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Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools (Pros and Cons). Penetration testing (also known as pentesting) is a handy way of detecting vulnerabilities and weaknesses in IT systems. When using the right tools, penetration testing helps you in improving the quality and security of your crucial applications and systems. Therefore, you can pen test applications, wireless systems (Wi-Fi), cloud infrastructure, system passwords, and more.

There are lots of penetration testing tools in the market right now, with Kali Linux leading the way. Kali Linux is a Debian based Linux distribution ideal for advanced security testing.  This platform incorporates a wide array of tools and utilities suitable for security assessments. Ideally, Kali Linux has over 600 tools oriented toward penetration testing, reverse engineering, computer forensics, and more. Besides, it’s open source, and the code is available for all developers looking to rebuild or tweak the available packages.

Let’s start with 25 best Kali Linux penetration testing tools. So, please read on!

25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools

1. John the Ripper

First place on this list of Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is John the Ripper. Well, it is a feature rich penetration testing tool used as a password cracker. Free, open-source tool used to crack passwords and audit overall system security. In essence, this tool combines numerous password cracking modes. Besides, you can configure it to meet individual penetration testing needs.

Pentesters use John the Ripper to detect weak system passwords and gain access to databases and applications. It tests the strength of your passwords and other vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. John the Ripper can perform comprehensive password tests using both dictionary and brute force attacks. 

This tool has both raw and hashed passwords. To crack a password, John the Ripper identifies all potential passwords in a hashed format. It then matches the hashed passwords with the original hashed password to find a suitable match. If it finds a match, this tool displays the cracked password in its raw form. 

Pros of John the Ripper

  • Ideal for cracking multiple password types.
  • Offers 20+ different languages.
  • Has pre-built, proven packages.
  • Detects multithreading automatically.
  • Excellent for Windows and UNIX usage.

Cons of John the Ripper

  • Takes a considerable amount of time to set up.
  • Needs modification to crack newer, advanced hashes such as SHA 256 and SHA 512.
  • Requires deep understanding of command line.

2. Burp Suite

Image source: Portswigger.net

Burp Suite is a set of web application penetration testing utilities. Moreover, an integrated platform with various tools that work hand in hand to help detect and exploit vulnerabilities. These tools work seamlessly with each other, from the mapping to the analysis stages.

Burp provides complete control, allowing you to combine both manual and automated testing processes. This combination allows fast and more effective penetration testing. 

Burp Suite tools perform advanced security scans. The Burp Proxy tool intercepts HTTP and HTTPs traffic, while the Spider maps the target web application or website. The Intruder tool performs different attacks to help find all security vulnerabilities. Besides, it has various other tools that work in sync to detect weaknesses in your web applications.

Burp Suite has three plans:

  • Free Community Edition
  • Professional Edition
  • Enterprise Edition

The community plan is open source and free, while the Professional and Enterprise editions are premium.

Pros of Burp Suite

  • Comprehensive documentation to help you understand its functionality.
  • Wide variety of vulnerability testing tools.
  • Provides both manual and automated penetration testing.
  • Performs quick attacks on websites and web applications to detect vulnerabilities.
  • Crawls web applications to map all pages quickly.
  • Intuitive user interface.

Cons of Burp Suite

  • Poor Windows support.
  • Premium versions are relatively expensive.

3. Nmap

Image Source: Knoldus.com

Another alternative on the list of Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is Network Mapper (Nmap). Open source command line tool for network discovery and cybersecurity auditing. Use Nmap for network inventory and monitoring security flaws. This tool uses Raw IP packets to determine the services in the host, firewalls/filters in place, alongside numerous other network characteristics. Ideally, this tool was designed to provide rapid scans on large networks.

Nmap runs on all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Besides the executable command line, the Nmap has an executable GUI, debugging tool, and results viewer. Also, it has a response analysis and packet generation tool.

Pros of Nmap

  • A powerful tool for scanning hundreds of thousands of devices.
  • Comprehensive documentation, including tutorials, whitepapers, and up to date pages.
  • It has both traditional command line and GUI versions to choose from.
  • Supports dozens of advanced security assessment techniques.
  • Free download and full source code.

