Free Ethical Hacking Tutorials: Course for Beginners - ACTE
Ethical Hacking Tutorial

Free Ethical Hacking Tutorials: Course for Beginners

Last updated on 29th May 2020, Blog, Tutorials

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Balaji (IT Cyber Security Engineer )

Balaji has five years of experience and is highly skilled in risk management, internal audit, technical writing, CISSP, SOX, ICFR, IFC, SAS 70. His articles assist in sharing information and abilities in core fields and provide students with informative knowledge.

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What is Hacking?

Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems or networks to exploit its weaknesses to gain access. Example of Hacking: Using password cracking algorithms to gain access to a system.Computers have become mandatory to run successful businesses. It is not enough to have isolated computers systems; they need to be networked to facilitate communication with external businesses. This exposes them to the outside world and hacking. Hacking means using computers to commit fraudulent acts such as fraud, privacy invasion, stealing corporate/personal data, etc. Cyber crimes cost many organizations millions of dollars every year. Businesses need to protect themselves against such attacks.

Before we go any further, let’s look at some of the most commonly used terminologies in the world of hacking.

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    Who is a Hacker? Types of Hackers

    A Hacker is a person who finds and exploits the weakness in computer systems and/or networks to gain access. Hackers are usually skilled computer programmers with knowledge of computer security.

    Hackers are classified according to the intent of their actions. The following list classifies hackers according to their intent.


    Ethical Hacker (White hat): A hacker who gains access to systems with a view to fix the identified weaknesses.


    Cracker (Black hat): A hacker who gains unauthorized access to computer systems for personal gain.


    Grey hat: A hacker who is in between ethical and black hat hackers. He/she breaks into computer systems without authority with a view to identify weaknesses and reveal them to the system owner.


    Script kiddies: A non-skilled person who gains access to computer systems using already made tools.


    Hacktivist: A hacker who uses hacking to send social, religious, and political, etc. messages. This is usually done by hijacking websites and leaving the message on the hijacked website.


    Phreaker: A hacker who identifies and exploits weaknesses in telephones instead of computer                 


    What is Cybercrime?

    Cyber crime is the use of computers and networks to perform illegal activities such as spreading computer viruses, online bullying, performing unauthorized electronic fund transfers, etc. Most cyber crimes are committed through the internet. Some cyber crimes can also be carried out using Mobile phones via SMS and online chatting applications.

    Type of Cybercrime

    The following list presents the common types of cybercrimes:

    • Computer Fraud: Intentional deception for personal gain via the use of computer systems.
    • Privacy violation: Exposing personal information such as email addresses, phone number, account details, etc. on social media, websites, etc.
    • Identity Theft: Stealing personal information from somebody and impersonating that person.
    • Sharing copyrighted files/information: This involves distributing copyright protected files such as eBooks and computer programs etc.
    • Electronic funds transfer: This involves gaining unauthorized access to bank computer networks and making illegal fund transfers.
    • Electronic money laundering: This involves the use of the computer to launder money.
    • ATM Fraud: This involves intercepting ATM card details such as account number and PIN numbers. These details are then used to withdraw funds from the intercepted accounts.
    • Denial of Service Attacks: This involves the use of computers in multiple locations to attack servers with a view of shutting them down.
    • Spam: Sending unauthorized emails. These emails usually contain advertisements.
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    What is Ethical Hacking?

    Ethical Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems and/or computer networks and coming with countermeasures that protect the weaknesses. Ethical hackers must abide by the following rules.

    • Get written permission from the owner of the computer system and/or computer network before hacking.
    • Protect the privacy of the organization being hacked.
    • Transparently report all the identified weaknesses in the computer system to the organization.
    • Inform hardware and software vendors of the identified weaknesses.

    Why Ethical Hacking?

    • Information is one of the most valuable assets of an organization. Keeping information secure can protect an organization’s image and save an organization a lot of money.
    • Hacking can lead to loss of business for organizations that deal in finance such as PayPal. Ethical hacking puts them a step ahead of the cyber criminals who would otherwise lead to loss of business.

    Legality of Ethical Hacking

    Ethical Hacking is legal if the hacker abides by the rules stipulated in the above section on the definition of ethical hacking. The ]International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)]provides a certification program that tests individual’s skills. Those who pass the examination are awarded with certificates. The certificates are supposed to be renewed after some time.

    What are Hacking Tools?

    Hacking Tools are computer programs and scripts that help you find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems, web applications, servers and networks. There are a variety of such tools available on the market. Some of them are open source while others are commercial solutions.In this list we highlight the top 20 tools for Ethical Hacking of web applications, servers and networks

    1) Netsparker


    Netsparker is an easy to use web application security scanner that can automatically find SQL Injection, XSS and other vulnerabilities in your web applications and web services. It is available as on-premises and SAAS solution.


    • Dead accurate vulnerability detection with the unique Proof-Based Scanning Technology.
    • Minimal configuration required. Scanner automatically detects URL rewrite rules, custom 404 error pages.
    • REST API for seamless integration with the SDLC, bug tracking systems etc.
    • Fully scalable solution. Scan 1,000 web applications in just 24 hours.

