Learn everything about ethical hacking tools and skills

Learn everything about ethical hacking tools and skills

Skills allow you to achieve your desired goals within the available time and resources. As a hacker, you will need to develop skills that will help you get the job done. These skills include learning how to program, use the internet, good at solving problems, and taking advantage of existing security tools.
In this article, we will introduce you to the common programming languages and skills that you must know as a hacker. We will also look at tools that you can use to identify and exploit security weaknesses in computer systems.

Topics covered in this tutorial

  • What is a programming language?
  • Why you should learn how to program?
  • What languages should you learn?
  • Other skills
  • What are hacking tools?
  • Commonly used hacking tools.
  • Summary

What is a programming language?

A programming language is a language that is used to develop computer programs. The programs developed can range from operating systems; data based applications through to networking solutions.  

Learn everything about ethical hacking tools and skills

Why you should learn how to program?

  • Hackers are problem solver and tool builders, learning how to program will help you implement solutions to problems. It also differentiates you from script kiddies.
  • Writing programs as a hacker, will help you to automat many taskswhich would usually take lots of time to complete.
  • Writing programs can also help you identify and exploit programming errors in applicationsthat you will be targeting.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time, there are a number of open source programs that are readily usable. You can customize the already existing applications and adding your own methods to suit your needs.

What languages should I learn?

The answer to this question depends on your target computer systems and platforms. Some programming languages are used to develop for only specific platforms. As an example, Visual Basic Classic (3, 4, 5, and 6.0) is used to write applications that run on windows operating system. It would therefore be illogical for you to learn how to program in Visual Basic 6.0 when your target is hacking Linux based systems.

Programming languages that are useful to hackers

Language used to write web pages.
*Cross platform
Web hacking
Login forms and other data entry methods on the web use HTML forms to get data. Been able to write and interpret HTML, makes it easy for you to identify and exploit weaknesses in the code.
Client side scripting language
*Cross platform
Web Hacking
JavaScript code is executed on the client browse. You can use it to read saved cookies and perform cross site scripting etc.
Server side scripting language
*Cross platform
Web Hacking
PHP is one of the most used web programming languages. It is used to process HTML forms and perform other custom tasks. You could write a custom application in PHP that modifies settings on a web server and makes the server vulnerable to attacks.
Language used to communicate with database
*Cross platform
Web Hacking
Using SQL injection, to by-pass web application login algorithms that are weak, delete data from the database etc.
High level programming languages
*Cross platform
Building tools & scripts
They come in handy when you need to develop automation tools and scripts. The knowledge gained can also be used in understand and customization the already available tools.
C & C++
High level programming
*Cross platform
Writing exploits, shell codes etc.
They come in handy when you need to write your own shell codes, exploits, root kits or understanding and expanding on existing ones.

Visual Basic
Other languages
Java & CSharp are *cross platform. Visual Basic is specific to windows
Other uses
The usefulness of these languages depends on your scenario.

* Cross platform means programs developed using the particular language can be deployed on different operating systems such as Windows, Linuxed based, MAC etc.

Other skills

In addition to programming skills, a good hacker should also have the following skills:
  • Know how to use the internet and search engines effectivelyto gather information.
  • Get a Linux based operating system and the know the basics commands that every Linux user should know.
  • Practicemakes perfect, a good hacker should be hard working and positively contribute to the hacker community. He/she can contribute by developing open source programs, answering questions in hacking forums etc.

What are hacking tools?

They are computer programs and scripts that helps you find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems. Some of these tools are open source while others are commercial.
Learn everything about ethical hacking tools and skills

Commonly Used Hacking Tools

The following table lists some of the most commonly used tools.

URL Link

Network mapper. This tool is used to explore networks and perform security audits.


This tool 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.

John The Ripper

Password cracking utility. It is cross platform.
Cain & Abel

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.
Visit their URL for more details
Used to detect wireless networks on the windows platform. It can be used for the following tasks;
  • 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

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
  • Postgre SQL
  • 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.
Visit their URL for more details


  • Programming skills are essential to become an effective hacker.
  • Network skills are essential to become an effective hacker
  • SQL skills are essential to become an effective hacker.
  • Hacking tools are programs that simplify the process of identifying and exploiting weaknesses in computer systems.

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