The Ultimate Guide to Penetration Testing Tools for Beginners: From Nmap to Metasploit

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Penetration testing tools are essential for assessing the security of systems and networks by simulating potential malicious attacks.

Skilled professionals known as penetration testers employ a variety of tools and techniques to identify vulnerabilities, exploit them, and provide comprehensive reports detailing their findings.

In this post, we will introduce you to ten highly effective penetration testing tools that are extensively utilized by both security experts and enthusiasts in the field. These tools include:

  1. Nmap: A network scanning and host detection tool.
  2. Metasploit: A powerful framework for developing and executing exploits against remote targets.
  3. Burp Suite: web application security testing tool.
  4. Wireshark: network packet analyzer.
  5. John the Ripper: A password cracker that can crack various types of passwords.
  6. Aicrack-ng: command line tool that is used for monitoring, attacking, testing and cracking WiFi networks.
  7. Hydra: A command line tool that can be used to perform online password guessing attacks against various services and protocols.
  8. sqlmap: A SQL injection tool.
  9. Nessus: A vulnerability scanner.
  10. OpenVAS: A free and open-source vulnerability scanner.

Nmap

Nmap is a network scanner that can discover hosts, services, ports, operating systems, and other information on a network.

It can perform various types of scans, such as ping, TCP, UDP, SYN, ACK, and more. Nmap can also run scripts to perform advanced tasks, such as vulnerability detection, banner grabbing, brute forcing, and more.

Nmap is a cross-platform tool that can run on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

It is also available on other platforms such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, and AmigaOS.

Nmap is a command-line tool, which means it can be run from a terminal or command prompt on any device that supports it.

How to install Nmap

Here are the steps to install Nmap on Windows:

  1. Visit the official website any web browser.
  2. Click on the Download button for the latest version of Nmap.
  3. Run the downloaded executable file.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the installation process.

How to use Nmap

To run a basic Nmap scan, you can use the following command:

nmap <target>

Replace <target> with the IP address or hostname of the target you want to scan. For example, to scan a host with IP address 192.168.1.1, you would use the following command:

nmap 192.168.1.1

This will perform a basic scan of the target and report back the open ports and services.

To perform OS detection using Nmap, you can use the following command:

nmap -O <target>

Replace <target> with the IP address or hostname of the target you want to scan. For example, to perform an OS detection scan on a host with IP address 192.168.1.1, you would use the following command:

nmap -O 192.168.1.1

This will perform an OS detection scan of the target and report back the operating system details.

Nmap is a powerful tool for vulnerability detection and penetration testing. Here are the steps to use Nmap for vulnerability detection:

1. Install Nmap: If you haven’t already, install Nmap on your system. You can download the latest version of Nmap from the official website.

2. Update Nmap scripts: Nmap comes with a set of scripts that can be used for vulnerability detection. To ensure that you have the latest scripts, run the following command:

nmap --script-updatedb

3. Scan for vulnerabilities: To scan for vulnerabilities using Nmap, use the following command:

nmap -sV --script=vuln <target>

Replace <target> with the IP address or hostname of the target you want to scan. This will perform a vulnerability scan of the target and report back any vulnerabilities that are found.

4. Review the results:

Once the scan is complete, review the results to identify any vulnerabilities that were detected. Nmap will provide detailed information about each vulnerability, including the severity level and a description of the vulnerability.

Some of the most commonly used Nmap commands

CommandDescription
nmap <target>Basic scan of a single IP address
nmap <target1> <target2> ...Scan multiple IP addresses
nmap -sS <target>TCP SYN port scan
nmap -sT <target>TCP connect port scan
nmap -sU <target>UDP port scan
nmap -sA <target>TCP ACK port scan
nmap -sW <target>TCP Window port scan
nmap -sM <target>TCP Maimon port scan
nmap -O <target>OS detection
nmap -sV <target>Service version detection
nmap -p <port> <target>Scan a specific port
nmap -p <start>-<end> <target>Scan a range of ports
nmap -p- <target>Scan all ports
nmap -F <target>Fast port scan
nmap -iL <file>Scan targets from a file
nmap --script=<script> <target>Run a specific Nmap script
nmap --script-updatedbUpdate Nmap scripts

Some popular network scanners that you can use besides Nmap

ToolDescription
Angry IP ScannerA fast and lightweight open-source network scanner that can scan IP addresses and ports. It has a basic GUI and can be run from a USB flash drive.
ZenmapA graphical user interface (GUI) for Nmap that provides a more user-friendly way to use Nmap.
FingA network scanner that can discover all devices connected to a network, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices.
Advanced IP ScannerA free network scanner that can scan LANs and detect all the computers and other devices connected to your LAN.
SoftPerfect Network ScannerA free network scanner that can scan IP addresses, ports, and network shares. It can also detect hidden shared folders and write access to them .

