Types of Tools - Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Chapter 4: Types of Tools

In this chapter, we are going to look at some of the tools used by hackers.

Anonymous browsing is used by regular computers and hackers alike. It allows you to surf the web without your browser recording your history. You would be surprised at how much information travels with you on the web. We already talked about cookies, but did you know your IP address couldsometimes reveal your actual physical location? That’s why hackers use tools to hide their IP addresses, such as JonDo or Tortilla.

A botis derived from the term robot, and refers to a program that hacker’s use to perform boring, awful, repetitive tasks. A botnet refers to a group of systems that have been compromised and are now being used by a hacker to launch other attacks.

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat and is a computer communication protocol that hackers often use to share files and have conversations.

Keylogging is the computer equivalent to tapping phone calls. A keyloggerrecords all your keystrokes–and what hackers are usually interested in are the keystrokes that involve typing in your usernames and passwords to the system or different websites. Some companies install keyloggers on employee computers, which is why you should NEVER bad mouth your boss on the computer at work, even if you are typing it in to a personal chat or email account.

Have you ever tried to do something on your computer and it told you that you didn’t have the right privileges to do that? On a Windows computer, you probably need administrative access and on a Unix computer you need root access. A root kit is what hackers use to obtain those high level privileges on systems so they can setup their malware.

The shell of a snail is what they live inside of; the shellfor a computer is an outer layer program that provides users an interface to interact with it. It’s usually a command line interface (CLI), where the user types in instructions at a prompt, or a graphical user interface (GUI) where the user interacts with icons and controls. In a nutshell (pun intended), it takes the commands you give it and translates them into something the operating system understands. A shellcode is a program that gives a hacker access to the shell for the system so they can start running instructions and commands. There are tutorials available onlineto show you how to write your own shell code–a link to one is provided at the end of the chapter.

We usually think of black hat hackers are being somewhat introverted, spending their time in a dark room in front of a computer monitor and plying their trade exclusively through typing and clicking. However, there is a method hackers use called social engineering where they initiate a conversation with their intended victim in order to learn helpful information. This obviously requires social skills!

A packet refers to data that is traveling between systems, much like a packet of mail travels from the source to its destination. A packet could be data from your cell phone to a website, from your computer to the server, etc. A packet sniffer is software designed to analyze this data. While a useful tool for network administrators, law enforcement, and the like, it’s a powerful force for evil when used by black hat hackers. One example of a packet sniffer is NetworkMiner, and to get a feel for how much information a packet sniffer can get, I recommend you visit their website listed at the end of the chapter. Another is called, aptly enough, Snort.

A payload is the program that a hacker runs after successfully gaining access to a system. Keep in mind that most hackers have a purpose for breaking into a system: it may be download files, add themselves as a new user, etc. The payload is what accomplished that purpose.

There are other tools, of course, but this list gives you a basic overview of the tools most often used by hackers. In the online resources below, you will find links to the specific tools discussed in this chapter.

Online Resources:





Shellcoding Tutorial:


Social Engineering: