What is the hacking software

Free anti-hacking tools protect your PC

Arne Arnold, Tobias Hager, Benjamin Schischka & David Wolski

A public WLAN or a weak point on the system is enough for a resourceful hacker. Put a stop to the intruder with these free tools.

EnlargeThese tools lock out hackers.
© Photo: © Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia.com

An antivirus program and at least the Windows firewall are mandatory for every Windows user. Unfortunately, that's not enough to be immune from hacker attacks. In order to additionally shield your system, we present special tools here, for example to surf securely even in unencrypted networks. And because even a perfectly isolated network offers no protection if the password is too simple, you will also find some general security programs such as a password manager. There are also tools for better data protection.

Important: Use hacking tools only with your own systems or on behalf of the computer or network owner. You may not use these tools on third-party systems without the consent of the owner.

Security scanner Snort checks networks for hacker attacks

With the open source program Snort you can check your home network for weak points and analyze data traffic in real time. Snort reads the incoming traffic on your network card of your PC and compares the content of the data packets with the signatures of known attack methods. If an attack occurs, Snort raises the alarm and saves the received data as a report for analysis. There are now several thousand signatures in the Snort database - but since new attack methods are constantly being developed, the collection should always be kept up-to-date with updates.
Professional alternative: If you want to analyze the data traffic of your PC even more precisely, the Wireshark tool will help. However, evaluating the log is not that easy. You can find help in the detailed guide.

Deft Zero: Linux live system for security analysis

Deft Zero stands for "Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit" and is a live system based on Linux that provides a toolbox of forensic tools. The Linux system goes back to a work at the University of Bologna in 2005: For a course on computer forensics, a collection of the most important analysis tools was put together in a live system in collaboration with lecturers and professors.

EnlargeDeft is short for "Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit" and is a live system based on Linux that provides a whole toolbox with forensic tools.

Although Deft's specialty is still forensics, it offers Sleuthkit with the Autopsy Forensic Browser as a graphical front end as well as Foremost, Photorec and Scalpel. However, network tools are also on board, such as the Wireshark packet sniffer, Ettercap and the Nessus scanner. A special feature of Deft is the integration of Windows programs that run in the Wine emulator. In this way, some important tools for Windows for which there is no Linux version can also run in the Deft live system. The Windows programs include Advanced Password Recovery, Clam AV, Eraser Portable, FATwalker, NTFSwalker, HDDrawcopy, Hwinfo, LAN Search Pro and a collection of practical tools from Nirsoft.

Attention: Deft includes several tools that can bypass security measures and eavesdrop on network traffic. As already said in the introduction to this article: Please note that the use of Deft in third-party networks and on third-party computer systems is not legal in Germany. These tools may only be used in your own networks and on your own PC without explicit permission.

USB Deview: Monitors the USB connection

If you want to know whether someone other than you has used a USB stick on your computer, the USB Deview tool gives you comprehensive information about the device used. Although the tool cannot show you who has used the USB device on your computer, it does show you a list of all USB sticks and USB hard drives that have ever been connected to your computer.

EnlargeThe freeware USB Deview lists which USB sticks have already been connected to the PC. In this way you can find out whether other sticks have been plugged in.

Among other things, the program shows you the name of the USB device, the type, the serial number for mass storage devices and the time when the device was connected to your computer.

If you save the list, you can use it for comparison during a future check with USB Deview. USB Deview does not have to be installed and is immediately available after unpacking.

Discover changes with Attack Surface Analyzer

Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer is a security tool for developers, but it can also be used on the home computer. It runs on Windows 7 and 8, Windows 10 is left out. Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer uses test runs to determine changes to the operating system that can be caused, for example, by new installations. The tool then compiles the results in a CAB file. So create a test report with the Attack Surface Analyzer and then install suspicious software. Scan the tool again and compare the results. This is how you discover all the changes made.

Hotspot Shield: Protection in third-party WLANs

When surfing over public WiFi networks, you offer hackers a larger attack surface than at home in private WiFi. A VPN connection to a secure server on the Internet protects against this. That is exactly what Hotspot Shield offers. The freeware connects you to a server from the provider of the same name. This securely encrypts the transmission of the data and prevents unauthorized access to your wireless connection and your data. In addition, Hotspot Shield ensures your anonymity on the Internet by connecting to a server. Because inquisitive snoopers only receive the IP address of the server, but not that of your PC.

Speed ​​and data volume are limited with the free version of Hotspot Shield. If you need more, you can use a paid subscription, around 15 euros for a month or around 84 euros for a year. Further information on the subscription is available at www.hotspotshield.com under the item "Elite".

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Password Safe and Repository: Password management

If you are looking for an alternative to the password managers Keepass or Lastpass, you should take a look at the freeware Password Safe and Repository. It stores all your passwords comfortably and securely in a digital safe. To get your passwords out of the safe, enter a master password when starting Password Safe and Repository.

In the safe, the freeware offers ready-made forms for your log-ins. The forms are available in more than 40 variants, including for passwords, contacts, cards and license keys. The utility can also generate passwords for your log-ins if you wish.

Eraser erases files reliably and permanently