Metasploit

Metasploit is a penetration testing framework that allows security professionals to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks.

It can be used to create custom exploits, launch attacks, evade detection, pivot to other systems, and more.

Metasploit has a command-line interface (msfconsole), a graphical user interface (msfvenom), and a web interface (msfweb).

This versatile tool was developed by H.D. Moore in 2003 as a portable network tool to help security professionals identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks.

Metasploit has since evolved into a complex framework with several specialized features and modules.

It is an open-source framework, which means it can be easily customized and used with most operating systems.

With Metasploit, the pen testing team can use ready-made or custom code and introduce it into a network to probe for weak spots. It’s a powerful tool for penetration testing and network security assessments.

Here are the steps to install Metasploit on Windows:

  1. Visit the official Metasploit website.
  2. Click on the Download button for the latest version of Metasploit.
  3. Run the downloaded executable file.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the installation process.

Some of the most commonly used Metasploit commands

CommandDescription
msfconsoleLaunches the Metasploit Framework Console
db_statusDisplays the status of the database
db_nmap -sV <target>Performs an Nmap scan and imports the results into the database
search <keyword>Searches the Metasploit module database for a specific keyword
use <module>Selects a specific module for use
show optionsDisplays the options for the selected module
set <option> <value>Sets the value of a specific option
exploitExecutes the selected module
sessionsDisplays the active sessions
sessions -i <id>Interacts with a specific session
backgroundPuts the current session into the background
credsDisplays the credentials that have been collected
creds -t <type>Displays the credentials of a specific type
creds -u <username>Displays the credentials for a specific username
db_autopwn -t <targets>Performs an automated penetration test against a list of targets

What is the difference between Metasploit and Nmap?

Metasploit and Nmap are both powerful tools used in penetration testing and network security assessments. However, they have different functionalities and use cases.

Here are features of Nmap:

Metasploit, on the other hand;

  • is a penetration testing framework that allows security professionals to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks.
  • It is used for vulnerability detection and penetration testing.
  • Metasploit has a database of over 1,300 exploits and 2,000 modules for evading anti-virus solutions and hijacking systems.
  • It is an open-source framework that can be customized and used with most operating systems.

In summary, Nmap is more of a network discovery/mapping and inventory tool, while Metasploit is useful for mounting nefarious payloads to launch attacks against hosts.

Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a powerful web application security testing tool that can help you identify and fix vulnerabilities in your web applications. It is widely used by security professionals and penetration testers to test the security of web applications.

One of the key features of Burp Suite is its ability to intercept, modify, and analyze HTTP requests and responses . This allows you to see exactly what is happening between the client and server, and to identify any security issues that may be present.

In addition to intercepting and analyzing traffic, Burp Suite can also perform a variety of other tasks, such as spidering, scanning, fuzzing, proxying, decoding, encoding, and more . This makes it a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of security testing tasks.

Burp Suite comes in two versions: the free Community Edition and the paid Professional Edition .

The Community Edition is a great choice for individuals and small teams who are just getting started with web application security testing. It includes many of the core features of Burp Suite, such as intercepting and analyzing traffic, spidering, and scanning.

The Professional Edition includes additional features such as advanced scanning and reporting capabilities, and is designed for larger teams and organizations .

Overall, Burp Suite is an essential tool for anyone involved in web application security testing. Its powerful features and ease of use make it a popular choice among security professionals and penetration testers.

How to install Burp Suite on Windows

  1. Visit the official Burp Suite website using any web browser. You can use this link.
  2. Click on Products and select Burp Suite Community Edition as it is free.
  3. Click on the Download button to download the latest version of Burp Suite.
  4. Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded executable file and double-click on it.
  5. Follow the prompts to complete the installation process. You can choose the default settings or customize the installation as per your requirements.

That’s it! Once the installation is complete, you can start using Burp Suite on your Windows machine.

How do I use Burp Suite for web application security testing?