Cons of Nmap

  • Steep learning curve.
  • Limited functionality on Windows.
  • Scans take a long to complete.

4. Responder

Responder is an inbuilt Kali Linux tool for testing a company’s IT infrastructure. It supports Net BIOS Name Service (NBT-NS) and Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution (LLMNR). NBT-NS is a protocol used to translate NetBIOS names to IP addresses on Windows. On the other hand, LLMNR is a DNS packet format based protocol that allows both IPv4 and IPv6 hosts alongside supporting all DNS classes, formats, and types.

This tool scans IT infrastructure for any poisoned name service IDs and gathers credentials and hash values from the poisoned service IDs. With Responder, you can use NBT-NS and LLMNR to respond to specific NetBIOS queries.

Responder works by imitating several services and offering them to the network. It tricks the Windows systems into communicating via the provided service. The responder then responds to the request, picks the username and password, and hashes them. By prompting users for credentials and gaining clear text passwords, Responder helps you detect key system weaknesses.

Pros of Responder

  • Can check local hosts with specific DNS entries.
  • Automatic DNS queries on selecting networks.
  • Uses LLMNR/NBT-NS to send messages to networks.
  • Enables simple troubleshooting of issues.

Cons of Responder

  • Steep learning curve.
  • Difficult to install and use.

5. Lynis

Following alternative of Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is Lynis. Security auditing tool for scanning system configurations. Designed for Unix and GNU/Linux systems, this tool performs scans and provides insights into your system security environment. Using the generated reports, you can work on remediating any issues detected. For best results, it’s imperative to use Lynis alongside systems benchmarking, scanners, and fine-tuning tools.

Lynis uses a modular approach to system and security scanning. It discovers tools in your architecture and performs extensive auditing. This tool is easy to install. Ideally, there are multiple installation methods, including OS Package Install, Source Install, Github Clone, and more. Though, Unix distros come with the preinstalled Lynis package by default.

Pros of Lynis

  • Performs comprehensive scans to help detect system misconfigurations and attack surfaces.
  • Provides easy-to-understand audit reports.
  • Scans configuration files for related processes in common databases such as Redis, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle .
  • Has colour coding for easier understanding.
  • Hardening features to enhance your security posture.
  • Designed to help achieve regulatory compliance.

Cons of Lynis

  • Limited to a maximum of two audits per system each day.
  • Implementing more functionalities makes the interface complicated to use.

6. Metasploit

Metasploit is one of the most popular penetration testing tools thanks to its rich features and functionalities. This tool is handy for ethical hackers and human pen testers looking to exploit all possible attack systems on IT infrastructure. Metasploit has a massive database of exploits you can use to simulate real work malicious attacks on infrastructure. In addition, you can use it to train your security team on how to identify and spot actual attacks.

In addition, Metasploit hunts for threats in your systems. Once it detects flaws, it documents them so you can use the information to address the weakness and develop appropriate solutions. This Kali Linux penetration testing tool includes over 1600 exploits organized over 25 platforms, including Java, Python, PHP, Cisco, Android, and more.

Pros of Metasploit

  • Tests vulnerabilities across a wide range of systems and databases.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other penetration testing tools, such as Nmap.
  • You can leverage an extensive exploit database that increases daily.
  • Intuitive user interface and information management.
  • Community driven tool with a large group of developers contributing to it.
  • Automation of manual processes reduces the time taken to complete scans.

Cons of Metasploit

  • It does not support payloads written in other languages apart from Ruby.
  • Weaker performance on Windows compared to other systems.

7. Maltego

Image Source: Github.com

Maltego is an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) tool to gather network information. It is a penetration testing tool that helps you scrutinize the network for any vulnerabilities and single points of failure. Before attacking, this tool gathers information that a typical hacker would explore for the target network. Afterward, it provides easy to understand information on network features, such as router configurations, host protocols, and more.

