11 Best Penetration Testing Tools The Pros Use
Do you want an effective penetration testing tool? If yes, this article will be useful to you. Here, we will discuss some major facts about penetration testing and top-notch tools available on the internet. With the help of explained information, you can easily compare all options and pick the suitable one.
Penetration Testing – What Is It?
If you have a computer application or software, you need to focus on its security carefully. Lack of proper security arrangements and measures can lead to some major issues, such as – attack of hackers. Now the question appears, how to identify where you lack in software security. Here, penetration testing comes into play.
Penetration testing is all about inspecting the software and identifying everything carefully by which you can figure where your software is lacking. Mainly, it runs an authorized attack on the software like a hacker may do to breach your software securities. In case a testing expert gets successful during the attack, you can know how someone can hack or take illegal advantage of your software.
As the penetration testing results, you can get details about the software’s weak points or loopholes. Further, you have to work on these things carefully to make the software safer and secure.
How Does Penetration Testing Work?
Penetration testing is an initial step towards making your software or application more secure and eliminating all threats of software breaches. Here, the software owners or organizations have to hire some experts. The experts work with the use of some specific penetration testing tools. These tools are useful in identifying software vulnerabilities easily.
The experts will make a complete report and present it to the organization based on the test procedures. In the report, they mention everything about what the vulnerabilities are, how they breach the software, and all associated information. The organization uses this particular information further to strengthen the software and make things better than before.
What Are The Types of Penetration Tests?
Penetration testing is important for software management and keeps it working perfectly. There are multiple sources or ways available for it, and the following are some major types of penetration tests.
The internal tests are conducted on the place of the organization. Mainly, internal penetration tests aim to figure out the software’s security vulnerabilities that may become advantageous for someone dealing with the organization.
The external tests are conducted with the aim of figuring out the vulnerabilities that may benefit someone remotely. For such a kind of test results, the experts are testing software or systems remotely as well.
In the case of double-blind tests, the organization management does not inform their system experts regarding software penetration. Along with it, they do not provide any data to the experts regarding security patches or anything else. These types of tests are mainly useful in detecting the vulnerabilities for back hat hackers and their attacks. It is also considered a covert test.
In the blind tests case, the organization’s system operators or experts know about the test and upcoming software penetration. When it comes to the testing experts, they do not have any security details about the software they can use to breach it. Mainly, the organization’s aim here is to figure out the problems with software security that they are unable to detect. It is also considered a black-box test.
White Box Tests
White box tests help gather information about all types of vulnerabilities in the software. For such a kind of test, the company provides complete data or information about the penetration test experts’ security measures.
Web application testing
Web application testing is a type of penetration testing that focuses on identifying vulnerabilities in web applications and their underlying systems. The goal is to uncover any weaknesses that can be exploited by an attacker to compromise the security of the system.
It involves testing for security issues such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), broken authentication and authorization, and others.
Tools such as Burp Suite, OWASP ZAP, and sqlmap are commonly used for web application testing.
Social engineering testing
Social engineering testing is a type of penetration testing that focuses on exploiting human weaknesses, such as trust and gullibility, to gain access to systems and data. It simulates an attack that manipulates individuals into revealing confidential information or performing actions that compromise the security of a system.
Examples of social engineering techniques include phishing, baiting, tailgating, and pretexting.
The goal of social engineering testing is to identify and raise awareness of potential vulnerabilities in an organization’s people, processes, and technology, and to provide recommendations for improvement.
Network testing is a type of penetration testing that focuses on the testing of network devices, such as firewalls, routers, and switches, to identify vulnerabilities and assess the security posture of the network.
The goal is to uncover any weaknesses that can be exploited by an attacker to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of network resources.
Tools such as Nmap, Wireshark, and Metasploit are commonly used for network testing. The results of the test are used to provide recommendations for improvement and to enhance the security posture of the network.
Top Penetration Testing Tools
Penetration testing tools are software programs used by security professionals to simulate a cyber attack and identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and web applications. The goal is to uncover any weaknesses that can be exploited by an attacker to compromise the security of the target.
There are many different types of penetration testing tools, each with its own unique features and capabilities.
#1 Wireshark – Best Penetration Testing Tool
Wireshark is an open-source software testing tool and analyzer. It can be used with different types of systems, such as – Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, and Solaris. With the use of this particular software, the users can easily interpret and capture network packets. Wireshark was previously named Ethereal 0.2.0. It is providing services with 600 authors.
Benefits Of Wireshark:
- It can help inspect every small detail of the activities.
- It is useful in capturing data packets that can help explore several things, such as – destination and source protocol.
- The users can consider Wireshark for both purposes, live capture and offline analysis.
#2 BeFF – Top Penetration Testing Tool
In the case you want to conduct penetration testing for a web browser, BeFF can be a great option. It can be highly beneficial for the individuals who face problems regarding web-borne attacks. BeFF uses GitHub to identify problems with the software.
