Hey there, tech-savvy friends! Welcome to our latest blog post, where we’re going to dive into the fascinating world of ethical hacking. With the ever-increasing reliance on digital technologies, we can’t stress enough the importance of cybersecurity in keeping our data and systems safe. That’s where ethical hackers come in – the good guys who use their hacking skills to identify and fix vulnerabilities before the bad guys can exploit them.

So, what are hacking apps, you ask? Well, these are specialized tools that ethical hackers, also known as white-hat hackers, use to test the security of networks, websites, and applications. These tools simulate real-world hacking scenarios, helping cybersecurity experts pinpoint weaknesses and find ways to strengthen defenses. In essence, hacking apps are the superheroes of the cybersecurity world!

Now, as we all know, not every hero wears a cape – and not every hacking app comes with a hefty price tag. That’s why in this blog post, we’re focusing on the top 10 free hacking apps that’ll help you unleash your inner hacker without breaking the bank. From network analysis to password cracking, these apps cover a wide range of cybersecurity tasks that are essential for any aspiring ethical hacker.

Stay tuned as we explore these powerful (and free!) hacking apps, each with its own unique capabilities and applications in the cybersecurity realm. 

  1. Wireshark

Ah, Wireshark – the go-to tool for network enthusiasts and an absolute must-have for any aspiring ethical hacker. If you’re not already familiar with this fantastic piece of software, allow me to introduce you.

Wireshark is a free, open-source network analyzer that allows you to capture and analyze network traffic in real-time. With its intuitive GUI and powerful filtering capabilities, Wireshark lets you dive deep into the nitty-gritty details of every packet that traverses your network.

You might be wondering, “Why is packet analysis so important in hacking and cybersecurity?” Well, my friend, it’s simple: understanding the data flowing through your network is crucial for detecting potential security threats, troubleshooting issues, and even reverse-engineering protocols.

Now that we’ve established Wireshark’s importance let’s talk about how to use it for network analysis and troubleshooting. Here’s a quick rundown of the steps you need to follow:

  1. Download and install Wireshark from its official website (
  2. Fire up Wireshark and select the network interface you want to monitor. You can choose between wired or wireless interfaces, depending on your setup.
  3. Hit the “Start” button to begin capturing traffic. You’ll see packets start to appear in the main window, with each row representing a single packet.
  4. Use Wireshark’s powerful filtering capabilities to zero in on specific traffic. For instance, you can filter by IP addresses, protocols, or even keywords within packet payloads.
  5. Analyze packet details by selecting a packet and exploring its contents in the lower panes. You’ll see a breakdown of the packet structure, from the link layer up to the application layer.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Wireshark’s capabilities. As you spend more time with the tool, you’ll discover its true power in uncovering security vulnerabilities, such as weak encryption, unauthorized access, or even data exfiltration.

  1. Nmap

Next up on our list of free hacking apps is Nmap – the legendary Network Mapper that’s been a staple in the cybersecurity world for over two decades. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into ethical hacking or you’re a seasoned pro, Nmap is an essential tool for discovering what’s lurking in your network.

Nmap is a powerful, open-source network scanner that helps you identify hosts, open ports, and services on your network. This information is vital for assessing your network’s security posture, uncovering vulnerabilities, and planning targeted attacks during penetration testing.

Now, let’s dive into some of the different scanning techniques Nmap offers and their applications:

  1. Ping Scan (or ICMP Sweep): A simple technique to quickly identify live hosts on a network. Perfect for mapping out your target landscape before launching more in-depth scans.
  2. SYN Scan: The go-to method for stealthy port scanning. This technique only sends the initial SYN packet of the TCP three-way handshake, making it less likely to be detected by intrusion detection systems (IDS).
  3. Connect Scan: A more straightforward, but less stealthy port scanning method. It completes the full TCP three-way handshake, making it more likely to be logged but also more accurate in certain situations.
  4. UDP Scan: An essential technique for probing the oft-overlooked User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports. Useful for finding open UDP services, which might be flying under the radar.
  5. Version Detection: This technique goes beyond basic port scanning to identify the exact version of services running on open ports. This information can be a goldmine for discovering vulnerable software. But it can also be very noisy.

These are just a few of the many scanning techniques Nmap supports. To use Nmap effectively for network security testing, consider these tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Nmap’s extensive command-line options. While there are GUI options like Zenmap, mastering the command-line interface will make you a more versatile and efficient hacker.
  2. Use the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) to automate and customize your scans. With a vast library of pre-built scripts and the option to create your own, NSE can significantly enhance your scanning capabilities.
  3. Be stealthy and considerate. Some Nmap scans can be noisy or even disruptive to the target network. Use techniques like timing options and decoys to minimize your footprint and avoid detection.
  4. Stay up-to-date with the latest Nmap releases. New features, bug fixes, and service/version detection signatures are added regularly, so make sure you’re using the most current version.
  1. Metasploit

Alright, buckle up, my hacker friends, because we’re about to dive into the world of exploits and payloads with Metasploit – a must-have tool for any ethical hacker worth their salt.

Metasploit is a powerful, open-source framework for developing, testing, and executing exploits against a wide range of target systems. With its massive library of pre-built exploits, payloads, and auxiliary modules, Metasploit makes it easy for both beginners and experts to perform advanced penetration testing and vulnerability validation.

Let’s dig into the process of exploit development and execution with Metasploit:

  1. Identify a vulnerability: First, you’ll need to find a weakness in your target system. This could be anything from an outdated piece of software to a misconfigured service.
  2. Choose an exploit: Metasploit comes with a vast collection of pre-built exploits for various vulnerabilities. Search through the exploit modules to find one that targets the vulnerability you’ve identified.
  3. Select a payload: Once you’ve picked an exploit, it’s time to choose a payload. Payloads are the actual code that will run on the target system after a successful exploit. Metasploit offers a wide variety of payloads, from simple command execution to full-fledged reverse shells.
  4. Configure the exploit: Before launching the exploit, you’ll need to set various options like the target’s IP address, the listening port for reverse shells, and any exploit-specific settings.
  5. Fire away! With everything set up, it’s time to execute the exploit and see if you can successfully compromise the target system.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how Metasploit works, let’s explore some real-world examples of how it can be used for penetration testing:

  1. Exploiting a vulnerable web application: Let’s say you’ve found a web application vulnerable to Remote File Inclusion (RFI). You could use Metasploit to deliver a PHP reverse shell payload, gaining access to the target server and allowing you to explore its file system and execute commands.
  2. Gaining access to a Windows system: Suppose you’ve discovered a Windows machine with a vulnerable SMB service. Metasploit has a range of exploits targeting SMB vulnerabilities, which you can use to deliver a Meterpreter payload, providing you with a powerful and flexible shell on the target system.
  3. Escalating privileges on a Linux system: If you’ve gained access to a Linux machine but only have low-privileged user access, you could use Metasploit to exploit a local privilege escalation vulnerability, granting you root access and complete control over the system.

These examples just scratch the surface of what Metasploit can do. As you experiment and grow your skills, you’ll find countless ways to use this versatile framework in your penetration testing and vulnerability assessment efforts.

4. Burp Suite Community Edition

Web application security aficionados, this one’s for you! Meet Burp Suite – the Swiss Army knife of web application testing tools that’ll help you identify and exploit vulnerabilities in your favorite online apps.

Burp Suite is an integrated platform that offers a range of tools specifically designed for web application security testing. With features like a powerful web proxy, a robust scanner, and handy utilities for intercepting and modifying requests, Burp Suite is a must-have tool for web security enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Now, let’s talk about how Burp Suite can help in web application security testing:

  1. Intercepting proxy: Burp’s powerful proxy allows you to intercept and modify HTTP/HTTPS requests and responses between your browser and the target application. This is incredibly useful for analyzing web app behavior, testing input validation, and manipulating server responses.
  2. Scanner: The Burp Scanner is a fantastic tool for automating the discovery of vulnerabilities in web applications. It can identify issues like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and insecure file uploads, among others.
  3. Intruder: This feature enables you to perform automated attacks against web applications, such as brute-forcing form fields, fuzzing parameters, and testing for access control vulnerabilities.
  4. Repeater: The Burp Repeater is an invaluable utility for manually crafting and resending HTTP/HTTPS requests. It’s perfect for fine-tuning your exploits or digging deeper into potential vulnerabilities.

Now, you might be wondering about the difference between the Community Edition and the paid version of Burp Suite. The Community Edition is a fantastic starting point for beginners and hobbyists, offering core features like the proxy, repeater, and intruder. However, it’s worth noting that the scanner is limited in the free version.

The Burp Suite Professional edition, on the other hand, includes the full-fledged scanner and some additional features, like the ability to save your work, extensibility with Burp extensions, and advanced scanning options. While the paid version is undoubtedly more powerful, the Community Edition still provides a solid foundation for web application security testing.

