Linux-based distros are the most preferred platforms for ethical hacking. Specifically, open source operating systems like Kali Linux Tools and Parrot are very popular among security researchers. They come with a long list of hacking tools with Terminal and GUI interfaces.
In this article, I’ll be listing the best Kali Linux tools for 2019 that you can use on Linux operating system. I’ve chosen the most popular tool for each category of security tools and described their main highlights. Let’s take a look:
Top Kali Linux Tools For Pen-Testing in 2019
Category: Information Gathering
If I say that Wireshark is one of the most used network protocol analyzers around, I won’t be wrong. This free and open source Kali Linux hacking tool uses the Qt widget for its interface. With this tool, you can take a closer look at what’s happening on your network with the support for hundreds of protocols. It also brings along live capture and offline analysis. The captured files are compressed using gzip and they can be easily decompressed or exported to formats like CSV, XML, PostScript, or plain text. For the die-hard lovers of Terminal-based tools, there’s a non-GUI version named TShark as well. Using this tool, an ethical hacker can read the live traffic or analyze the already-captured packets. What makes Wireshark more useful is its cross-platform availability for Linux, macOS, Solaris, BSD, etc.
Category: Vulnerability Analysis
Similar to Wireshark, Nmap is also a free and open source network scanner that you can use on your Kali Linux-powered hacking rig. As it falls under the vulnerability analysis category, a security researcher can use Nmap to perform different functions like identifying hosts on a network, grab the list of open ports, list the hardware specs and operating system on networking devices, etc. Users can further add features to this modular hacking tool for Kali with the help of scripts. This cross-platform tool is also available for Windows, BSD, and macOS, however, Linux remains the most popular platform.
Category: Wireless Attacks
When it comes to Wi-Fi hacking tools for Kali Linux or other distros in general, Aircrack-ng is the perfect network software suite that acts as a detector, sniffer, cracker, and analysis tool.
All you need is a device with a network controller that can sniff 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g traffic in raw monitoring mode. The suite consists of tons of terminal-based tools that you can run with simple commands. Apart from being pre-installed in distros like Parrot and Kali, it’s also available for Windows, macOS, BSD, and Linux distros.
Category: Web Applications
Moving on to the next Kali Linux tool, Nikto is an open source vulnerability scanner that an ethical hacker can use to take on web server security by spotting insecure files, programs, configurations, etc. Built on LibWhisker2, which is a Perl library, Nikto’s name is taken from the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” It supports useful features like proxies, SSL, attack encoding, host authentication, etc. This tool for Kali Linux is also cross-platform. You can run it on almost all Linux distros, Windows 10, macOS, BSD, etc.
Category: Stress Testing
As its name suggests, FunkLoad features as a load tester in our Kali Linux tool list. Built using Python scripts using the PyUnit framework, FunkLoad emulates a single-threaded web browser and handles real-world applications. Different types of testing that you can perform using this software include regression testing, performance testing, load testing, stress testing, etc. You also get an option to generate differential reports to compare two bench reports to give an overview of load changes. You can install it on all Linux distros and run different operations from the command line.
Category: Forensics Tools
Bulk-Extractor hacking program is popular among ethical hackers for abstracting information like web addresses, credit card details, email address, etc., for different kinds of digital files. By using these tools, one can also build list of words found within the data that can be later used for password cracking using other Linux hacking tools. Once Bulk-Extractor processes files, it stores the results in feature files that are easily parsable and inspectable. It also comes with a GUI interface that makes it easy to browse the resultant files. Users can install Bulk-Extractor on Linux-based operating systems as well as Windows.
Category: Exploitation Tools
The Metaploit Framework needs no introduction as it’s the world’s most used penetration testing platform. It lets you spot, validate, and exploit different loopholes. It’s also used as a base for many commercial ethical hacking frameworks. Being an open source framework, the open source community keeps adding newer modules and Rapid7 also keeps adding new features on its own. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that new updates to this tool are pushed every day. You can install Metasploit on Linux, Windows, macOS, and BSD.
Category: Password Attacks
Ophcrack is one of the most reputed password cracking tools available for ethical hacking purposes. Being an easy-to-use tool with a simple graphical user interface, this free and open source tool is preferred to crack passwords in minutes. Ophcrack is also known for one of the best implementations of rainbow tables for cracking. As it’s a cross-platform tool, you can use it on Linux and Windows with ease. It also comes in the form of a live Linux CD based on the SliTax distro for cracking of passwords of a Windows machine.
Category: Maintaining Access
If you’re into ethical hacking, you must’ve used Netcat computer networking utility. dbd, on the other hand, is a Kali Linux software that’s an improved Netcat clone; it offers strong encryption and lets you perform your task with peace of mind. The highlight features of this open source tool are AES-CBC-128 + HMAC-SHA1 encryption, continuous reconnection with relay, option to choose port, etc. It’s important to note that this open source tool supports TCP/IP communication only.
Kali Linux Tools To Up Your Learning
With these Kali Linux Tools, you simply can’t go wrong. All of them are sure to satisfy most of your networking needs. However, if we miss any important Kali Linux tool then hit us up in the comments and we’ll update our list as soon as possible. Until then, do give these Kali Linux tools a try and let us know your experiences and favorites. Keep reading, keep learning.