Pros of Maltego

  • Gathers information for all security related tasks, saving you time.
  • Can access hidden information that’s difficult to discover.
  • Provides a visual demonstration of interconnection between various items in the network.
  • Intuitive GUI for checking relationships easily.
  • Runs of Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

Cons of Maltego

  • It can be overwhelming for new users.
  • Importing entities is complicated.
  • It has lots of complex features that make it difficult to use.

8. Hydra

Hydra is a Kali Linux login and password cracker. This tool leverages multiple protocols to perform brute force attacks on systems. The Hydra login cracker is parallelized, highly versatile, and easy to integrate. Hydra comes installed on Linux and has both GUI and command line versions. However, you can also install it on any other distribution.

In Hydra, the attacker leverages brute force and dictionary attacks to penetrate login pages. It provides numerous ways to make your attacks more intense and easier to gain access to systems remotely. You can guess passwords for known usernames using a list of passwords and brute attacks on passwords on the host’s FTP service. Also, you can use it to guess usernames for specific passwords by brute forcing the field containing username wordlists.

Hydra has an option for resuming brute forcing attacks that get halted accidentally. Generally, Hydra provides a wide range of options for attackers to exploit systems. With the right approach, you can use this tool to create robust, non hackable systems.

Pros of Hydra

  • Wide range of brute forcing options.
  • Wide variety of simple to use protocols.
  • Performs HTTP post form attacks for web applications.
  • Use it to test the strength of Drupal usernames and passwords.

Cons of Hydra

  • The open source community version has limited options.
  • It takes a lot of time to guess username and password combinations.

9. Aircrack-Ng

Aircrack-Ng is a suite of penetration tools for Wi-Fi security. These tools check how safe your Wifi is and whether you have secure passwords. Aircrack-ng focus on four main areas:

It checks Wi-Fi cards and driver capabilities for any injections or captures. It has various tools in the pack to capture data packs of a specific network. This tool also has advanced cracking capabilities. Essentially, it is an 802.11a/b/g cracking program that can recover 512-bit, 256-bit, 104-bit, or 40-bit WEP keys.

The Aircrack-ng suite has a variety of tools in its suite that enable seamless Wi-Fi auditing:

  • Aircrack-ng– for cracking the WEP keys using PTW attacks, WPA/WPA2- PSK attacks, etc
  • Airodump-ng– Packet sniffing tool to monitor all wireless networks and frequency hopes between wireless channels
  • Airmon-ng– for enabling monitor mode on wireless interfaces
  • Aireplay-ng– For packet injection attacks
  • Airdecap-ng– for decrypting WEP/WPA/WPA2 capture files

This collection of tools works in sync to provide seamless Wi-Fi testing.

Pros of Aircrack-ng

  • Most suitable Kali Linux penetration testing tool for cracking WEP encryption
  • It does not have a steep learning curve.
  • Easy to understand the command line.
  • It has multiple versions for Linux, UNIX, and macOS.

Cons of Aircrack-ng

  • It does not have GUI.
  • The initial installation process is overwhelming.

10. Impacket Scripts

Number 10 of Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is Impacket Scripts . Following penetration testing tool, that contains python classes for network testing. Written in Python, this pool is useful in constructing network protocols and comes with multiple tools to perform remote service execution. It has an object-oriented API that provides seamless working with deep protocol hierarchies. Besides protocols, the library contains multiple tools such as Kerberos, Remote Execution, Server Tools/MiTM attacks, SMB/MSRPC,  MSSQL / TDS, and more.

This library enables developers and security testers to design and decode network packets quickly. In this case, the developer leverages the framework to implement protocols. After all, Impacket Scripts supports both high level protocols (SMB and NMB) as well as low level protocols (TCP, UDP, IP).

Pros of Impacket Scripts

  • Easy to install.
  • Lots of protocols available that make network testing easier.
  • Provides a comprehensive testing guide.
  • Provides testers with a wide variety of options to execute network testing.

Cons of Impacket Scripts

  • Poor performance on windows compared to Linux.
  • Requires Python knowledge to use.

11. Traceroute

Traceroute is a penetration testing tool designed using the ICMP protocol at its core. It allows system admins to map how packets travel between source and destination. This tool sends packets to a target machine and lists all devices it passes through. It helps reveal how many devices your network data passes through, including all IP addresses.

