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Ethical hackers help businesses identify weak spots in their digital networks and online websites and blogs. These hackers conduct a variety of penetration tests to judge the integrity of the existing security system. They usually employ the use of a host of innovative and established tools and software to achieve this objective. From commercial to open source, here are some of the best ethical hacking tools being used in 2020:


Nessus is a vulnerability scanner, arguably the most widely used and acclaimed one across the globe. It can be used to perform Denial of Service (DoS and DDoS) attacks, audit passwords, as well as run patch level compliance. If you want to avail features such as advanced scanning and management capabilities, then you can also integrate Nessus with Nmap


Nmap, also known as Network Mapper, is a powerful hacking tool that is sort of a “must have” in the hacking community. This basic but extremely versatile and flexible tool allows you to discover networks and perform security auditing with relative ease. You can scan for open ports, build network inventories, and break into weak firewalls. Being such an old solution gives it the advantage of having integration with many modern hacking tools.


Metasploit is a top of the line penetration testing tool that provides you a basic framework that can integrate with many other tools to incorporate their function as well. A popular choice for ethical hackers, Metasploit identifies over 2000 catalogued vulnerabilities and allows you to plan and design complex penetration testing strategies.


Aircrack-ng has long since been considered to be a reliable hacking tool for ethical hackers, especially when it comes to testing wireless networks. The WiFi connection is usually one of the most vulnerable and susceptible points in any network and if the wireless encryption protocol is weak enough, it can be penetrated using Aircrack. It launches WEP and WPA attacks and creates fake access points to force your way into the network and monitor the traffic.


Cain & Abel is another extremely popular hacking tool whose primary purpose is password recovery and cracking. With the help of this software, you can recover passwords for Windows devices as well as use techniques such as network packet sniffing to crack all sorts of passwords and credentials. It can also break into encrypted passwords by using dictionary attacks, brute force, as well as cryptanalysis.


When it comes to protocol analysis and penetration testing, Wireshark is the way to go for ethical hackers. Having the capability of running and inspecting hundreds and hundreds of protocols, encrypted or otherwise, it takes the information in the form of data packets delivered by the protocols and then converts them into understandable language for the hacker. It is also equipped with a plethora of tools and filters which can be used to modify and tailor your search based on what you wish to find. Wireshark enables you to monitor network activity or traffic and identify any currently active attacks that are plaguing the system.