The internet has grown by leaps and bounds, but so have hacking activities. There is no point in denying that web apps and vulnerabilities go hand-in-hand. Despite existing web security vulnerabilities, we tend to pay more attention to SEO and website design.
In other words, we underestimate the security loopholes that exist in our websites and web apps. Just like the digital world, hacking techniques and tools have become more advanced. In order to find security vulnerabilities in your website, you have to opt for various types of pentest tools.
A Penetration testing service is used to detect and exploit vulnerabilities to gain insights that help us prioritize and fix the vulnerabilities. The primary objective behind these tests is to ascertain the severity of security issues with web applications.
Why finding a vulnerability is important in a website?
Vulnerability analysis recognizes and lists all existing security breaches on your website. On the other hand, penetration testing emphasizes how each of these security breaches can be exploited. It is worth mentioning here that vulnerability testing uses both automated and manual ways.
There are tons of vulnerability scanners available on the web which assess your site’s overall security. The main reason to find security vulnerabilities in the website is to provide the user with a holistic view of security improvements needed on the website.
It also assists in preparing the security team to cope with a real-life cyber attack. So let’s take you through some of the most commonly used vulnerability and pen testing tools to identify web security loopholes.
16 Pentesting tools at a glance
|Pentest Tools||Key features|
|Astra Pentest||Continuous pentesting, CI/CD integration, zero false positives, 3000+ tests.|
|Nikto||Scans multiple portals, full HTTP support, identifies 7000 dangerous programs|
|Nmap||Open source tool, can scan vast networks.|
|Virustotal||Free tool, lets you view analyzed data through an API|
|Arachini||Ruby based tool that can run scripted audits|
|Burp Suite||Powerful interception tool with massive scalability|
|Intruder||Powerful web application scanner, features designed for government organizations.|
|SQL Map||Free tool, automates the process of detecting SQL injection related security threats|
|Vega||Open source GUI-based tool, detects SQLi, directory listing, header injection|
|Wapiti||Command execution detection, XSS attack detection|
|Skipfish||Optimized for HTTP handling, can handle 2000 requests per second|
|Watche||It's an add on to Fiddler. Used for assessing requests and response.|
|Grabber||Conducts JS source-code analysis, detects SQLi and XSS|
|Zed Attack Proxy||Simple interface, easy to use pentest tool by OWASP|
|W3AF||Python based web application pentest tool with an intuitive graphical interface|
|Wfuzz||Detects injection attacks, enables cookie fuzzing|
More about Security Audit & Pentest Tools
1. Astra Pentest
Astra malware and pentest tools can carry out more than 3000 security tests to find security vulnerabilities in the website. Astra also provides you with actionable insights that you can follow within minutes.
Astra has a free malware scanner that scans the scripts that are running on your site. On the other hand, Astra’s website blacklist checker is adept at finding the major security flaws which made Google blacklist your site. It can scan more than 66 such blacklists for you.
With its powerful vulnerability scanner and manual pentest capabilities, Astra Pentest is surely a top-notch pen testing tool.
Nikto is an open-source security tool that executes extensive tests against web servers for several items. It can identify over 7000 potentially hazardous programs and files.
It also carries out comprehensive checks for outdated versions of over 1250 servers. It has full HTTP support and is a template engine that customizes reports easily. It is adept at scanning multiple ports in a server to facilitate safety.
Nmap, the abbreviation for Network Mapper is a free and open-source tool that helps in vulnerability testing and network discovery. It is primarily used by network administrators to find out the devices that are running on their systems.
It also helps in identifying open ports and recognizing security risks. It is worth mentioning here that Nmap can be used to track vast networks as well as single hosts.
To be precise, Virustotal is an online pentesting tool that analyzes files and URLs to identify virus threats. It is imperative to mention here that Virustotal is a free service with numerous features that makes it a versatile tool to find security vulnerabilities in the website.
Note that Virustotal has the ability to store the analyses performed by it. It provides an API that allows the user to access the information. Moreover, you don’t need an HTML website interface to execute this pentest tool.
Arachni is a feature-rich and high-performance Ruby framework that is primarily directed toward helping with pentesting activities. It also allows the administrators to assess the security of modern web applications. Note that it is versatile enough to encompass many use cases ranging from the simple command line scanner utility to global high-performance grid. It runs on the Ruby library which permits scripted audits.