Using Traceroute, you can find the nodes for the IP addresses where the packet passes. This process is known as tracing and helps identify issues in your computer network. Traceroute comes with additional network tracing methods suitable for bypassing secure networks and firewalls.

Pros of Traceroute

  • Advanced network tracing capabilities.
  • Ideal for testing internet connections.
  • Locates points of failure across each path.
  • Maps network hops seamlessly and provides round trip times (RTT)

Cons of Traceroute

  • It does not display historical data hence difficult identifying patterns.
  • Can display incomplete data when the firewall blocks ICMP requests.

12. WPscan

WPScan is a vulnerability assessment tool for scanning WordPress web engines. It helps you identify whether your WordPress setup is vulnerable to attacks. Basically, it scans for vulnerabilities in your theme files, plugins, and core. Also, it allows you to detect weak user passwords. WPScan comes with brute force feature that you can utilize to perform brute force attacks on your WordPress websites. Scripted in Ruby, this tool comes pre-installed in Kali Linux and other tools.

Pros of WPscan

  • Detects openly accessible database dumps.
  • Suitable for media file enumeration
  • Detects sensitive files such as robots.txt and readme.
  • Maps themes and plugins and detects possible vulnerabilities in them.
  • Checks for exposed error log files.
  • Can brute force usernames and passwords.

Cons of WPScan

  • Does not have a GUI.
  • It can be overwhelming to use outside of Kali Linux.

13. Wireshark

Image Source: Wireshark.org

Wireshark is an open source network vulnerability analysis tool. It analyses network protocols and packets and lets you see what’s happening in your network environment. Wireshark runs on all major operating systems, including Mac OS, Linux, Fedora, and Windows.

Its packet sniffing and network analysis capabilities make it worthwhile for real time vulnerability assessments.  It scrutinizes connection level information and captures data packets to determine their characteristics. Also, it reads live data from Ethernet, ATM, USB, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11, and others. You can leverage the output information to flag weaknesses within your network. Other Wireshark capabilities include network protocol development, software development, and troubleshooting.

Pros of Wireshark

  • Provides network traffic analysis at a granular level.
  • Powerful TShark command line utility.
  • Enables filtering, sorting, and grouping of packets.
  • Suitable for deep packet inspection.
  • Exports to PostScript, XML, CSV, and plain text formats.
  • Has colour coding for easier identification of packets.

Cons of Wireshark

  • Cannot exploit weaknesses in the isolated problem areas.
  • Has difficulties reading encrypted traffic.
  • Poor UI/UX experience.

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14. SQLmap

Sqlmap is an open source penetration testing tool for the automatic detection and exploitation of SQL injection flaws. This tool has powerful detection engines and various tools for seamless penetration testing. It can fetch data from SQL-based databases, access file systems, and execute commands on the OS via out of the band connections.

Based on Python, Sqlmap works seamlessly on Linux systems, especially Ubuntu. It’s suitable for detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications. It detects issues on the target host and provides multiple back end management options, including password hashing, session retrieval, and others. Sqlmap has SQL injection techniques: error based, time based bling, boolean based blind, out of band, stacked queries, and UNION query based.

Sqlmap works on all popular SQL databases, including MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc. In addition, it has multiple use cases for both attackers and defenders. You can use it to perform simulation attacks on databases. It provides an SQL shell into the database, allowing you to execute arbitrary SQL commands. Also, you can use it to crack user passwords using dictionary attacks. On the other hand, you can use it to test your servers and web applications for weak passwords and establish any potential injection holes.

Pros of Sqlmap

  • Automatic recognition of password hash formats.
  • Online password cracking.
  • Can upload or download files to the database.
  • Automatically determines the database schema.
  • Supports dump database files.

Cons of Sqlmap

  • Generates false positives frequently.
  • Requires users to confirm the vulnerabilities manually.
  • Lacks a GUI.

