Linux is the best platform for penetration testing and ethical hacking. Many professionals migrate to Linux just for this purpose, but sometimes they do miss their old Windows tools. Some install Backtrack, that has these tools, but not all. Here’s a list to help’ em out!
1. Kismet- Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. It is even more powerful than its windows alternative, that is Aircrack. It can be used to secure Wi-Fi systems, and test their vulnerabilities. For example, I was able to hack into my neighbour WLAN system that was encrypted but not at all secure using this software. I advised him to secure it with WPA2 encryption. That’s how it works! But it must be a note to the reader that it mustn’t be used for illegal purposes.
2. Ophcrack- The job of Ophcrack is simple, it cracks windows passwords through rainbow tables. Create a live DVD with ophcrack ready with rainbow tables and you’re sure to crack many Windows passwords! Although it is open source and free, but that doesn’t mean that you go around displaying your hacking skills. It is considered illegal to hack into any system for any purpose, unless you’re required to do so. Please note that you have to download the tables separately. It has both a GUI and terminal version.
3. Wireshark/Ethereal- Wireshark is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development. It is basically for troubleshooting purposes with no illegal use. It can be also used to check Wi-Fi networks. It uses pcap to capture packets, so it can only capture the packets on the types of networks that pcap supports. Nevertheless it is a very useful tool to have on the PC of a network manager.
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4. Nmap- This gem of a software needs no introduction. It is used to discover hosts and services on a computer network, thus creating a “map” of the network. It is very powerful and can be used to find various network details while mapping. Nmap also accounts for the network conditions while mapping. It can even bypass firewalls if well managed. It even has a GUI by the name of Zenmap.
5. OWASP Mantra- It is not a single hacking tool, but a security toolkit with a collection of hacking tools, add-ons and scripts based on Firefox! It is cross-platform, available for many platforms including Windows, but it shows its real power in linux! A nice GUI compliments the software with many options. It is even available as a liveCD. Good enough for basic penetration testing. The default interface is just Firefox like, so even newbies will feel right at home!