linux, Windows, and scripting. Regardless of how advanced or basic your exploits become, you'll always call upon the knowledge and skills related to these core domains.

Does ethical hacking have future? ›

It is estimated that the job of an ethical hacker is going to increase by 17.5% across the world by the year 2025. Apart from being an ethical hacker, candidates can also start their career as an information system analyst, cybersecurity expert, and security analyst manager etc.

Is ethical hacking a good career in future? ›

Yes, ethical hacking is in demand. Even though only 32% of people work in the ethical hacking industry. The need for new staff is on the rise. Compared to last year, the number of ethical hackers is predicted to rise by 20% by the end of 2023.

Is it worth learning cyber security in 2023? ›

More than 1 million cyber security jobs will be available by 2023, but less than 400,000 cybersecurity professionals will be trained by then. Cyber security is an ever-growing industry. It is projected to grow by 11% in 2023 and by 20% in 2025.

Will ethical hackers be needed in the future? ›

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) continue to revolutionize industries, ethical hackers will be essential in identifying vulnerabilities within these technologies. They will help secure AI-driven systems against adversarial attacks, ensuring the integrity, privacy, and fairness of AI algorithms.

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