    2) Acunetix

    Acunetix is a fully automated ethical hacking solution that mimics a hacker to keep one step ahead of malicious intruders. The web application security scanner accurately scans HTML5, JavaScript and Single-page applications. It can audit complex, authenticated web apps and issues compliance and management reports on a wide range of web and network vulnerabilities.



    • Scans for all variants of SQL Injection, XSS, and 4500+ additional vulnerabilities
    • Detects over 1200 WordPress core, theme, and plugin vulnerabilities
    • Fast & Scalable – crawls hundreds of thousands of pages without interruptions
    • Integrates with popular WAFs and Issue Trackers to aid in the SDLC
    • Available On Premises and as a Cloud solution.

    3) SaferVPN

    SaferVPN is an indispensable tool in an Ethical hackers arsenal. You may need it to check targets in different geographies, simulate non personalized browsing behavior, anonymized file transfers, etc.



    • No Log VPN with high security and anonymity
    • Very fast speeds with 2000+ servers across continents
    • Based in Hongkong, it does not store any data.
    • Split tunneling and 5 simultaneous logins
    • 24/7 support
    • Supports Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iPhone, etc.
    • 300,000+ IPs
    • Port Forwarding, Dedicated IO and P2P Protection
    • 31 Day Money-Back Guarantee

    4) Burp Suite:


    Burp Suite is a useful platform for performing Security Testing of web applications. Its various tools work seamlessly together to support the entire pen testing process. It spans from initial mapping to analysis of an application’s attack surface.


    It can detect over 3000 web application vulnerabilities.

    • Scan open-source software and custom-built applications
    • An easy to use Login Sequence Recorder allows the automatic scanning
    • Review vulnerability data with built-in vulnerability management.
    • Easily provide wide variety of technical and compliance reports
    • Detects Critical Vulnerabilities with 100% Accuracy
    • Automated crawl and scan
    • Advanced scanning feature for manual testers
    • Cutting-edge scanning logic

    5) Luminati


    Luminati is a proxy service provider that offers more than 40 million residential and other IPs all around the world. The website allows you to Integrate proxy IPs via their own API, available in all common coding languages.


    • Flexible billing and powerful and configurable tools
    • Surf the web using a proxy without requiring coding or complex integration
    • Allowing you to manage your proxies without any no coding.

    6) Ettercap:


    Ettercap is an ethical hacking tool. It supports active and passive dissection including features for network and host analysis.


    • It supports active and passive dissection of many protocols
    • Feature of ARP poisoning to sniff on a switched LAN between two hosts
    • Characters can be injected into a server or to a client while maintaining a live connection
    • Ettercap is capable of sniffing an SSH connection in full duplex
    • Allows sniffing of HTTP SSL secured data even when the connection is made using proxy
    • Allows creation of custom plugins using Ettercap’s API

    7) Aircrack:


    Aircrack is a trustable ethical hacking tool. It cracks vulnerable wireless connections. It is powered by WEP WPA and WPA 2 encryption Keys.


    • More cards/drivers supported
    • Support all types of OS and platforms
    • New WEP attack: PTW
    • Support for WEP dictionary attack
    • Support for Fragmentation attack
    • Improved tracking speed

    8) Angry IP Scanner:


    Angry IP Scanner is an open-source and cross-platform ethical hacking tool. It scans IP addresses and ports.


    • Scans local networks as well as the Internet
    • Free and open-source tool
    • Random or file in any format
    • Exports results into many formats
    • Extensible with many data fetchers
    • Provides command-line interface
    • Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux

     9) GFI LanGuard:

    GFI LanGuard

    It is an ethical tool that scans networks for vulnerabilities. It can act as your ‘virtual security consultant’ on demand. It allows creating an asset inventory of every device.


    • It helps to maintain a secure network over time is to know which changes are affecting your network and
    • Patch management: Fix vulnerabilities before an attack
    • Analyze network centrally
    • Discover security threats early
    • Reduce cost of ownership by centralizing vulnerability scanning
    • Help to maintain a secure and compliant network

    10) Savvius:


    It is an ethical hacking tool. It performs performance issues and reduces security risk with the deep visibility provided by Omnipeek. It can diagnose network issues faster and better with Savvius packet intelligence.


    • Powerful, easy-to-use network forensics software
    • Savvius automates the capture of the network data required to quickly investigate security alerts
    • Software and integrated appliance solutions
    • Packet intelligence combines deep analysis
    • Rapid resolution of network and security issues
    • Easy to use Intuitive workflow
    • Expert and responsive technical support
    • Onsite deployment for appliances
    • Commitment to our customers and our products
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    11) QualysGuard:


    Qualys guard helps businesses streamline their security and compliance solutions. It also builds security into their digital transformation initiatives. This tool can also check the performance vulnerability of the online cloud systems.


    • It is trusted globally
    • No hardware to buy or manage
    • It is a scalable, end-to-end solution for all aspects of IT security
    • Vulnerability data securely stored and processed on an n-tiered architecture of load-balanced servers
    • It sensor provides continuous visibility
    • Data analyzed in real time
    • It can respond to threats in a real-time

    12) WebInspect:


    WebInspect is automated dynamic application security testing that allows performing ethical hacking techniques. It provides comprehensive dynamic analysis of complex web applications and services.


