When it comes to ethical hacking, one of the critical skills you need to be successful is using a variety of tools to begin the penetration testing process. Although browser extensions may not be the most popular, they can actually help you achieve a variety of goals, from crawling the entire web to hijacking protected test sessions.
Below we take a look at 10 browser extensions capable of making life easier for any ethical hacker.
Note: Since Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the most popular web browsers, we have chosen extensions that run specifically on these platforms.
Let’s take a look at the expansion, shall we?
Top 10 extensions for Ethical hacking
When testing a web application, you must use the browser’s address bar to change or add parameters or edit the URL. When you do this, the server may respond by redirecting and reloading – which can be time-consuming if you want to try different values for a single variable.
HackBar is a security auditing tool that allows you to test websites more easily. This plugin works like an address bar but is resistant to server changes such as redirects and reloads. This means you can easily submit many different versions of a single request.
You can use it to check website security by doing SQL injections, XSS holes and more. It also has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for you to perform fuzz testing, hash generation, coding and more. What’s more, it helps you easily copy and request URLs and makes even the most complex URLs readable.
Download: HackBar Chrome Extension
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Gathering information is a key part of ethical hacking. By collecting enough data, you can exploit common vulnerabilities and threats (CVEs). Wappalyzer is an ideal tool for this as it allows you to uncover domain, hardware and software details of the web application you are testing.
Once you install this extension, you will see the Wappalyzer icon in the address bar of every page you visit. Click on it to access a list of technologies used on this website, such as server software, web frameworks and analytics tools. Not only does it identify the tools that are being used on the page, but it also shows you which version of the software is installed.
You can then perform a search to see if the latest versions of these tools are being used and to identify plugins that may have vulnerabilities. These findings can be included in your report and you can ask your client to upgrade to the latest updated software.
As an ethical hacker, you will have to encode and decode a lot of keys and hashes. This can be quite time consuming if you constantly need to look up values. This plugin saves you time by allowing you to encode and decode selected text using a context menu. In addition, the context menu can be customized.
The following functions can be performed with this extension:
- UNIX timestamp decoding
- ROT13 encoding/decoding
- Base64 encoding/decoding
- CRC32, MD5 and SHA-1 hashing
- Bin2Hex encoding/decoding
- Bin2Txt encoding/decoding
- HTML entity encoding/decoding
- htmlspecialchars encoding/decoding
- URI encoding/decoding
- Quoted printable encoding/decoding
- escape shellarg
- (PHP) Unserialize
Download: d3coder for Google Chrome
- Site Spider, Mark II
This is an updated version of Neil Fraser’s Site Spider Extension. It equips you with a web spider that can crawl the entire web and track every link on it. It uses all the data it collects during the crawl expedition to create a table listing all the URLs it finds, along with their HTTP status code and MIME type. It runs client-side in the user’s browser and uses user authentication to gain access to all pages. You can limit its depth using regular expressions and you can also pause or stop the spider.
With this plugin, you can easily identify any broken links on the site and report them to your client. You can also use this web crawler to determine if the target website has any confidential or sensitive information that could be exploited.
Download: Site Spider, Mark II by cliff.kilby for Google Chrome
- Cache Killer
Ethical hackers often have many tabs open at the same time. As you probably already know, this fills up your browser cache very quickly and can even cause problems when browsing a website.
By installing this extension, you can work much faster because it automatically clears the browser cache before loading a new page. You can also easily enable or disable the plugin with one click.
- Open the port checker
Just as an open window or door is tempting to burglars, unused open ports are a goldmine for cybercriminals. These ports are a huge security threat because they can be used to gain access to any personal information on the target computer.
You can easily identify open ports that are not in use with the Open Port Check Tool. This plugin even lets you do it remotely – just enter your client’s IP address and you’ll be able to check their computer’s port statuses without having to physically access the hardware. This way you can identify port vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
- Request maker
You will find this tool very useful when performing fuzz tests to identify coding errors and other security vulnerabilities. When using fuzzing, you will often need to change inputs and requests. This is where Request Maker can make your job a lot easier.
This basic penetration testing tool allows you to capture or create web page requests, modify the URL, and create new headers with POST data. It can only capture requests made via HTML forms and XMLHttpRequests, but you can bookmark them.
- Proxy SwitchyOmega
This extension is the successor to SwitchySharp, SwitchyPlus and Proxy Switchy. You can use this tool to hide your IP address while performing pentesting tasks. It allows you to manage and switch between multiple proxies quickly and effortlessly.
It also has an auto-switch feature that allows you to set up automatic proxy switching based on a URL. This means you can use multiple proxies for different websites at the same time.
- iMacros for Chrome
This extension is the perfect solution for users who want to automate repetitive tasks that need to be completed when performing a wide range of website testing, such as filling out web forms and retrieving passwords.
You can use it to record macros that can be kept for your own use or shared with others. This plugin is generally used for text message regression, performance testing, and web transaction monitoring. It can also be combined with various web development and testing tools.
- Note anywhere
As an ethical hacker, you’ll probably take a lot of notes about where you found vulnerabilities, what information you want to include in your report, and more. Using the good old pen-and-paper method may not be very effective during pentesting.
Fortunately, this extension allows you to take notes anywhere on any web page. You can also save all your notes to ensure they are automatically loaded whenever you revisit the same page.
After going through the list, you will realize that Chrome and Firefox are more than just web browsers. With these handy extensions, they can help you collect information, analyze websites and more. Feel free to test them to your heart’s content and don’t forget to share your experiences with us!
Sources of Ethical hacking
- Start hacking with browser extension, Information Security Newspaper
- Firefox and FireCAT as a Platform for Ethical Hacking, Mozilla Hacks
- Web App Security Testing With Browsers, DZone