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Top 5 Industry Tools for Ethical Hacking to Learn in 2020

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The field of Ethical Hacking has faced a colossal growth with the advent of industry tools for penetration testing and bug bounty hunting. When we are learning about the technology ethical hacking, we should also get to know the basic tools for them in addition to grasping knowledge on the outdated vulnerabilities and lab attacks. If you are new to Ethical Hacking, then let’s begin by defining the technology before understanding the toolsets used.


If cybersecurity refers to the protection of the individual components from a cyber attack, the hacker is a person who breaks into the confidentiality of a system. But don’t take it wrong. Hacking is not always bad stuff. This is why the adjective ‘ethical’ hangs along with the word ‘hacking’ bringing to it a meaningful and positive denotation, where the ethical hacker defends the organizations from cyber attacks by discovering the vulnerabilities in a computer network. In much simpler terms, one doesn’t need to join the army to protect the nation. You can be an ethical hacker too. Let’s now get to know the tools widely used by industry professionals.

1. NMap

Nmap stands for  Network Mapped. This fast and reliable Network and Port Scanner was created by Gordon Lyon with its first release in the year 1997. Nmap is a powerful utility that can be used as a security scanner as well as a vulnerability detector. This is one of the best scanning tools for Ethical Hacking and by default top 1000 most likely ports are scanned using NMap. This host detection tool is also used for information gathering, analysis, exploitation, and enumeration purposes. This tool was initially built for Linux operating system. But in the later years, the growth of cybersecurity has caused the shipping of the tool to other major distributions like Windows, OS X, BSD, etc. NMap is a free and open-source tool used for banner grabbing and version detection of various software and will even exploit them in case it is using an outdated version.

2. Burp Suite

This is a powerful tool used for the security testing of web applications. Burp suite involves a tool bunch and was developed by the company Portswigger. Talking about industry professionals, Burp Suite is one of the favorite tools used in web security and this multipurpose security utility is used in bug bounty hunting. Additionally, the burp suite community includes a lot of manual tools that help us best experience web security. The burp proxy is the oxygen-cylinder of Burp’s user-driven workflow. It operates as a web proxy server between the browser and target applications and lets us intercept, inspect and modify the raw traffic passing in both directions. In short, it is very useful to hinder the accumulation of project data for out-of-scope items.

3. Google Dorks

This tool is widely used by hackers to find the security flaws in the websites as it helps to locate hidden data on the web platform. It can even fetch information that is difficult using general database retrieval queries. Although an ethical activity, the data from dorks are reused by some people to do some illegal and unwelcomed activities like theft and cyber terrorism at its extremity. The concept of Google hacking or Dorking was born around 2002 and since then it was adopted by other search engines too and is used for finding out vulnerable systems and sensitive information disclosures.

4. Dirsearch

Dirsearch is a command line, Python-based tool used in Ethical Hacking. How can we not use searching to identify the websites composed of sensitive information or data? Yeah! And the tool dirsearch is used to brawn deep into all directories and to sunder the ones with tactful information for retrieving such particulars from them. The usage of the Python environment has made this web path scanner easily integrated into scripts and other projects. This tool is essential in finding potential attack vectors and the process of speedy recursive scanning embedded with a command-line usage makes dirsearch the powerful tool that every pen-tester should know to use.

5. Sublist3r

This is the last tool that I would like to mention in the context of accentuating the best tools for ethical hacking in 2020. This is also based on Python language and can be referred to as a subdomain discovery tool designed for enumerating the subdomains of various websites. This famous tool is often used by bug bounty hunters and penetration testers. Although there are many other newbie tools in ethical hacking that can displace sublist3r, this powerful tool is still loved by the industry experts for the frictionless penetration testing workflow offered. 

There are plenty of other tools used for ethical hacking, bug bounty testing, and penetration testing. And these are the top 5 tools chosen among them based on their use cases and popularity among the industry experts. So if you are a person wishing to build a career in ethical hacking in 2020, then begin from familiarizing these tools and then learn to perform banner grabbing functions. In a nutshell, being an ethical hacker, to hunt for vulnerabilities, don’t forget to make use of these weapons to win your battle of security.

Last Updated : 08 Sep, 2020
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