    • Allows to test dynamic behavior of running web applications to identify security vulnerabilities
    • Keep in control of your scan by getting relevant information and statistics at a glance
    • Centralized Program Management
    • Advanced technologies, such as simultaneous crawl professional-level testing to novice security testers
    • Easily inform management on vulnerability trending, compliance management, and risk oversight

    13) Hashcat:


    Hashcat is a robust password cracking ethical hacking tool. It can help users to recover lost passwords, audit password security, or just find out what data is stored in a hash.


    • Open-Source platform
    • Multi-Platform Support
    • Allows utilizing multiple devices in the same system
    • Utilizing mixed device types in the same system
    • It supports distributed cracking networks
    • Supports interactive pause/resume
    • Supports sessions and restore
    • Built-in benchmarking system
    • Integrated thermal watchdog
    • Supports automatic performance tuning

    14) L0phtCrack:


    L0phtCrack 6 is a useful password audit and recovery tool. It identifies and assesses password vulnerability over local machines and networks.


    • Multicore & multi-GPU support helps to optimize hardware
    • Easy to customize
    • Simple Password Loading
    • Schedule sophisticated tasks for automated enterprise-wide password
    • Fix weak passwords issues by forcing password resets or locking accounts
    • It allows multiple auditing OSes

    15) Rainbow Crack:

    RainbowCrack is a password cracking tool widely used for ethical hacking. It cracks hashes with rainbow tables. It uses a time-memory tradeoff algorithm for this purpose.


    • Full time-memory trade-off tool suites, including rainbow table generation
    • It Support rainbow table of any hash algorithm
    • Support rainbow table of any charset
    • Support rainbow table in raw file format (.rt) and compact file format
    • Computation on multi-core processor support
    • GPU acceleration with multiple GPUs
    • Runs on Windows OS and Linux
    • Unified rainbow table file format on every supported OS
    • Command line user interface
    • Graphics user interface

    16) IKECrack:

    IKECrack is an open source authentication crack tool. This ethical hacking tool is designed to brute-force or dictionary attack. This tool also allows performing cryptography tasks.


    • IKECrack is a tool that allows performing Cryptography tasks
    • Initiating client sends encryption options proposal, DH public key, random number, and an ID in an unencrypted packet to the gateway/responder.
    • It is freely available for both personal and commercial use. Therefore, it is perfect choice for user who wants an option for Cryptography programs

    17) IronWASP:


    IronWASP is an open source software for ethical hacking too. It is web application vulnerability testing. It is designed to be customizable so that users can create their custom security scanners using it.


    • GUI based and very easy to use
    • It has powerful and effective scanning engine
    • Supports for recording Login sequence
    • Reporting in both HTML and RTF formats
    • Checks for over 25 types of web vulnerabilities
    • False Positives and Negatives detection support
    • It supports Python and Ruby
    • Extensible using plug-ins or modules in Python, Ruby, C# or VB.NET

    18) Medusa

    Medusa is one of the best online brute-force, speedy, parallel password crackers ethical hacking tools. This tool is also widely used for ethical hacking.


    • It is designed in such a way that it is speedy, massively parallel, modular, login brute-forcer
    • The main aim of this tool is to support as many services which allow remote authentication
    • Allows to perform Thread-based parallel testing and Brute-force testing
    • Flexible user input. It can be specified in a variety of ways
    • All the service module exists as an independent .mod file.
    • No modifications are needed to the core application to extend the supported list of services for brute-forcing

    19) NetStumbler


    NetStumbler is used to detect wireless networks on the Windows platform.


    • Verifying network configurations
    • Finding locations with poor coverage in a WLAN
    • Detecting causes of wireless interference
    • Detecting unauthorized (“rogue”) access points
    • Aiming directional antennas for long-haul WLAN links

    20) SQLMap


    SQLMap automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL Injection weaknesses. It is open source and cross platform. It supports the following database engines.

    • MySQL
    • Oracle
    • PostgreSQL
    • MS SQL Server
    • MS Access
    • IBM DB2
    • SQLite
    • Firebird
    • Sybase and SAP MaxDB

    It supports the following SQL Injection Techniques;

    • Boolean-based blind
    • Time-based blind
    • Error-based
    • UNION query
    • Stacked queries and out-of-band.

    21) Cain & Abel              

    It is a Microsoft Operating System passwords recovery tool. It is used to –

    • Recover MS Access passwords
    • Uncover password field
    • Sniffing networks
    • Cracking encrypted passwords using dictionary attacks, brute-force, and cryptanalysis attacks.
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    22) Nessus


    Nessus can be used to perform;

    • Remote vulnerability scanner
    • Password dictionary attacks
    • Denial of service attacks.

    It is closed source, cross platform and free for personal use.


    Ethical hacking is not a criminal activity and should not be considered as such. While it is true that malicious hacking is a computer crime and criminal activity, ethical hacking is never a crime. Ethical hacking is in line with industry regulation and organizational IT policies.Hope you have found all the details that you were looking for, in this article.

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