Burp Suite is a powerful tool for web application security testing. Here are the steps to use Burp Suite for web application security testing:

1. Configure your browser

To use Burp Suite, you need to configure your browser to use it as a proxy. This allows Burp Suite to intercept and analyze the traffic between your browser and the web application you are testing.

You can find detailed instructions on how to configure your browser on the official Burp Suite website.

ALSO READ:

2. Launch Burp Suite

Once your browser is configured, launch Burp Suite. You can do this by double-clicking on the Burp Suite icon on your desktop or by running the burpsuite command in the terminal.

3. Intercept traffic

With Burp Suite running, navigate to the web application you want to test in your browser. Burp Suite should intercept the traffic automatically.

You can view the intercepted traffic by clicking on the Proxy tab in Burp Suite.

Analyze traffic:

Once you have intercepted the traffic, you can analyze it to identify any security issues that may be present.

Burp Suite provides a variety of tools for analyzing traffic, such as the Target tab, which allows you to view the site map and identify potential vulnerabilities, and the Scanner tab, which allows you to scan for vulnerabilities automatically.

Exploit vulnerabilities:

If you identify any vulnerabilities, you can use Burp Suite to exploit them.

Burp Suite provides a variety of tools for exploiting vulnerabilities, such as the Intruder tab, which allows you to perform brute-force attacks, and the Repeater tab, which allows you to modify and resend requests.

Report findings:

Once you have completed your testing, you should report your findings to the appropriate parties. Burp Suite provides a variety of tools for generating reports, such as the Report tab, which allows you to create customized reports.

Wireshark

Wireshark is a free and open-source network packet analyzer that can capture and analyze network traffic from various devices and protocols. It is capable of displaying data from hundreds of different protocols on all major network types.

Additionally, Wireshark can be used to troubleshoot network problems, test software, and identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

One of the key features of Wireshark is its ability to capture and view the data traveling on your network in real-time or analyzed offline.

The captured data interface contains three main sections: the packet list pane (the top section), the packet details pane (the middle section), and the packet bytes pane (the bottom section).

Wireshark supports dozens of capture/trace file formats, including CAP and ERF. It can also perform various tasks, such as malware detection, web application scanning, and more.

How do I use Wireshark to capture network traffic?

To use Wireshark to capture network traffic, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Wireshark: You can download Wireshark for Windows, Linux, or macOS from the official website.
  2. Launch Wireshark: Once you have installed Wireshark, launch it from the Start menu or Applications folder.
  3. Select a network interface: Wireshark will display a list of available network interfaces. Select the interface that you want to capture traffic on.
  4. Start capturing traffic: Click the Capture button to start capturing traffic on the selected interface. Wireshark will begin capturing packets in real-time.
  5. Stop capturing traffic: To stop capturing traffic, click the Stop button.
  6. View captured traffic: Once you have captured traffic, you can view it in the main Wireshark window. The captured packets will be displayed in a list, and you can click on each packet to view its details.
  7. Filter captured traffic: If you want to filter the captured traffic to focus on specific packets, you can use Wireshark’s filtering capabilities. Click the Filter button to open the filter dialog box, and enter the filter criteria that you want to use.
  8. Save captured traffic: If you want to save the captured traffic for later analysis, you can use Wireshark’s export capabilities. Click the File menu and select Export to save the captured packets in a variety of formats.

How do I analyze network traffic using Wireshark?

Wireshark is a powerful tool for analyzing network traffic. Here are the steps to use Wireshark to analyze network traffic:

  1. Capture network traffic: The first step is to capture the network traffic that you want to analyze. You can do this by selecting the appropriate network interface and clicking the Capture button in Wireshark.
  2. Filter network traffic: Once you have captured the network traffic, you can filter it to focus on specific packets or protocols. Wireshark provides a variety of filtering options, such as filtering by IP address, port number, protocol, and more.
  3. Analyze packet details: With the network traffic filtered, you can analyze the details of each packet. Wireshark provides a wealth of information about each packet, including the source and destination addresses, protocols, ports, payloads, and more.
  4. Follow packet streams: If you want to see the entire conversation between two hosts, you can use Wireshark’s Follow TCP Stream feature. This allows you to view the entire conversation in one window, making it easier to analyze.
  5. Export packet data: If you want to export the packet data for further analysis, you can use Wireshark’s export capabilities. Wireshark can export packet data in a variety of formats, such as CSV, XML, and JSON.
  6. Analyze network performance: In addition to analyzing individual packets, Wireshark can also be used to analyze network performance. Wireshark provides a variety of tools for analyzing network performance, such as the Statistics menu, which provides detailed statistics about the captured traffic.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper is a free and open-source password cracker that is widely used by security professionals to test the strength of passwords.