6. Burp Suite
Burp Suite is a java-based security penetration testing tool framework that helps to find security vulnerabilities in websites and verify attack vectors that usually affect the performance of web applications. In simple words, it can be called an interception proxy. A penetration tester can configure the internet browser to direct traffic through the Burp Suite browser.
Intruder is a powerful cloud-based vulnerability scanner that identifies security loopholes in the entire web application. Phenomenally, it is enterprise-grade and offers bank and government-level security scanning features.
8. SQL map
SQL map is entirely free to use and permits automating the process of identifying the risk factors associated with SQL injections. This pentesting tool comes equipped with a robust testing engine that is adept at supporting various types of injection attacks. It supports a range of database servers including MySQL, Microsoft Access, IBM DB2, and SQLite. It comes with a powerful detection engine along with many useful features.
Vega is an open-source web vulnerability scanner that comes with its own testing platform. In other words, you can execute security testing of a web application with this tool. It is coded in Java and offers a GUI based environment. It can be deployed to track SQL injection, directory listing, header injection, and other security loopholes in web applications.
Wapiti is one of the robust web vulnerability scanners out there which allows you to audit the security of your web apps. It usually carries out black-box testing by scanning the web pages and injecting data. Here is the list of vulnerabilities it can detect.
- Command execution detection
- File inclusion
- File disclosure
- XSS attacks
Skipfishhttps://github.com/spinkham/skipfish inspects your website to assess the extent of security vulnerabilities. Interestingly, it is adept at checking each page of your website for security loopholes.
Note that it is specially optimized for HTTP handling and consumes less space on your CPU. It claims that it can easily handle 2000 requests per second without adding any load on the CPU. It relies on the heuristics approach while testing web pages for security breaches.
Watcher is a passive web security scanner that doesn’t usually crawl the website. Note that it is not a separate tool but comes as an add-on to Fiddler. Hence, you first need to install Fiddler to have access to Watcher.
It is quite useful in assessing the request and response from the interactions of the users and formulates a report based on that.
Grabber is one of the most advanced web application scanners which has the ability to detect a lot of security breaches in web applications.
It runs scans and depicts the vulnerable areas that are present on your website. Here is the list of vulnerabilities commonly detected by Watcher.
- Cross-site scripting
- JS source code analyzer
- SQL injections
- File inclusion
Well, it is not as fast as other security scanners, especially Astra, but it is effective. It also doesn’t provide the user with any PDF report.
14. Zed Attack Proxy
Being known as ZAP, it is an open-source tool from OWASP. It is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms. It can be deployed to detect a wide range of security vulnerabilities in the web applications.
It boasts of a simple user interface and claims that first-time pentest users can also use it without any issues. From having dynamic SSL certificates to web socket support, it can carry out a large number of pentesting activities.
To be precise, W3af is a popular web application attack and audit framework. This framework aims to provide a better web application pentesting platform. It is important here to note that this pentest tool has been developed with the help of Python.
With the help of this tool, you can identify more than two hundred kinds of web application vulnerabilities. From SQL injections to XSS attacks, it can thoroughly identify every attack. Interestingly, it also comes with a graphical and console interface. It can also be used to scan the session-protected pages.
Wfuzz is another open-source pentesting tool for web applications. It can be utilized to brute force GET and POST parameters for identifying an array of injection attacks emanating from SQL, LDAP, XSS, etc.
It also supports cookie fuzzing and multi-threading. Well, you cannot get a full GUI interface and this is the reason that you will have to emphasize the command line interface. It is one of the most trustworthy tools to identify security risks in web applications.
When it comes to pen testing, the pentest tools are as important as the skills held by the people operating those tools. We have hundreds of automated vulnerability scanning tools to choose from, but the human element is often what makes the difference. It is always safe to go with a company that has that human element, if you ever need.
1. Which are the Best Penetration Testing Tools?
Some of the best pentesting tools are Astra’s Pentest Suite, Burp Suite, Nessus, and Metasploit.
2. What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing is an offensive security measure where security experts try to find and exploit vulnerabilities in your systems to evaluate their security stature.
3. Which are the different types of Penetration Tests?
Primarily there are three types of penetration testing – White Box, Black Box, and Gray Box.