15. Kismet

Alternative tool to consider in Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is Kismet. Wireless sniffing tool and network detector. Ethical hackers and penetration testers commonly use it for network scanning and intrusion detection. This tool runs on all major operating systems, such as Windows and macOS but has a broader range of configurations and capabilities on windows.

Kismet provides a better understanding of network targets. Also, it offers seamless wireless LAN discovery. Also, it helps identify Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs), encryptions in place, and wireless access points. Leveraging the provided information, penetration testers can incorporate other tools to access system networks.

In addition, Kismet has built in reporting tools that you can use to evaluate trends in network strengths, usage, and WAP configurations. Additionally, you can use Kismet for packet injection. It enables you to collect legitimate packet traffic and insert additional traffic. Alternatively, it intercepts packets containing valuable data. Finally, you can use Kismet for WEP password cracking. You can use the obtained information, such as signal strength, SSID, WAPs, type of encryption, and connected devices, to attempt to crack the WEP password.

Pros of Kismet

  • Ideal tool for wireless network identification.
  • It helps identify misconfigured wireless networks.
  • Can detect multiple packets simultaneously.
  • Performs radio frequency monitoring.
  • Captures packets without leaving traces hence ideal for ethical hacking.

Cons of Kismet

  • Requires other tools for a complete penetration testing.
  • Network searching is time consuming.

16. Nikto

Nikto is an open source web server scanner for performing comprehensive security scans on web servers such as Apache, Nginx, Lightspeed, etc. It checks against outdated server software and dangerous files and programs. You can also use Nikto to check configuration errors that could potentially lead to attacks. Nikto lets you discover website or web server information that you can exploit deeper.

Nikto checks over 6700 dangerous programs and files and outdated versions of over 1200 servers. Also, it checks known problems in over 270 servers. Besides being open source, it has plugins to extend its capabilities. Nikto also helps you find common vulnerabilities such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL injections.

Pros of Nikto

  • You can test for web server configuration errors.
  • It helps establish the effectiveness of your intrusion detection system (IDS).
  • Has full HTTP proxy support.
  • Has templates for report customization.

Cons of Nikto

  • Generates lots of false positives.
  • Requires human intervention to validate checks.
  • Has lengthy runtimes.

17. Skip Fish

Skip Fish is an automated penetration testing tool for web applications. Yet, another alternative for Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools. It is a powerful security tool that crawls and probes dictionary files based on application, creating a sitemap. Through the site map, you can use the map to perform a wide range of security checks. Skip Fish then generates a report that helps manage any security issues in the web application. Ideally, it is an essential foundation for all web application vulnerability assessments.

Skip Fish is efficient for spotting common issues such as SQL injections, command injections, and directory listings. Thanks to its powerful engine, this tool performs security checks that other tools would encounter difficulties handling. Besides, it’s fast enough to handle over 2000 requests per second in LAN/MAN based networks.

Skip Fish is also helpful for websites that require authentications. First, it supports HTTP authentication for sites that require basic level authentications. For sites that require authentication on the web application level, you can capture authentication cookies and provide them to Skip Fish.

Pros of Skip Fish

  • Has Ratproxy-style logic for spotting security problems.
  • Can scan content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla for vulnerabilities.
  • It processes thousands of requests with low CPU and memory utilization.
  • Supports more than 15 modules useful in penetration testing.
  • Suitable for tracking enumeration.
  • Easy to use and highly adaptable.
  • Delivers cutting edge security assessments and well designed checks.

Cons of Skip Fish

  • Does not have an extensive database of known vulnerabilities for banner type checks.
  • It may not work on all types of web applications.

18. Nessus

Nessus is a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and penetration testing tool. It performs scans on computer systems and alters you after discovering vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. This tool runs 1200+ checks on a system to identify weaknesses. Once you find the vulnerabilities, you can patch them immediately to create a robust security solution. Besides checking for vulnerabilities, Nessus also suggests handy ways to mitigate them.

Nessus is a robust penetration testing tool that validates each check to ensure users do not miss out on real vulnerabilities. It’s also extensible and allows users to use the scripting language of their choice to write system specific checks.