It is capable of cracking various types of passwords, including hashes, encrypted files, zip archives, and more.

John the Ripper supports hundreds of hash and cipher types, including for user passwords of Unix flavors (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, AIX, QNX, etc.), macOS, Windows, “web apps” (e.g., WordPress), groupware (e.g., Notes/Domino), and database servers (SQL, LDAP, etc.).

It can use different modes of attack, such as dictionary, brute force, hybrid, and more. Dictionary mode uses a wordlist to guess passwords, while brute force mode tries all possible combinations of characters.

Hybrid mode combines both dictionary and brute force modes. John the Ripper can also use wordlists, rules, mangling options, and other features to optimize the cracking process.

John the Ripper is a powerful tool that can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. It is important to note that using John the Ripper to crack passwords without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use John the Ripper only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the strength of passwords on your own systems or for penetration testing.

Can you recommend other password cracking tools?

Here are some other popular password cracking tools that you might find useful:

  1. Hashcat: A fast and advanced password recovery tool that supports over 200 hash types and can use multiple attack modes.
  2. Cain and Abel: A versatile tool that can recover passwords using various methods, including dictionary, brute-force, and rainbow tables.
  3. Aircrack-ng: A network software suite that includes a password cracker for WEP and WPA-PSK keys.
  4. THC Hydra: A parallelized login cracker that supports numerous protocols to attack.
  5. Medusa: A speedy, parallel, and modular login brute-forcer that supports many services.

Please note that these tools should only be used for legitimate purposes and with permission from the system owner. Using these tools without permission is illegal and unethical. It is important to use these tools responsibly and ethically.

Aircrack-ng

Aircrack-ng is a command line tool that is used for monitoring, attacking, testing and cracking WiFi networks.

It is a versatile tool that can be used on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, and eComStation.

Aircrack-ng is a free and open-source software that is widely used by security professionals to test the security of wireless networks.

It is capable of cracking WEP and WPA passwords, and supports various features such as replay attacks, deauthentication, fake access points, and more.

One of the key features of Aircrack-ng is its ability to use different modes of attack to optimize the cracking process. These modes include dictionary, brute force, and hybrid attacks.

Dictionary mode uses a wordlist to guess passwords, while brute force mode tries all possible combinations of characters.

Hybrid mode combines both dictionary and brute force modes to optimize the cracking process.

Aircrack-ng is a powerful tool that can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. It is important to note that using Aircrack-ng to crack passwords without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use Aircrack-ng only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the security of your own wireless network or for penetration testing.

How to install aircrack-ng on windows

Aircrack-ng is a free and open-source software that can be installed on Windows 10/11. Here are the steps to install Aircrack-ng on Windows 10/11:

  1. Download: Visit the Aircrack-ng website (www.aircrack-ng.org) and navigate to the download section. Choose the appropriate version for Windows 10/11.
  2. Installation: Once the download is complete, open the installation file. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Aircrack-ng on your system.

Alternatively, you can use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to install Aircrack-ng on Windows 10/11. Here are the steps to install Aircrack-ng using WSL:

  1. Enable WSL: Go to Settings > Update & Security > For Developers > Developer Mode. Then, go to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off > Windows Subsystem for Linux. Check the box and click OK.
  2. Install Linux Distribution: Go to the Microsoft Store and search for a Linux distribution of your choice. Install the distribution and launch it.
  3. Installation: Once you have launched the Linux distribution, open the terminal and run the following command to install Aircrack-ng: $ sudo apt-get install aircrack-ng.

Hydra

Hydra is a command line tool that can be used to perform online password guessing attacks against various services and protocols.

It is a versatile tool that can be used on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, and eComStation.

Hydra is a free and open-source software that is widely used by security professionals to test the strength of passwords.

It can support many protocols, such as FTP, SSH, Telnet, HTTP(S), SMTP(S), POP3(S), IMAP(S), VNC(S), RDP(S), and more.

It can also use different methods of authentication, such as basic authentication, digest authentication, form-based authentication, and more.

One of the key features of Hydra is its ability to use different modes of attack to optimize the cracking process.