5. Aircrack-ng

This powerful suite of tools is designed to assess and exploit Wi-Fi network vulnerabilities, making it a must-have for any ethical hacker with a penchant for wireless shenanigans.

Aircrack-ng is an open-source toolkit that specializes in cracking Wi-Fi passwords, monitoring network traffic, and performing various attacks against wireless networks. Its collection of tools can help you test the security of your Wi-Fi network or even recover lost or forgotten passwords.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to use Aircrack-ng for Wi-Fi password cracking and network monitoring:

  1. Capture wireless traffic: Start by using tools like ‘airodump-ng’ to capture Wi-Fi traffic in your vicinity. This will allow you to identify target networks and gather essential information, such as the target’s BSSID and the channel it’s operating on.
  2. Capture the handshake: To crack a Wi-Fi password, you’ll need to capture the four-way handshake between a client and the access point (AP). You can do this by monitoring the target network and waiting for a client to connect or by using ‘aireplay-ng’ to deauthenticate an existing client, forcing them to reconnect.
  3. Crack the password: With the handshake captured, it’s time to unleash Aircrack-ng’s password-cracking prowess. Using a wordlist, Aircrack-ng will attempt to crack the password by testing various possible keys until it finds the correct one.
  4. Monitor network traffic: In addition to password cracking, Aircrack-ng also offers tools like ‘airodump-ng’ for passive network monitoring, allowing you to observe the traffic and connected clients on a Wi-Fi network.

Now that you know how Aircrack-ng works, let’s talk about some tips for securing your Wi-Fi network against Aircrack-ng attacks:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords: One of the most effective ways to defend against password cracking is to use a robust, unique password that’s difficult to guess. Avoid common words, phrases, or patterns, and opt for a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  2. Enable WPA3: If your router supports it, switch to the latest Wi-Fi security standard, WPA3. WPA3 offers significant security improvements over WPA2, making it more resistant to password cracking attacks.
  3. Disable WPS: Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is known to have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Disabling this feature on your router can help protect your network from potential threats.
  4. Regularly monitor your network: Keep an eye on your network for suspicious activity and unknown devices. Regularly auditing your network can help you identify potential security risks before they can be exploited.
  1. John the Ripper

Gather ’round, password-cracking enthusiasts! Today, we’re going to explore the world of John the Ripper, a classic, versatile, and powerful password-cracking tool that’s been helping hackers break into locked accounts for decades.

John the Ripper is a popular, open-source password-cracking tool designed to test the strength of passwords and help users recover lost or forgotten credentials. With support for numerous hashing algorithms and platforms, John the Ripper is an indispensable tool in any ethical hacker’s toolkit.

Before diving into the techniques, let’s take a moment to discuss the wide array of hashing algorithms and platforms John the Ripper supports. From classic DES and MD5 to modern bcrypt and Argon2, John can crack passwords across a vast range of formats. Additionally, John the Ripper works on a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to users of all stripes.

Now that you have an idea of John the Ripper’s capabilities, let’s explore some techniques for effective password cracking using this powerful tool:

  1. Dictionary attack: One of the most basic and effective methods for cracking passwords is the dictionary attack. In this technique, John the Ripper uses a wordlist of common passwords or phrases, attempting to find a match for the target hash.
  2. Brute-force attack: If a dictionary attack fails, you can always resort to the brute-force method. John the Ripper systematically tries every possible combination of characters until it finds the correct password. Keep in mind, though, that this approach can be time-consuming, especially for complex passwords.
  3. Rule-based attack: To improve the efficiency of password cracking, John the Ripper allows you to apply rule-based modifications to your wordlist. These rules can help you generate password variations that might not appear in a standard dictionary but are still common among users, such as replacing “a” with “@” or appending numbers to words.
  4. Incremental mode: John the Ripper’s incremental mode is a powerful technique that automatically generates password candidates based on character sets and lengths. This mode can be especially effective when the target password’s character set or length is unknown.

Password cracking with John the Ripper can be a game of patience and persistence. By experimenting with various techniques and refining your approach, you’ll improve your chances of cracking even the most stubborn passwords.

  1. SQLMap

Hey, SQL injection sleuths! If you’ve ever dreamt of unearthing those pesky SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications, then SQLMap is the tool for you. Let’s dive into this powerful, automated tool that’s designed to detect and exploit SQL injection flaws with ease.

