Penetration Testing Tools You Can Use

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, means computer securities experts use to detect and take advantage of security vulnerabilities in a computer application. These experts, who are also known as white-hat hackers or ethical hackers, facilitate this by simulating real-world attacks by criminal hackers known as black-hat hackers.

In effect, conducting penetration testing is similar to hiring security consultants to attempt a security attack on a secure facility to find out how real criminals might do it. The results are used by organizations to make their applications more secure.

How Penetration Tests Work

First, penetration testers must learn about the computer systems they will be attempting to breach. Then, they typically use a set of software tools to find vulnerabilities. Penetration testing may also involve social engineering hacking threats. Testers will try to gain access to a system by tricking a member of an organization into providing access.

Penetration testers provide the results of their tests to the organization, which is then responsible for implementing changes that either resolve or mitigate the vulnerabilities.

Who Performs Pen-Testing?

Testers/ Network specialists/ Security Consultants perform Pen-Testing.

Note: It is important to note that Pen-Testing is not the same as Vulnerability Testing. The intention of Vulnerability Testing is just to identify the potential problems, whereas Pen-Testing is to attack those problems.

The good news is, that you do not have to start the process by yourself — you have a number of tools already available in the market. Wondering, why tools?

  • Even if you design a test on what to attack and how to leverage it, a lot of tools are available in the market to hit the problem areas and collect data quickly that in turn would enable effective security analysis of the system.

Before we look into the details of the tools, what they do, where you can get them, etc., I would like to point out that the tools you use for Pen-Testing can be classified into two kinds — In simple words, they are scanners and attackers.

This is because; by definition, Pen-Testing is exploiting the weak spots. So there are some software/tools that will show you the weak spots, & some that show, and attack. Literally speaking, the ‘show-ers’ are not Pen-Testing tools but they are inevitable for its success.

Best Security Penetration Testing Tools On The Market

List of the best Security Pentesting Tools that every Security Tester should know about:

#1) Netsparker

Netsparker is a dead accurate automated scanner that will identify vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection and Cross-site Scripting in web applications and web APIs. Netsparker uniquely verifies the identified vulnerabilities, proving they are real and not false positives.

Therefore, you do not have to waste hours manually verifying the identified vulnerabilities once a scan is finished.

It is available as Windows software and online service.

#2) Acunetix

Acunetix is a fully automated web vulnerability scanner that detects and reports on over 4500 web application vulnerabilities including all variants of SQL Injection and XSS.

It complements the role of a penetration tester by automating tasks that can take hours to test manually, delivering accurate results with no false positives at top speed.

Acunetix fully supports HTML5, JavaScript, and Single-page applications as well as CMS systems. It includes advanced manual tools for penetration testers and integrates with popular Issue Trackers and WAFs.

Core impact: With over 20 years in the market, Core Impact claims the largest range of exploits available in the market, they also let you run the free Metasploit exploits within their framework if they are missing one. They automate a lot of processes with wizards, have a complete audit trail including PowerShell commands, and can re-test a client simply by re-playing the audit trail.

Core write their own ‘Commercial Grade’ exploits to guarantee quality and offer technical support around both those exploits and their platform.

They claim to be the market leader and used to have a price tag to match. More recently the price has come down and they have models appropriate for both corporate and security consultancies.

#4) Indusface WAS Free Website Security Check

Indusface WAS provides both manual penetration testing bundled with its own automated web application vulnerability scanner that detects and reports vulnerabilities based on OWASP top 10 and also includes a website reputation check of links, malware and defacement checks of the website in every scan.

Every customer who gets a Manual PT done automatically gets an automated scanner and they can use on-demand for the whole year.

The company is headquartered in India with offices in Bengaluru, Vadodara, Mumbai, Delhi, and San Francisco, and their services are used by 1100+ customers across 25+ countries globally.


