7 Best Software for Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing

It’s important to know the purpose of each software for penetration testing as this allows the firm and the third-party service provider to frame the procedure accordingly and get the right results. For software penetration testing to serve the right purpose of detecting potential vulnerabilities within the target, the tools should be able to navigate through the server, network, or application to identify the unknown vulnerabilities. 

Some of the software for penetration testing is designed to conduct only vulnerability assessments or both vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Firms should know the difference between them before employing the right service provider to conduct the procedure. 

7 Popular Tools and Software for Penetration Testing

Each tool and software for penetration testing is best suited for a specific set of functions so pentesters usually use a combination of tools to get most of the automated tasks out of the way. Some of the best penetration testing tools even assist in manual testing so that testers are able to customize their attack methods to get the best results. 

1. Indusface

This tool offers both manual testing techniques and automated scanning features for identifying and reporting the vulnerabilities to the right personnel. All of the techniques are based on the updated list of vulnerabilities as per OWASP Top 10 and SANS Top 25. 

Some of the unique characteristics of this tool are:

  • The option for unlimited requests for proofs-of-concept regarding reported vulnerabilities so as to shift through the possible false positives from automated scanning;
  • Web application firewall (WAF) integration for quick virtual patching and zero false positives;
  • Customizes scope of crawling based on real-time traffic data from the WAF system, if WAF is used;
  • Crawlers can scan single-page web applications;
  • Manual pentesting and automated scanning results displayed on the same dashboard

2. Intrusion Detection Software (IDS)

IDS is designed for advanced attack methods along with compliance reporting for Decision Support System (DSS) and HIPAA. It’s best suited for detecting and continuously monitoring suspicious activity.

Some of the unique characteristics of this tool are:

  • Assists in quick intrusion detection with minimal effort;
  • Provides real-time logs to keep track of suspicious activity;
  • Allows the detection of malicious IPs, accounts, applications, etc;
  • Compliance and effective reporting

3. Intrusion Prevention

Intrusion Prevention allows beginners to conduct the penetration testing methodology for protection against known, unknown, and undisclosed vulnerabilities within the network. It also offers automated and in-line inspections along with immediate protection by assuring network reliability and availability. 

Some of the unique characteristics of this tool are:

  • Prioritization and integration with the firm’s security policies, incident responses, and visibility by using centralized management;
  • Integrated security features for automated and quicker protection;
  • Scalability and policy-based operational model;
  • Patented machine learning techniques for real-time protection;
  • Protection against known vulnerabilities and all possibilities of attack methods for zero false positives

4. TraceRoute

This is the best tool for analyzing network paths by identifying IP addresses, packet loss, and hostnames. 

Some of the unique characteristics of the tool are:

  • TCP and Internet Control Messaging Protocol (ICMP) network analysis;
  • Able to create a txt logfile;
  • IPV4 and IPV6 supported;
  • Continuously probes the network for potential weaknesses;
  • Notes path changes and alerts the right personnel

5. w3af

w3af offers an attack and audit framework designed for web applications with three main types of plugins – discovery, attack, and audit. These three communicate with each other with the discovery of a vulnerability in the application. This includes looking at different URLs and forwarding them to the audit plugin which then searches for weaknesses. 

There is also an option to configure the tool to make it run as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxy which can help in conducting manual pentesting. It basically intercepts requests, sends them to the request generator, and uses it for pentest with the help of different variable parameters. It exploits the vulnerabilities to understand the possibility of escalation as well. 

Some of the unique characteristics of the tool are:

  • HTTP response and DNS cache;
  • Faking user agents to check for internal vulnerabilities;
  • Proxy support;
  • HTTP basic and digest authentication procedures;
  • Uploading files using multipart;
  • Handling cookies;
  • Adding customized headers to requests to check if malicious code can be sneaked in

6. Samurai Framework

This is a pentesting software that is supported on VirtualBox and VMWare and is preconfigured to resemble a pentesting environment. 

Some of the unique characteristics of the tool are:

  • Open-source and free to use tool;
  • Focus on testing and attacking web applications;
  • Pre-configured site to store the central information during the pentesting procedure

7. Aircrack

Powered by WEP WPA and WPA 2 encryption keys, it contains a set of useful wireless pentesting tools which targets the vulnerabilities in wireless connections

Some of the useful characteristics of this tool are:

  • Supports all types of operating systems and platforms;
  • Improved tracking speed;
  • Allows for fragmentation and WEP dictionary attacks;
  • Supports many types of cards and drivers

These are a few suggestions for software for penetration testing that’s aimed at finding out vulnerabilities from different parts of the system. A good pentester will be able to use the right combination to uncover all of the weaknesses of the target system.

Shehroz Hassan

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