More to add with Nessus, is that it has one of the largest updated libraries of configuration and vulnerability checks. This ensures optimal speed, accuracy, and performance. Besides web applications, you can use this tool to test cloud virtualization platforms, databases, operating systems, and network devices. Besides, it’s designed to help you meet regulatory requirements such as PCI DSS.

Pros of Nessus

  • Detects security weaknesses in both local and remote holes.
  • Automatic detection of security patches and updates.
  • Performs simulated attacks to unearth vulnerabilities.
  • Meets compliance requirements through application scanning and configuration auditing.

Cons of Nessus

  • Limited integration with SIEM platforms such as Metasploit.
  • Reduced performance when testing large.
  • Limited functionality on the free version.

19. BeEF

Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF) is a penetration testing tool for scanning web browsers. It allows users to assess the actual security posture of a target web browser by performing client-side attack vectors. Basically, it examines potentially exploitable surfaces beyond the network environment.

BeEF has a unique approach to pentesting, unlike other similar tools. Rather than attacking the network interface, it embeds on one or more browsers and uses it as a focal point for launching attacks. While embedded in the browser, it can test for vulnerabilities, execute exploit modules, and inject payloads.

Pros of BeEF

  • It has a powerful, straightforward API that provides efficiency.
  • Supports multiple command line options that enhance its compatibility and configurability.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Integrates seamlessly with Metasploit.
  • Ideal for intranet service exploitation.

Cons of BeEF

  • Requires professional Pentesting knowledge.
  • For the exploitation framework to work, each browser should have Javascript enabled.

20. Yersinia

Yersinia is an open source penetration testing tool for exploiting weaknesses in network protocols. This tool can perform multiple types of attacks over different protocols. Written in C, Yersinia uses ncurses, libnet, and libpcap libraries to perform packet construction and injections. Its major protocols include VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP), Dynamic Trunking Protocol (DTP), IEEE 802.1X, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and more.

Yersinia has three main models, ncurses, network client, and command line. You can use any of the three models to exploit network weaknesses before attackers discover them.

Pros of Yersinia

  • It has a friendly shell script integration.
  • You can set up Yersinia in different network segments for easier network assessment.
  • The Ncurses GUI is robust and highly visual.
  • You can customize preferences in a configuration file.

Cons of Yersinia

  • It does not work seamlessly on Windows.
  • Limited documentation.

21. Ncrack

Ncrack is a Kali Linux network penetration testing tool designed to help companies assess the security posture of devices such as hosts. It has a wide variety of features that enable complete network troubleshooting. This tool supports multiple protocols, including IMAP, POP3, HTTP, SSH, FTP, and RDP. You can use Ncrack for brute forcing attacks on passwords and SSH password cracking. Besides being available on Kali Linux, it has Windows and Mac OS X installers

Ncrack has a modular design approach and command line Syntax similar to that of Nmap. Besides, it has an adaptive engine suitable for dynamic network feedback. The architecture design allows for rapid, large scale network audits

Pros of Ncrack

  • Seamless interoperability between Ncrack and Nmap.
  • Adapts to changing network feedback.
  • Can resume interrupted attacks.
  • Can audit numerous hosts simultaneously.

Cons of Ncrack

  • Slow password cracking process.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • No graphical interface.

22. King Phisher

Image Source: Securitynewspaper.com

King Phisher is a Kali Linux penetration testing tool for social engineering attacks. It’s an easy to use tool that simulates real-world phishing attacks, enabling you to detect security weaknesses within your team. It’s an ideal tool for staff awareness and training.

With King Phisher, you can send images with malicious links to users and attempt to steal user credentials. This enables you to identify weak spots within your team and business systems. Afterward, you can create a custom training campaign to address those issues. Also, you can patch vulnerable business systems to prevent malware attacks and trojans.

To use King Phisher for a third party client, you must have explicit legal permission from the targeted organization. This ensures hackers do not exploit it for malicious gains.

Pros of King Phisher

  • Provides SMS alerts regarding Email campaign status.
  • Has a powerful system powered by Jinja2 engine
  • Providers detailed graphs regarding campaign results.
  • Has powerful web cloning capabilities.
  • Built with easily modifiable Python language.
  • Highly flexible to achieve varying phishing goals.
  • Usage policy limiting it to ethical phishing.