  • New age crawler to scan single-page applications.
  • Pause and resume feature
  • Manual Penetration testing and publishing the report on the same dashboard
  • Check for Malware infection, the reputation of the links in the website, defacement and broken links
  • Unlimited proof of concept requests to provide evidence of reported vulnerability and eliminate false positives from automated scan findings
  • Optional integration with Indusface WAF to provide instant virtual patching with Zero False positive
  • Ability to automatically expand crawl coverage based on actual traffic data from the WAF system (in case WAF is subscribed and used)
  • 24×7 support to discuss remediation guidelines and POC
  • Free trial with a comprehensive single scan and no credit card required

#5) Intruder

Intruder is a powerful vulnerability scanner that finds cybersecurity weaknesses in your digital estate, and explains the risks & helps with their remediation before a breach can occur. It is the perfect tool to help automate your penetration testing efforts.

With over 9,000 security checks available, Intruder makes enterprise-grade vulnerability scanning accessible to companies of all sizes. Its security checks include identifying misconfigurations, missing patches, and common web application issues such as SQL injection & cross-site scripting.

Built by experienced security professionals, Intruder takes care of much of the hassle of vulnerability management, and thereby you can focus on what truly matters. It saves you time by prioritizing results based on their context as well as proactively scans your systems for the latest vulnerabilities so that you don’t need to stress about it.

Intruder also integrates with major cloud providers as well as Slack & Jira.

#6) Astra

Astra’s Pentest is a comprehensive penetration testing solution with an intelligent automated vulnerability scanner coupled with in-depth manual pen-testing.

On top of 3000+ tests including security checks for all CVEs mentioned in the OWASP top 10, and SANS 25, the automated scanner also conducts all tests required to comply with ISO 27001, HIPAA, SOC2, and GDPR.

Astra offers an interactive pentest dashboard that users can use to visualize vulnerability analyses, assign vulnerabilities to team members, and collaborate with security experts.

If the users don’t want to get back to the dashboard every time they want to use the scanner or assign a vulnerability to a team member, they can simply use the integrations with CI/CD platforms, Slack, and Jira.

Features of Astra’s Pentest at a glance

  • 3000+ tests scanning for CVEs in OWASP top 10, SANS 25
  • All tests required for ISO 27001, HIPAA, SOC2, GDPR
  • Integration of the vulnerability scanner with GitLab, GitHub, Slack, & Jira
  • Zero false positives ensured by manual pen-testers
  • Scans progressive web apps and single-page apps
  • Scan behind logged-in pages
  • Intensive remediation support
  • Publicly verifiable certification

Connect with a security expert to plan a tailored pentest.

#7) BreachLock Inc.

Product Name: RATA Web Application Vulnerability Scanner

RATA (Reliable Attack Testing Automation) Web Application Vulnerability Scanner is the industry’s first Artificial Intelligence, Cloud and Human Hacker powered automated web vulnerability scanner.

RATA Web is an online vulnerability scanner for websites and requires no security expertise, hardware, or software installation. With just a few clicks you can launch scans for vulnerabilities and get a report on the findings that include recommendations for potential solutions.

Benefits include:

  • Professional PDF report with all the required details.
  • Browse vulnerabilities with online reports.
  • Integrate into CI/CD tools like Jenkins, JIRA, Slack, and Trello.
  • Scans give real-time results minus the false positives.
  • Possibility to run authenticated scans for complex applications.
  • Scans give real-time results minus the false positives.
  • Run scheduled or live scans with a few clicks.
  • Chrome-based plugin for recording login sessions.

#8) Metasploit

This is the most advanced and popular Framework that can be used for pen-testing. It is based on the concept of “exploit,” which is a code that can surpass the security measures and enter a certain system. If entered, it runs a ‘payload’, a code that performs operations on a target machine, thus creating a perfect framework for penetration testing.

It can be used on web applications, networks, servers, etc. It has a command-line and the GUI clickable interface works on Linux, Apple Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Although there might be few free limited trials available, this is a commercial product.

#9) Wireshark

This is basically a network protocol analyzer –popular for providing the minutest details about your network protocols, packet information, decryption, etc. It can be used on Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and many other systems.

The information that is retrieved via this tool can be viewed through a GUI or the TTY-mode TShark utility.

Interested in more about Penetration Testing join an online penetration testing course from Wscube Tech to give your career a boost in the field of Penetration Testing.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store