10 Best Hacking Tools of 2021 for Windows, Linux, Mac OS

What are the best hacking tools hackers use? If that’s the question on your mind right now then you’re in the right place.

I’ve been getting this question for far too long. So in this post, I decided to share with you my favorite hacking tools of 2021 and in a moment you’ll know why they are the best.

The list below covers the best hacking tools in their categories. These were the same hacking tools that helped me practice and drove in the hacking concepts I was learning as a beginner hacker. Here they are:

  • Nmap
  • Metasploit
  • Wireshark
  • Hashcat
  • Burp Suite
  • SQLmap
  • Social-Engineer Toolkit
  • EvilGinx (should have been Gophish?)
  • Aircrack-ng
  • Recon-ng

In a hurry? Here is an executive summary of the best hacking tools of 2021:

S/NHacking ToolBest ForPlatformsTutorial?
#1NmapNetwork Scanning/mappingCross platformComing soon
#2MetasploitExploiting remote vulnerabilitiesCross platformComing soon
#3WiresharkAnalyzing network packets/protocolsCross platformComing soon
#4HashcatCracking password hashes at supersonic speedCross platformComing soon
#5Burp SuiteWeb applications penetration testingCross platformComing soon
#6SQLmapSQL injection attacks and database takeoverCloud-basedComing soon
#7SETAdvanced social engineering attacksCloud-basedComing soon
#8EvilginxPhishing account login credentials esp 2FA tokensCloud-basedFree course
#9Aircrack-ngHacking WiFi networks/passwordCross PlatformComing soon
#10Recon-ngOpen-source intelligence information gatheringCloud basedComing soon

But before we continue, I want to drop a quick note of caution here: hacking tools don’t make a hacker, hacking tools aide a hacker.

You’re not a hacker because you can use some hacking tools or software, you become a hacker first by gaining the required knowledge and skills then hacking tools help you make your work easier.

Top 10 best hacking tools of 2021:

1. Nmap(tutorial?)

Nmap best hacking tools
credit: Nmap.org

Nmap, short for Network Mapper is a vulnerability scanning and network discovery tool. It’s mostly used by cybersecurity pros and network administrators to query what devices or hosts are connected to a network, the services they offer, and if there are any open ports that can be poked.

Nmap is an advanced security scanner and it is one of the most effective ones around. It is fast and very reliable even though its been there for a very long time, and actually one of the oldest hacking software, it still gets updated regularly.

You can download and use Nmap for free. It’s an open source hacking tool that runs on all major computer operating systems with official binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Something I think beginner hackers should note especially if they’ve never used this hacking software before is that Nmap is essentially a command-line tool. But the Nmap suite bundles an advanced GUI called Zenmap. It’s a great way to view the results Nmap returns, definitely worth checking out.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Discover/identify hosts that are on a network
  • Detect open ports on remote hosts
  • Scan hosts for exploitable vulnerabilities
  • Advanced network mapping and enumeration

2. Metasploit(tutorial?)

Metasploit Framework 2 Best hacking tools
credit: metasploit.com

Simply put, Metasploit is essentially a penetration testing software consisting of a suite of hacking tools and frameworks. Meaning it functions both as a tool you can use for exploiting remote vulnerabilities as well as a platform for developing your own exploit modules.

Using Metasploit for hacking is literally a point-n-kill kind of situation. You point Metasploit at your target, select an exploit, choose what payload to drop, and press enter!

If you’re a beginner and you’re in a situation where you can only learn one hacking tool, then its got to be Metasploit. Because the project is one of the largest, longest-running, continually updated, and most famous open-source software in the information security space.

You can download and use the community edition of Metasploit for free on the 3 major computer operating systems—Linux, Mac, and Windows—as a cybersecurity student. But if you’re going to be doing professional pentesting, you’re probably better getting the Pro edition, if for nothing but to support the Metasploit dev team.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Run security vulnerability scans (with Nmap engine)
  • Execute exploits on remote targets
  • Evade detection systems
  • Automate hacking tasks with scripts

3. Wireshark(tutorial?)

Wireshark Best hacking tools
credit wireshark.org

Wireshark is a network protocol or packet analyzer. It allows you to see in a human-readable form what is going on in your network at the bearest or microscopic level.

Networking experts & cybersecurity professionals around the globe use Wireshark on a daily basis to capture, and deeply inspect network traffic or packets in real-time. This hacking software is super powerful and has been around for a very long time.

If you are a beginner hacker (like I presume), you should take the time out to learn how to effectively use this software as part of your hacking arsenal because the knowledge you’ll gain will be an essential part of your workflow going forward.

Wireshark is free to download and use. It’s open-source and multi-platform therefore can run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and many others.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Deep inspection, live capture, and offline analysis of hundreds of protocols
  • Read live data from Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, ATM, USB, Bluetooth, etc
  • Read/write many capture file formats (e.g libpcap)
  • Decryption support for many protocols (e.g IPsec, Kerberos, SSL/TLS, WPA/WPA2)

4. Hashcat(tutorial?)

Hashcat Best hacking tools
credit: hashcat.net

Hashcat is an advanced password cracking tool. Its a super powerful multi-hash cracking and brute-forcing tool that was designed to break even the most complex passwords.

How Hashcat essentially works is that you give it a password hash or a file containing password hashes, then you choose a wordlist to brute-force with, and Hashcat starts hashing your list and comparing it with the target password hash(es) at super fast speed. If there is a match, the password has been found.

Hashcat makes use of your computers GPU to facilitate password cracking attacks and that’s why it is important you should choose one of these best laptops for hacking if you are going to be doing a lot of passwords cracking in your penetration tests.

