What are the best tools for penetration testing?
The tools for penetration testing to be used differ depending on the platform they are supported on or the different penetration tasks they accomplish. There is no one penetration testing tool for all penetration tests as some tools are better used than others depending on the different penetration test tasks to be performed.
There is complexity in performing penetration tests that is why it is better left in the hands of experts such as Privacy Ninja. Choosing the right tool alone is vital, and without expertise in performing these tests, you could be missing out loopholes in your system that could be vulnerable to certain attacks.
There are many tools for penetration testing to choose from. But before we delve into that, let us first recall what Penetration Testing is.
What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing, or colloquially referred to as pen testing/ethical hacking, is a simulated cyber-attack where professional, ethical hackers break into corporate networks to find vulnerabilities before hackers with malicious intent do.
Penetration Testing is an essential part of security verification testing as it is a form of a security assessment that identifies vulnerabilities in an organization’s system, software application, or network. It helps assess an organization’s security posture to identify what needs to be done to prevent future attacks, and this comes in identifying potential loopholes that a cybercriminal might exploit.
Also Read: 4 Reasons to Outsource Penetration Testing Services
Tools for penetration testing for different penetration testing tasks
According to Varonis, the following are some of the tools for penetration testing to tackle various penetration testing tasks:
The PowerShell-suite is a collection of PowerShell scripts that extract information about Windows machines’ handles, processes, DLLs, and many other aspects. By scripting together specific tasks, you can quickly navigate and check which systems on a network are vulnerable to exploitation.
Resource Hacker allows anyone to decompile a windows file and recompile it at a later time. It is a windows specific file editor that comes with a GUI interface that makes it easy for novice pentesters to learn and use.
Zmap is a free network scanner that can scan everything from a home network to the entire Internet to gather baseline details about a network.
Xray is an excellent network mapping tool that uses the OSINT framework to help guide its tactics. Xray uses wordlists, DNS requests, and any API keys to help identify open ports on a network from the outside looking in.
One of the tools for penetration testing is SimplyEmail which us used to help gather associated information found on the internet based on someone’s email address. It works to search the internet for any data that can help provide intelligence around any given email address and it is based on the harvester solution.
One of the most widely used network protocol analyzer across the world is Wireshark. It can show what systems or protocols are live, what accounts are most active, and allow attackers to intercept sensitive data once the network traffic is captured by it.
John the Ripper
Tools for penetration testing like John the Ripper is a password cracking tool. It has a sole purpose of finding weak passwords on a given system and expose them within a short timeframe.
Fuzzdb is one of the special kind of tools for penetration testing tool as it contains pre-built attack payloads to run against web applications to discover if vulnerabilities are genuinely exploitable. On top of simulating attack patterns, Fuzzdb can run discovery scans and analyze the responses received from such scans to better narrow the focus of where vulnerabilities exist.
Tools for penetration testing such as Apktool is for those IT experts or security researchers trying to reverse engineer a malware to identify a way to better protect against it.
Catfish is one of the tools for penetration testing that are used by many to search for specific files that may contain sensitive data. With Catfish, end-users are allowed to explore a system for any files containing a particular string within its name.