SQLMap is an open-source tool that specializes in finding and exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications. With support for a wide range of databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle, SQLMap can help you uncover hidden SQL injection flaws, even in the most unassuming web apps.

To give you an idea of SQLMap’s capabilities, let’s explore its features and usage:

  1. Detection: SQLMap automates the process of identifying SQL injection vulnerabilities by testing different injection techniques, such as error-based, blind, and time-based SQL injection.
  2. Data retrieval: Once an SQL injection vulnerability is discovered, SQLMap can be used to extract valuable data from the target database, such as table names, column names, and individual records.
  3. Exploitation: SQLMap can also automate the process of exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities, including out-of-band exploitation and even gaining remote code execution on the target server.
  4. Customization: With a plethora of options and switches, SQLMap can be fine-tuned to suit your specific needs, allowing you to control everything from the level of verbosity to the use of specific injection techniques.

Now that you have a grasp of SQLMap’s power, let’s discuss some tips for securing web applications against SQL injection attacks:

  1. Use parameterized queries: One of the most effective ways to prevent SQL injection is by using parameterized queries, also known as prepared statements. This approach separates SQL code from user-supplied data, reducing the risk of injection.
  2. Employ input validation: Validate user input to ensure it meets specific criteria, such as length, format, and type, before processing it. This can help prevent malicious payloads from being injected into your queries.
  3. Limit database permissions: Restrict the privileges of database accounts used by web applications. By limiting the actions an attacker can perform through SQL injection, you can reduce the potential impact of an attack.
  4. Regularly update and patch: Keep your database software and web application code up-to-date with the latest security patches. This can help protect against known vulnerabilities that could be exploited through SQL injection.
  1. Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET)

The Social-Engineer Toolkit, or SET for short, is an open-source Python-based framework that focuses on simulating social engineering attacks. Created by TrustedSec, SET aims to educate users on the dangers of social engineering and help them understand how these attacks work. By simulating real-world attack scenarios, SET can be a valuable tool for cybersecurity training and awareness programs.

Here’s how SET can help you simulate social engineering attacks:

  1. Spear phishing: SET includes a powerful spear-phishing module that allows you to create and send customized phishing emails. This feature can help you test your organization’s susceptibility to targeted phishing attacks and evaluate the effectiveness of your security awareness training.
  2. Website cloning: SET’s website cloning tool enables you to create a replica of a legitimate website to use in social engineering attacks. This cloned site can be used to capture user credentials, deliver payloads, or even host malicious files.
  3. Payload creation: SET can help you create custom payloads and exploits for various platforms, making it easier to simulate real-world attacks. These payloads can be delivered via phishing emails, malicious websites, or other attack vectors.
  4. Mass mailer: SET’s mass mailer feature allows you to send large-scale phishing campaigns to multiple targets simultaneously. This can be useful for testing the security awareness of a large group of users.

Let’s look at some tips for using it in cybersecurity training and awareness:

  1. Realistic scenarios: When creating social engineering simulations, try to mimic real-world scenarios as closely as possible. This will help users better understand the types of threats they may encounter and how to recognize and respond to them.
  2. Regular training: Schedule frequent social engineering simulations to keep users on their toes and reinforce the importance of security awareness. Regular training can help users develop good security habits and become more vigilant.
  3. Evaluate and improve: Use the results of your social engineering simulations to identify areas where users may need additional training or where security controls may need to be strengthened.
  4. Encourage reporting: Teach users to report any suspected social engineering attempts to your organization’s IT or security team. This can help you identify and mitigate potential threats before they can cause harm.
  1. Hydra

Hydra, also known as THC-Hydra, is an open-source, multi-platform password-cracking tool that specializes in brute-force attacks. With support for a plethora of protocols, such as HTTP, FTP, SSH, Telnet, and more, Hydra is a versatile tool that can help you crack passwords on a wide range of services.

To give you an idea of Hydra’s capabilities, let’s discuss the supported protocols and platforms:

  1. Protocols: Hydra supports a multitude of protocols, including, but not limited to, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, LDAP, MySQL, RDP, SMTP, SSH, Telnet, and VNC. This means that Hydra can be used to crack passwords for a wide array of applications and services.
  2. Platforms: Hydra is designed to run on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to users with various operating systems.