Benefits of BeFF :
- It is can easily connect with over a single web browser to launch command modules.
- The users can consider it to check security posture by managing client-side attack vectors.
#3 Aircrack – Cheap Penetration Testing Tool
Aircrack is mainly designed for testing the Wi-Fi devices for proper analysis and capturing network packets. While using the tool, you can figure out that its tracking speed is much better than numerous other penetration testing tools.
Benefits of Aircrack :
- It can easily work on multiple operating systems, such as – OS X, Windows, NetBSD, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.
- With the help of the Aircarck penetration tool, the users can easily export data and capture packets.
- While using this particular tool, the experts can focus on multiple aspects, such as – monitoring, cracking, attacking, and testing.
- The experts can consider it to figure out driver capabilities and to test Wi-Fi devices.
#4 Burp Suite Pen Tester – Trusted Penetration Testing Tool
Burp Suite Pen Tester is offering penetration testing services in two different versions, free and paid. The free version covers some essential and necessary tools to scan the activities only. In case you are interested in conducting penetration testing at advanced levels, you have to work with the premium or paid version.
Benefits of Burp Suite Pen Tester
- Burp suite pen tester can be used for different operating systems, such as – Windows, OS X, and Linux.
- It has the capability of crawling web applications automatically.
#5 W3af – Popular Penetration Testing Tool
W3af is a good option for penetration testing to examine all types of web applications easily. It is useful in inspecting the software easily and figure out all kinds of available vulnerabilities. The users can conduct a proper framework audit and application attack by using it. For all these things, there are three types of plugins provided by the W3af. These plugins are specified for different types of activities, such as – discovery, attack, and audit.
Benefits of W3af
- Anyone can easily use W3af, a good source of penetration testing for amateurs and good enough for the developers.
- It is capable of running as a MITM proxy.
#6 Kali Linux
If you are looking for an advanced penetration testing tool, Kali Linux is one of the best options. Many experts are considering this particular tool for different testing types and accessing various tools, such as – reverse engineering, forensic tools, spoofing, exploitation, hardware hacking, sniffing, web application, password cracking, and wireless attacks.
Benefits of Kali Linux
- The users can easily integrate this particular tool with other penetration testing sources, such as – Metasploit and Wireshark.
- It has more than 600 ethical hacking tools.
- The experts can consider Kali for cracking passwords by using a 64-bit operating system
#7 Social Engineer Toolkit (SET)
Social Engineer Toolkit (SET) is an open-source penetration testing framework.
Benefits of Social Engineer Toolkit
- For efficient penetration tests and get top-notch results, SET is featured at Defcon, ShmooCon, and DerbyCon.
- It is a perfect option for social engineering detections.
- It has over 2 million downloads.
Software penetration testing is an important activity that all developers and software owners consider to build a secure application. If you are interested in running a black-box penetration testing, Wapiti can be the best option.
Benefits of Wapiti
- The use of Wapiti can be helpful in a broad detection and figuring out different types of vulnerabilities, such as – file disclosure, database injection, command execution detection, bypassed compromised .htaccess configurations, XSS injection, and XXE injection.
- Wapiti is easy to use.
#9 Zed Attack Proxy
Developers or individuals who are new to penetration testing can consider the option of Zed Attack Proxy. It works like a proxy between the website and the client. It is easy to use. ZAP is part of the OWASP community.
Benefits of Zed Attack Proxy
- It is available with four different modes along with customization features.
- It can be accessed on Linux and Windows operating system with JAVA 8+.
People with the requirements of inspecting SQL injection and database server vulnerabilities can consider SQLmap. It supports various platforms, such as – SQLite, Sybase, Access, MSSQL, MySQL, DB2, and PostgreSQL.
Benefits of SQLmap
- It can help you in detecting and mapping vulnerabilities easily.
- It supports all injection methods, such as – Time, Error, Stack, Boolean, and Union.
- SQLmap can be used on multiple operating systems, such as – Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
Netsparker is one of the popular software penetration testing tools. It can easily identify all types of vulnerabilities. Developers can consider its options to use various things, such as – web applications, websites, and web services. The experts can easily run an operation by adding 500 to 1000 sources to scan simultaneously while using it.
Benefits Of Choosing
- It has the capability of scanning over 1000 web applications in a single day only.
- It is featured with advanced scanning technology that provides accurate detection results.
- Easy share ability of findings and easy to add numerous team members for collaboration.
These are some major penetration testing tools to inspect your software and figure out security vulnerabilities quickly. In case you want some more options or anything else, you can find several options on the internet. Before making a final decision, it is good to discuss with experts.
Author Bio –
Ravi is a digital entrepreneur who has a vision of helping businesses to increase their online presence through websites, mobile applications, and SEO. He is the Founder & CEO of Webomaze Pty Ltd, a one-stop digital agency based in Melbourne.