These modes include dictionary, brute force, and hybrid attacks. Dictionary mode uses a wordlist to guess passwords, while brute force mode tries all possible combinations of characters.

Hybrid mode combines both dictionary and brute force modes to optimize the cracking process.

What is the difference between dictionary and brute force mode?

Dictionary mode and brute force mode are two different modes of attack used in password cracking. In a dictionary attack, the attacker uses a precompiled list of words, phrases, or passwords to guess the password.

The dictionary may be based on patterns seen across a large number of users and known passwords, or it may be based on knowing key information about a particular target (family member names, birthday, etc.).

The dictionary attack is a kind of brute force attack where the attacker is able to rate keys in order of most probable to least probable, compile a list of the most probable (the dictionary), and test them in that order.

In a brute force attack, the attacker tries all possible combinations of characters to guess the password.

This method is more time-consuming than a dictionary attack, but it can be more effective if the password is complex and not found in the dictionary.

Getting started with hydra

Installation

Hydra comes pre-installed with Kali Linux and Parros OS. If you are using one of them, you can start working with Hydra right away.

On Ubuntu, you can use the apt package manager to install it: $ apt install hydra.

In Mac, you can find Hydra under Homebrew: $ brew install hydra.

If you are using Windows, I would recommend using a virtual box and installing Linux.

Usage:

Hydra is a command line tool that can be used to perform online password guessing attacks against various services and protocols.

It supports many protocols, such as FTP, SSH, Telnet, HTTP(S), SMTP(S), POP3(S), IMAP(S), VNC(S), RDP(S), and more.

Hydra can use different modes of attack, such as dictionary, brute force, and hybrid attacks to optimize the cracking process.

How to use Hydra

Single username/password attack:

$ hydra -l <username> -p <password> <server> <service>

For example,

$ hydra -l molly -p butterfly 10.10.137.76 ssh

will test the credentials for SSH with the username “molly” and password “butterfly”.

Password spraying attack:

$ hydra -L <userlist> -P <password> <server> <service>

This attack is useful when you know a password that someone is using, but you are not sure who it is.

Dictionary attack:

$ hydra -l <username> -P <wordlist> <server> <service>

This attack uses a wordlist to guess passwords.

Brute force attack:

$ hydra -l <username> -P <wordlist> -s <port> <server> <service>

This attack tries all possible combinations of characters to guess passwords.

Please note that these tools should only be used for legitimate purposes and with permission from the system owner. Using these tools without permission is illegal and unethical. It is important to use these tools responsibly and ethically.

Hydra is a powerful tool that can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. It is important to note that using Hydra to crack passwords without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use Hydra only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the strength of passwords on your own systems or for penetration testing.

SQLmap

SQL injection attacks are one of the most common and dangerous attacks against web applications.

SQLmap is a free and open-source tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.

It is capable of detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities, extracting database names, tables, columns, rows, and more.

SQLmap can use different modes of attack to optimize the exploitation process. These modes include boolean-based blind, time-based blind, error-based, UNION query-based, stacked queries, and out-of-band.

SQLmap can also use different methods of authentication, such as basic authentication, digest authentication, form-based authentication, and more.

One of the key features of SQLmap is its ability to perform various tasks, such as bypassing web application firewalls, executing operating system commands, uploading files, and more.

SQLmap can also be used to test the security of web applications and to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

SQLmap is a powerful tool that can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. It is important to note that using SQLmap to exploit vulnerabilities without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use SQLmap only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the security of your own web applications or for penetration testing.

Getting started with Sqlmap

Installation

SQLmap is a command-line tool that can be used on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, and eComStation.

If you are using Kali Linux or Parros OS, SQLmap comes pre-installed.

But if you are using Ubuntu, you can use the apt package manager to install it:

$ apt install sqlmap

In Mac, you can find SQLmap under Homebrew: $ brew install sqlmap.

If you are using Windows, I would recommend using a virtual box and installing Linux. Personally, I don’t recommend using Windows if you want to be a professional penetration tester.

Usage

SQLmap is a command-line tool that can be used to automate SQL injection attacks against web applications.

It supports many protocols, such as FTP, SSH, Telnet, HTTP(S), SMTP(S), POP3(S), IMAP(S), VNC(S), RDP(S), and more .

SQLmap can use different modes of attack, such as dictionary, brute force, and hybrid attacks to optimize the cracking process .