Here are some best practices for using Hydra effectively and securely:

  1. Use large, diverse wordlists: When performing brute-force attacks with Hydra, it’s essential to use large and diverse wordlists to increase your chances of cracking the target password. Consider combining multiple wordlists or generating custom wordlists based on the target’s known information.
  2. Optimize your attack: Customize the attack parameters, such as the number of parallel connections and the delay between attempts, to optimize the attack’s speed and effectiveness. Be cautious not to overload the target system or trigger any security mechanisms.
  3. Stay legal and ethical: Always use Hydra responsibly and with permission from the target. Unauthorized use of password-cracking tools can lead to legal and ethical issues. Remember, Hydra should be used for legitimate purposes, such as penetration testing and security audits.
  4. Learn from the results: Analyze the results of your brute-force attacks to identify trends and patterns that can help you refine your techniques and improve your success rate.

Let’s dive into this fantastic open-source tool designed to make web application security testing a breeze.

The OWASP Zed Attack Proxy, affectionately known as ZAP, is a free, open-source web application security testing tool developed by the OWASP community. ZAP is designed to help security professionals and developers identify vulnerabilities in web applications through a wide range of security testing techniques, such as passive scanning, active scanning, and even manual testing.

To give you an idea of ZAP’s capabilities, let’s discuss how it can help identify security vulnerabilities in web applications:

  1. Passive scanning: As you navigate through a web application, ZAP’s passive scanner automatically analyzes the application’s traffic to identify potential security issues, such as information disclosure or insecure cookie handling, without actively probing the application.
  2. Active scanning: ZAP’s active scanner goes a step further by launching targeted attacks against the web application to discover vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and more. Just make sure you have permission from the target before launching any active scans.
  3. Manual testing: ZAP’s user-friendly interface and built-in tools, such as the intercepting proxy, request editor, and WebSocket support, allow you to manually test and manipulate web application traffic to uncover hidden vulnerabilities.
  4. Extensibility: ZAP’s extensibility through add-ons and scripts enables you to customize and expand its functionality, allowing you to tailor the tool to your specific needs.

Let’s explore some tips for integrating ZAP into the secure development lifecycle:

  1. Integrate ZAP into your CI/CD pipeline: Automate your security testing by incorporating ZAP into your continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. This will help you identify and fix vulnerabilities early in the development process, reducing the risk of security issues making their way into production.
  2. Regularly update and customize ZAP: Keep ZAP up-to-date with the latest features, bug fixes, and add-ons to ensure optimal performance and effectiveness. Customize ZAP’s settings and rules to align with your organization’s security policies and requirements.
  3. Foster collaboration: Encourage collaboration between security professionals, developers, and operations teams to create a security-aware culture. Share insights from ZAP’s security testing to help developers learn from their mistakes and adopt secure coding practices.
  4. Continuously monitor and improve: Use the results of ZAP’s security testing to identify areas for improvement and track your progress over time. Continuously monitor your web applications to stay on top of new vulnerabilities and emerging threats.


Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of our journey exploring the top 10 free hacking apps that every cybersecurity enthusiast should know. Let’s quickly recap the fantastic tools we’ve covered in this blog post:

  1. Wireshark: A powerful network analyzer and packet sniffer for troubleshooting and analyzing network traffic.
  2. Nmap: An essential network scanning tool for discovering hosts and services on a network.
  3. Metasploit: A robust penetration testing framework for exploit development and execution.
  4. Burp Suite Community Edition: A comprehensive web application security testing toolset.
  5. Aircrack-ng: A versatile suite of tools for Wi-Fi security testing and password cracking.
  6. John the Ripper: A reliable and fast password-cracking tool that supports various hashing algorithms and platforms.
  7. SQLMap: A potent automated tool for detecting and exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.
  8. Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET): A Python-based framework for simulating social engineering attacks and raising cybersecurity awareness.
  9. Hydra: A popular, multi-platform brute-force password-cracking tool supporting numerous protocols.
  10. OWASP ZAP: A feature-packed web application security testing tool designed to identify and fix security vulnerabilities.

As we wrap up, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of ethical hacking and responsible use of these hacking tools. Always ensure you have permission from the target before performing any tests, and use these tools to improve cybersecurity rather than exploit vulnerabilities for malicious purposes.

We encourage you to delve deeper into the world of cybersecurity, learn more about these tools, and even contribute to the community by sharing your knowledge and experience. Remember, cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, and staying up-to-date with the latest tools, techniques, and threats is crucial in staying one step ahead of the bad actors.