This hacking tool is free and open-source and available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s also important to note that there are two variants of Hashcat, the CPU based and GPU based Hashcat called (oclHashcat) but both have been amalgamated together as just Hashcat since version 3.00.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Brute-force attack
  • Dictionary attack
  • Permutation attack
  • Rule-based attack

5. Burp Suite(tutorial?)

Burp suite Best hacking tools
credit: portswigger.net

Burp Suite is an integrated platform for testing the security of web applications. It consists of a suite of advanced testing tools working hand in hand to achieve this.

Burp can deliver on almost everything you want to do when testing a web application’s security. From a basic intercepting proxy to a cutting-edge vulnerability scanner. You can also combine advanced manual techniques with Burp’s powerful automation to speed up your work.

If you’re a beginner hacker and are going to be a web application security tester, I highly recommend you check out this professional swiss army knife for hackers. It should be one of the first you master.

Burp Suite is a commercial security tool but there is a community edition you can download and use for free but with limited features. It’s available on the 3 major computer operating systems.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Automate scanning for vulnerabilities with Burp Scanner
  • Automate customized attacks with Burp Intruder
  • Manipulate and iterate web requests with Burp Repeater
  • Analyze application data randomness with Burp Sequencer

6. SQLmap(tutorial?)

SQLmap best hacking tools
credit: sqlmap.org

SQLmap is an automatic SQL injection and database hacking tool. It automates the detection and exploitation of SQL injection vulnerabilities where present, and this ultimately allows for the partial or complete take over of a database server.

This nifty hacking tool fully supports the exploitation of the following database management systems: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL Server but to mention a few. It has six SQL injection techniques with which it can attack databases.

SQLmap is a highly recommended hacking tool if you are going to be testing database management systems security in order to harden the underlying servers or to report it for fixing.

SQLmap is a python program and should run on any operating system that has the Python programming language installed. It is free and open-source.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Powerful injection flaw detection engine
  • Database fingerprinting & user privilege escalation
  • Over data fetching/dumping of databases and tables
  • Accessing underlying filesystem and remote command executions

7. Social-Engineer Toolkit(tutorial?)

Social Engineering Toolkit or SET like the name implies is a set of advanced hacking tools used for simulating multiple types of social engineering attacks like phishing attacks, gaining confidential user information, etc.

SET is designed to perform human-side penetration tests, attacking human behavior instead of computers. And just like any other social engineering tool or technique, it is very successful and so must only be used where strict consent has been given.

SET is free and open-source hacking software. Typically created for the UNIX platform but should work on any computer operating system running the Python programming language. But should be deployed in a cloud server in a real life attack scenario.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Create quick static phishing pages
  • HTA Attack
  • Full-Screen Attack
  • Tabnabbing Attack, etc

8. Evilginx(tutorial?)

Evilginx Best hacking tools
credit: evilginx github page

Evilginx is a sophisticated next-generation phishing framework that is capable of stealing passwords and 2FA tokens for ANY website. It enables you to automatically create and host dynamic phishing pages with minimal effort.

Phishing is a highly successful attack vector used by cybercriminals and Evilginx is a very good way to train your employees and friends, with teachable moments, how to detect and evade phishing attacks.

This hacking tool has not been around for long but yet it has gotten so much attention because of the approach it took to go around to defeat the dreaded two-factor authentication security mechanism. This is the reason why I have it on this list instead of Gophish which was the phishing framework tool I learned with.

Evilginx is free and open-source and can be downloaded and run on any computer operating system with the GO programing language installed. But if you are going to be deploying Evilginx in a real-life phishing attack scenario, it’s best you install it on a Linux server in the cloud.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Create dynamic phishing pages for any website
  • Capture 2FA tokens
  • Capture session tokens, bypassing username, password & 2FA altogether
  • Evade phishing detectors/Camouflage phishing infrastructure

9. Aircrack-ng(tutorial?)

Aircrack Best hacking tools
credit: cybrary

Aircrack-ng is a suite of tools for hacking WiFi networks. Within the suite, there is a tool for testing every aspect of WiFi network security. From monitoring and capturing wireless network packets to cracking wireless encryptions to reveal WiFi passwords.

You cannot talk of WiFi pentesting without mentioning Aircrack-ng. It’s the most popular and the defacto tool for WiFi hacking. It’s been around for a long time but still gets regular updates from time to time which keeps it fresh and in the position it rightfully deserves.

Aircrack is free and open-source. It’s primarily a UNIX tool and heavily command-line based but can also work on Windows too.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Monitor and capture wireless network packets
  • Deauth, replay, and fake access point attacks
  • Packet injection
  • Cracking of wireless encryption standards; WEP WPA & WPA2

10. Recon-ng(tutorial?)

Recon-ng best hacking tools

Recon-ng is an open-source intelligence information gathering tool. It’s a full-featured reconnaissance framework made up of different modules for researching different types of information about the target.

It’s very simple to use and automates the tedious process of manually searching for useful technical information about a target from all over the web, such as their email address, sites they’ve registered using those emails, their names, telephone numbers, house address, etc.

Recon-ng is a must-have tool in the arsenal of every hacker. I highly recommend you check it out if you’ve never used it before. It’s free and open-source and should work on any computer operating system that has the Python programming language installed.

Key things you can do with this hacking tool:

  • Research the full profile info of target e.g names, usernames, address, tel, email, etc.
  • Research technical info e.g whois, geolocation, IP, leaked cred, etc
  • Correlate researched information to research other information
  • Generate a nice list of all gathered information

Ok there you have it, the top best hacking tools and hacking software in 2021. Again let me iterate it’s not so much as the hacking tools as the knowledge of hacking you possess that will make you in this noble industry.

Using hacking tools will only take you so far, but investing in learning becoming a true hacker will make all the difference.

Leave me a comment below if you have a question, I’ll get to them ASAP!

But in the mean time, you should check these recommended posts below.

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