How to use SQLmap

Simple HTTP GET based test:

$ sqlmap -u "http://example.com/?id=5" --dbs

This will test different SQL injection methods against the id parameter.

Testing for SQL injection vulnerabilities:

$ sqlmap -u "http://example.com/" --forms --risk=3 --level=5

This will test for SQL injection vulnerabilities in a web application that uses forms.

Dumping data from a database:

$ sqlmap -u "http://example.com/" --dump-all

This will dump all the data from the database.

Nessus

Nessus is a powerful vulnerability scanner that can help you identify and fix vulnerabilities in your systems and devices.

It is widely used by security professionals and penetration testers to test the security of various types of systems and devices.

One of the key features of Nessus is its ability to detect thousands of vulnerabilities .

This includes vulnerabilities such as:

  • misconfigurations
  • missing patches
  • default credentials, and more.

This allows you to identify any security issues that may be present and take appropriate action to fix them.

In addition to vulnerability detection, Nessus can also perform a variety of other tasks, such as compliance checks, malware detection, web application scanning, and more . This makes it a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of security testing tasks.

Nessus comes in two versions: the free Nessus Essentials and the paid Nessus Professional .

▌The Nessus Essentials is a great choice for individuals and small teams who are just getting started with vulnerability scanning. It includes many of the core features of Nessus, such as vulnerability detection and compliance checks.

▌The Nessus Professional includes additional features such as advanced scanning and reporting capabilities, and is designed for larger teams and organizations.

How do I install Nessus on Windows?

Here are the steps to install Nessus on Windows:

  1. Visit the official Nessus website using any web browser. You can use this link.
  2. Click on Products and select Nessus Essentials as it is free.
  3. Click on the Download button to download the latest version of Nessus.
  4. Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded executable file and double-click on it.
  5. Follow the prompts to complete the installation process. You can choose the default settings or customize the installation as per your requirements.

That’s it! Once the installation is complete, you can start using Nessus on your Windows machine.

How do I use Nessus to scan my network for vulnerabilities?

Here are the steps to use Nessus to scan your network for vulnerabilities:

  1. Download and install Nessus: You can download Nessus from the official website. Once you have downloaded the installer, run it and follow the prompts to install Nessus on your system.
  2. Launch Nessus: Once Nessus is installed, launch it from the Start menu or Applications folder.
  3. Create a new scan: In the Nessus interface, click on the Scans tab and then click the New Scan button. This will open the New Scan dialog box.
  4. Configure the scan settings: In the New Scan dialog box, configure the scan settings as per your requirements. You can specify the targets to scan, the type of scan to perform, and other options such as credentials and scheduling.
  5. Start the scan: Once you have configured the scan settings, click the Save button to save the scan. You can then click the Launch button to start the scan.
  6. View the scan results: Once the scan is complete, you can view the results in the Nessus interface. Nessus will provide a detailed report of the vulnerabilities that were detected, along with recommendations for remediation.

Please note that Nessus is a powerful tool that should be used with caution. It is important to have a solid understanding of vulnerability scanning and security testing before using Nessus.

OpenVAS

OpenVAS is a free and open-source vulnerability scanner that can scan various types of systems and devices for security issues.

It is capable of detecting thousands of vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations, missing patches, default credentials, and more.

OpenVAS is based on Nessus and uses the same plugins and feeds.

One of the key features of OpenVAS is its ability to perform compliance checks. Compliance checks are used to ensure that systems and devices are in compliance with industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and more.

OpenVAS can also perform malware detection, web application scanning, and more.

OpenVAS is a powerful tool that can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes.

It is important to note that using OpenVAS to scan systems and devices without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use OpenVAS only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the security of your own systems or for penetration testing.

Final Thoughts on Penetration Testing Tools

In conclusion, penetration testing tools are essential for assessing the security of systems and networks by simulating potential malicious attacks.

Skilled professionals known as penetration testers employ a variety of tools and techniques to identify vulnerabilities, exploit them, and provide comprehensive reports detailing their findings.

In this post, we introduced you to ten highly effective penetration testing tools that are extensively utilized by both security experts and enthusiasts in the field.

These tools include Nmap, Metasploit, Burp Suite, Wireshark, John the Ripper, Aicrack-ng, Hydra, sqlmap, Nessus, and OpenVAS.

It is important to note that using these tools without permission is illegal and unethical.

It is recommended to use these tools only for legitimate purposes, such as testing the security of your own systems or for penetration testing. Stay safe and secure!


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