35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List 2025 ( Tools & Softwares )

35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List 2025: Ethical hacking is the process of finding vulnerabilities that genuine hackers can exploit for data theft, financial loss, or other malicious purposes. The job of an ethical hacker is to find these vulnerabilities in the system with the permission of the organization and help them fix them.

There are many types of ethical hacking tools available to help them in this work. These tools are similar to those used by real hackers, but ethical hackers use them with good intentions. These are just a few examples of these tools.

There are many other tools available in the field of ethical hacking, which are used for different types of tests. These tools should only be used by people who have the right training to use them. Their misuse can lead to serious legal problems.

Top Ethical Hacking Tools List
Top Ethical Hacking Tools List

35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List 2025

Here is the list of the top 35 ethical hacking tools and software for you. Check all tools and software features also:

  • Nmap (Network Mapper)
  • Metasploit
  • Wireshark
  • Aircrack-ng
  • John the Ripper
  • Hydra
  • Burp Suite
  • Nessus
  • SQLmap
  • Cain & Abel
  • Nikto
  • Acunetix
  • Ettercap
  • Maltego
  • Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET)
  • Angry IP Scanner
  • Kismet
  • OpenVAS
  • Hashcat
  • w3af (Web Application Attack and Audit Framework)
  • OWASP ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy)
  • Nexpose
  • BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)
  • Snort
  • Arachni
  • Netcat
  • Reaver
  • OpenSSH
  • Impacket
  • Yersinia
  • THC Hydra
  • Medusa
  • Fiddler
  • DirBuster
  • Malicious Traffic Detection (MTD)

1. 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List: Nmap (Network Mapper)

nmap
nmap

Nmap is one of the most used tools by network administrators and cybersecurity professionals. Enmap stands for Network Mapper. It’s an open-source tool, which means you don’t have to pay any money to use it. Enmap helps scan and map the network using commands. It can be used for many things, such as:

  • Detecting active computers (live hosts) on the network
  • Scanning different ports
  • Figuring out which operating systems are running on the network
  • Perform network security audits

Features:

  • Network discovery and security auditing, host discovery, port scanning, version detection, OS detection, and scriptable interaction with the target.

Pricing:

  • Free and open-source.

How to Use:

    • Install Nmap.
    • Run a basic scan: nmap <target IP>
    • For a detailed scan, use options like -A for OS detection and -sV for service version detection.

2. Metasploit

The Metasploit framework is one of the most popular open-source tools for penetration testing. It is used by security professionals to find and exploit vulnerabilities, in much the same way that real attackers can. However, note that Metasploit should only be used in ethical hacking or controlled environments, it is illegal to use it on any network without permission.

What is Metasploit?

Metasploit is a framework that includes various tools that can be used to find, exploit, and gain control of the system. This includes:

  • Exploits: These are codes that can be exploited to penetrate the system.
  • Payloads: These are small programs sent to run commands or gain control over a system.
  • Auxiliary modules: These are tools that are used to gather information about the network or perform a specific task.

Features:

  • Exploitation development, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, exploit automation, customizable payloads.

Pricing:

  • Free (Metasploit Framework), Paid versions with more features.

How to Use:

    • Install Metasploit.
    • Launch the console: msfconsole.
    • Search for exploits: search <vulnerability>
    • Use a module: use <module name>.
    • Set target options and run: exploit.

3. Wireshark

Wireshark
Wireshark

Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for troubleshooting network problems (troubleshooting), analysis, software and communication protocol development, and education. It was originally named Ethereal but changed its name to Wireshark in May 2006 due to trademark problems.

You can think of Wireshark as a kind of microscope of the network. It tracks and captures traffic on your network, known as packets. Once captured, Wireshark allows you to see in detail what data is in packets, where they are coming from and going, and what protocol they are using (e.g. HTTP, TCP/IP).

  • Features: Network protocol analysis, live capture, deep inspection of hundreds of protocols, offline analysis.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Wireshark.
    • Select the network interface to capture.
    • Start capturing packets.
    • Analyze captured data using filters and protocol details.

4. Aircrack-ng

Aircrack-ng is a free and open-source tool used to conduct security checks of Wi-Fi networks. It focuses specifically on WEP and WPA/WPA2-PSK encryption. It can also be used to break these encryptions, although this is usually done for teaching and security checks, not to access any unauthorized networks.

  • Features: Cracking WEP and WPA-PSK keys, monitoring wireless networks, capturing data packets, replay attacks, and de-authentication.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Aircrack-ng.
    • Capture packets: airodump-ng <interface>.
    • Deauthenticate clients: aireplay-ng -0 <number> -a <AP MAC> -c <Client MAC> <interface>.
    • Crack the key: aircrack-ng <capture file>.