Cons of King Phisher

  • Huge memory requirements.
  • Relative slow and time consuming.

23. RainbowCrack

RainbowCrack is a penetration testing tool that uses rainbow tables to crack passwords from hash values. Basically, rainbow tables are precomputed tables of reversed password hashes. These tables help crack passwords in a database. They provide a quick way to crack passwords and gain unauthorized way to computer systems.

RainbowCrack generates rainbow tables to crack passwords easily. Unlike conventional cracking tools, RainbowCrack uses a large database of tables, making hacking easier. Besides the rainbow tables, it also has lookup, sort, and conversation features that make penetration testing easier.

Pros of RainbowCrack

  • Comes with both GUI and command line interface.
  • Runs on almost all operating systems.
  • Has multiple GPU accelerators i.e., AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
  • Supports rainbow table of any has logarithm and raw format files.
  • Faster than traditional password cracking methods.

Cons of RainbowCrack

  • Does not crack passwords if the hash is not in the table.
  • Huge RAM and storage demands.

24. Social Engineering Toolkit (SET)

Social Engineering Toolkit (SET) is an open source penetration tool ideal for phishing simulations. Used to perform social engineering attacks on staff to ensure they are fully compliant with the organization’s security policies. It has several custom attack vectors to trick humans and evaluate the level of human awareness in the organization. You can perform attacks via email, phone, or SMS.

With SET, you can create phishing pages for websites such as Instagram, Facebook, Google, etc. The tool generates a link that you can then send to the target. If the target person opens the link and enters their login credentials, SET will collect the credentials. Also, you can launch a web attack by cloning the website for phishing and distributing it to victims. Other modules include Mass Mailer attacks and Payload and Listener.

Pros of SET

  • Seamless integration with Metasploit Framework.
  • Helps detect actual points of weaknesses in your systems.
  • Has GUI and console versions.
  • Provides the flexibility to fine tune your attacks depending on the nature of the target.

Cons of SET

  • Requires a high social engineering skill set to operate and achieve the desired results.
  • Limited attack vectors compared to similar tools like BeEF.

25. Fluxion

Last solution of this list of Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools is Fluxion. Last penetration testing tool for wireless security auditing. This tool combines both social engineering and Evil Twin hacking to gain access to wireless systems and improve the overall security posture. It attempts to recover WPA/WPA2 keys for target networks by simulating MITM attacks.

Fluxion performs 2 types of attacks:

  • Captive Portal.
  • Handshake Snooper.

The Captive Portal attack involves creating a rogue network to gather the targeted access point’s WPA/WPA2 password. It creates a network with a similar SID and disconnects all users from the targeted access points. Using phishing attacks, the tool tricks users into providing passwords for the targeted access points.

The Handshake Snooper attack involves using WPA/WPA2 authentication hashes from the 4-way handshake. The 4-way handshake is a network authentication protocol established by IEEE-802.11i to provide secure authentication for WLANs. Through this attack, Fluxion uses the deauthenticator to disconnect users connected to the targeted access points. As the users try to reconnect, the tool acquires the hashes.

Pros of Fluxion

  • Does not require brute force to gain access.
  • Does not require extensive penetration testing knowledge.
  • Easy to use.
  • Low RAM demands.

Cons of Fluxion

  • Easy to get detected.
  • Requires user interaction which is not guaranteed.

Thank you for reading Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools (Pros and Cons). We shall conclude. 

Top 25 Best Kali Linux Penetration Testing Tools (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

Having the best penetration testing tools enables you to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your systems. Using the information derived from the tests, you can perform patches or updates to secure the systems against attacks. Each of the above penetration testing tools comes pre-installed on Kali Linux and provides a wide range of functionalities. You can choose the most suitable tool depending on your security needs and expertise.


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Edyta Wisniowska

Edyta Wisniowska

I am a Linux and Windows enthusiast and cyber security researcher. Currently working as InfraSOS technical writer and content manager.

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