A hacking tool is a program designed to assist with hacking, or a piece of software which can be used for hacking purposes.
Examples include Nmap, Nessus, John the Ripper, SuperScan, p0f, and Winzapper. Bribes, have also been designated as among the most potent hacking tools, due to its potential exploitation in social engineering attacks. Occasionally, common software such as ActiveX is exploited as a hacking tool as well.
Hacking tools such as Cain and Abel, however, are well known as Script Kiddie Tools. Script kiddies are people who follow instructions from a manual, without realising how it happens. These Script Kiddies have been an enormous threat to computer security as there are many hacking tools and keyloggers up for download and are free.
Another example of a hacking tool is a computer worm. These malicious programs detect vulnerabilities in operating systems. Not all worms, however, are malicious. The Nachi Worms have actually fixed operating system vulnerabilities by downloading and installing security patches from the Microsoft website.
Port scanners detect vulnerabilities in firewalls, and are able to find a great deal about the computer system, such as the operating system, ISP, wireless routers and how long the system has been online. However, port scanners are the best security auditing tools.
Although not much is said about threats to the Linux system, they do exist and could increase in the future. One of the biggest threats to the Linux system is given by the so-called Rootkits. These are programs that have special privileges and are able to hide to the system administrator.
One way to counteract rootkits is by Tiger (security software) program. This is a set of scripts that allow us to monitor whether a program on your computer privileges has changed recently.