5. John the Ripper

John the Ripper is a free and open-source password cracker that can be used to crack a variety of password hashes. John the Ripper is a valuable tool for ethical hackers who want to test the strength of password hashing algorithms and identify weak passwords.

  • Features: Password cracking, customizable cracking modes, support for various hash types.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install John the Ripper.
    • Prepare a password file: john <password file>.
    • Run the cracker: john --wordlist=<wordlist> <password file>.

6. Hydra

  • Features: Fast password cracking tool, supports numerous protocols, and parallelized network logins.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Hydra.
    • Execute a brute-force attack: hydra -l <username> -P <password list> <target IP> <protocol>.

7. Burp Suite

  • Features: Web vulnerability scanner, intercepting proxy, web application testing, automated scanning, manual testing tools.
  • Pricing: Free (Community Edition), Paid (Professional Edition).
  • How to Use:
    • Install Burp Suite.
    • Configure your browser to use Burp’s proxy.
    • Intercept and analyze HTTP/HTTPS traffic.
    • Use automated scanners and manual tools for vulnerability assessment.

8. Nessus

Nessus is a powerful vulnerability scanner that can be used to identify security vulnerabilities in a variety of systems, including operating systems, applications, and network devices. Nessus is a commercial tool, but there is a free version available for personal use. Nessus is a valuable tool for ethical hackers who want to automate the process of vulnerability scanning and identify potential security risks.

  • Features: Vulnerability scanning, configuration auditing, compliance checks, high-speed discovery.
  • Pricing: Free trial, Paid subscription.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Nessus.
    • Set up scan policies.
    • Run scans against targets.
    • Review scan reports for vulnerabilities and remediation.

9. SQLmap

SQLMap is an open-source penetration testing tool that can be used to automate the process of exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities. SQL injection is a common web application vulnerability that can allow attackers to inject malicious SQL code into a web application. SQLMap can be used to identify and exploit SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.

  • Features: Automated SQL injection and database takeover tool, detection and exploitation of SQL injection vulnerabilities, database fingerprinting.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install SQLmap.
    • Run a scan: sqlmap -u <URL> --dbs.
    • Exploit and retrieve data: sqlmap -u <URL> -D <database> -T <table> --dump.

10. Cain & Abel

  • Features: Password recovery, network packet sniffing, cracking various password hashes.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Cain & Abel.
    • Use the sniffer to capture network traffic.
    • Use the cracker to decode passwords.

11. Nikto

Nikto is a popular open-source web server scanner that helps in identifying potential vulnerabilities and security risks in web servers. It performs comprehensive scans and checks for outdated software versions, misconfigurations, insecure files, and other potential weaknesses.

By using Nikto, website administrators and security professionals can proactively assess the security posture of their web servers and take necessary measures to mitigate any identified risks.

  • Features: Web server scanner, detecting outdated software versions, identifying server misconfigurations.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Nikto.
    • Run a scan: nikto -h <host>.

12. Acunetix

Acunetix is a robust web vulnerability scanner designed to identify and address security vulnerabilities in web applications. It performs comprehensive scans to detect common security flaws such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and insecure server configurations.

Acunetix provides detailed reports with recommended solutions to help developers and security teams address these vulnerabilities and strengthen the overall security of their web applications. By using Acunetix, organizations can proactively protect their web assets and ensure a safer online environment for their users.

  • Features: Web vulnerability scanner, automated scanning, compliance reporting.
  • Pricing: Paid with a free trial.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Acunetix.
    • Configure the target website.
    • Run the scan and review the results.

13. Ettercap

Ettercap is a powerful open-source tool used for network security assessments, specifically for conducting man-in-the-middle attacks on a local area network (LAN). It can also be used for legitimate purposes like network protocol analysis and security auditing.

Ettercap is a versatile tool that can be valuable for network security professionals. However, it’s important to remember that using Ettercap for malicious purposes is illegal. It should only be used in controlled environments with proper authorization.

  • Features: Network sniffing, real-time data interception, protocol analysis, ARP poisoning.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Ettercap.
    • Start sniffing on a network interface.
    • Use MITM attacks to intercept traffic.

14. 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List: Maltego

  • Features: Open-source intelligence (OSINT) and forensics, data mining, and link analysis.
  • Pricing: Free Community Edition, Paid versions.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Maltego.
    • Create a new graph.
    • Add entities and run transforms to gather data.

15. Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET)

  • Features: Social engineering attacks, phishing, spear-phishing, credential harvesting.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install SET.
    • Select the type of attack from the menu.
    • Configure attack parameters and execute.

16. Angry IP Scanner

  • Features: Fast network scanning, IP address and port scanning, export results.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Angry IP Scanner.
    • Set the IP range to scan.
    • Start the scan and view the results.

17. Kismet

  • Features: Wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Kismet.
    • Configure wireless interfaces.
    • Start capturing wireless traffic.

18. OpenVAS

OpenVAS is a free and open-source vulnerability scanner that can be used to identify security vulnerabilities in a variety of systems, including operating systems, applications, and network devices.

OpenVAS is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used to scan a wide range of targets, and it offers a variety of features that are not found in Nessus, such as the ability to develop custom vulnerability scans. OpenVAS is a good choice for ethical hackers who are looking for a free and open-source alternative to Nessus.

  • Features: Vulnerability scanning, network assessment, comprehensive vulnerability management.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install OpenVAS.
    • Configure scan targets.
    • Run scans and analyze results.

19. Hashcat

Several password hashes can be cracked using the free and open-source password cracker Hashcat. Although more difficult to operate than John the Ripper, Hashcat is a speedier option. For ethical hackers looking to find weak passwords and evaluate the strength of hashing algorithms, Hashcat is a useful tool.

  • Features: Advanced password recovery, supports multiple hash algorithms, GPU acceleration.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Hashcat.
    • Prepare a hash file.
    • Run the cracker: hashcat -m <hash type> -a <attack mode> <hash file> <wordlist>.

20. 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List: w3af

  • Features: Web application security scanner, vulnerability detection, exploitation.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install w3af.
    • Start the console: ./w3af_console.
    • Configure the target and run the scan.

21. OWASP ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy)

  • Features: Web application security scanner, intercepting proxy, automated and manual testing.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install OWASP ZAP.
    • Set up the proxy in your browser.
    • Use automated scanners or manual tools to test web applications.

22. 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List: Nexpose

  • Features: Vulnerability management, risk assessment, compliance checking.
  • Pricing: Paid with a free trial.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Nexpose.
    • Configure scan targets.
    • Run scans and review reports.

23. BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)

  • Features: Browser vulnerability exploitation, real-time attack vectors, command modules.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install BeEF.
    • Launch the framework and hook a browser.
    • Execute commands on the hooked browser.

24. 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List: Snort

  • Features: Intrusion detection system (IDS), real-time traffic analysis, packet logging.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Snort.
    • Configure rules and start monitoring network traffic.

25. Arachni

  • Features: Web application security scanner, multi-platform support, automated and manual testing.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Arachni.
    • Set the target URL and start the scan.
    • Analyze the scan results.

26. Netcat

  • Features: Network debugging and exploration, port scanning, transfer files, create connections.
  • Pricing: Free and open-source.
  • How to Use:
    • Install Netcat.
    • Use for port scanning: nc -zv <target IP> <port range>.
    • Create a reverse shell: nc -lvp <port>

FAQ: 35 Top Ethical Hacking Tools List 2024

What are ethical hacking tools?

Ans: Ethical hacking tools are software and applications used by cybersecurity professionals to identify, test, and fix security vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and web applications. These tools help in enhancing security by simulating potential cyber-attacks.

Why are ethical hacking tools important?

Ans: Ethical hacking tools are essential for:

  • Identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities.
  • Enhancing the overall security posture of organizations.
  • Ensuring compliance with security standards and regulations.
  • Preventing data breaches and cyber-attacks.
How do I choose the right ethical hacking tool?

Ans: Consider the following factors:

  • Purpose: Identify what you need the tool for (e.g., network scanning, password cracking, web application testing).
  • Features: Ensure the tool has the necessary features for your tasks.
  • Ease of use: Choose a tool with a user-friendly interface and good documentation.
  • Community support: Tools with active communities are often better maintained and have more resources available.
  • Budget: Determine if a free tool meets your needs or if you need the advanced features of a paid version.
Are ethical hacking tools legal to use?

Ans: Ethical hacking tools are legal to use when:

  • Used with permission from the owner of the system or network.
  • Employed for educational purposes, testing, and security enhancement within the boundaries of the law. Unauthorized use of these tools for malicious purposes is illegal and punishable by law.
Can beginners use ethical hacking tools?

Ans: Yes, many ethical hacking tools are beginner-friendly and come with comprehensive documentation and community support. However, beginners should start with understanding the basics of cybersecurity and network protocols to effectively use these tools.

Conclusion:

Hope you like this post about the top hacking tools list in 2025. Ethical hacking tools are invaluable for cybersecurity professionals. They help in identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities, thereby protecting systems and data from malicious attacks. By choosing the right tools and using them responsibly, organizations can significantly enhance their security posture.

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