Best Ethical Hacking Projects in 2023

Ethical Hacking Projects refer to the different tools and concepts that are used in an ethical hacking activity. Development of tools is created dependent on prerequisites, with open source frameworks like Python, Nmap, hping, etc. 

A Proper lab is an arrangement for testing and verification of the working of the tools. A few projects in our list are research-based studies, where a detailed explanation is provided on specific concepts and methodologies.

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The following list displays the current innovative, ethical hacking projects that’ll help you develop a first-hand experience in Ethical hacking:

  • Invoker
  • Hackdroid
  • H4cker
  • Packet Sniffer
  • Capsulecorp Pentest
  • Hrshell
  • Lockphish

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1. Invoker

Invoker is a utility that tests penetration. This ethical hacking project used when access to some Windows OS features through GUI is restricted. A few features require administrative privileges.

To work on this ethical hacking project, one must start by invoking the command prompt and PowerShell, then download a file and add a registry key. After the registration process is complete, you can schedule the task. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) can connect to a remote host.

After that, you can end a running process and run a new process while dumping the process memory and injecting bytecode into the running process along with a DLL. Further, you can list the DLLs of the running process and proceed with the hook procedure instalment. This will enable access to token privileges and make it possible to duplicate an access token of a running process. You can list unquoted service paths, and it will restart the running service and replace Sticky Keys.

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2. Hackdroid

Hackdroid is a collection of pen testing and security-related apps for android. It divides the applications into different categories to easily download any application from any category and use them for penetration testing and ethical hacking.

Several applications will require root permissions for that. Instaling Magisk will be helpful to root the device and if not that, rooting the device is also possible by searching on google or XDA forum about how you can root your device. You mustn’t use your primary device for hacking because it’s likely that the creators of the application or those who changed it have already put malware on it to steal peoples’ private data.

3. H4cker

H4cker includes thousands of resources related to ethical hacking/penetration testing, digital forensics and incident response (DFIR), vulnerability research, reverse engineering, and more. This GitHub vault was created to give supplemental material to several books, video courses, and live training created by Omar Santos and other co-authors. It provides over 7,000 references, scripts, tools, code, and other resources that help offensive and defensive security professionals learn and develop new skills.

It provides direction on creating one’s custom hacking environment, learning about offensive security (ethical hacking) techniques, vulnerability research, malware analysis, threat intelligence, threat hunting, digital forensics, and incident response (DFIR). It also includes examples of real-life penetration testing reports.

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4. Packet Sniffer

Packet Sniffer is a simple pure-Python network. In this ethical hacking project, the Packets are disassembled as they arrive at a given network interface controller, and information they contain is displayed on the screen. This application is independent and doesn’t need to depend on third-party modules, and can be run by any Python 3.x interpreter. In this ethical hacking project, the contained code is used either in part or in its totality, for engaging targets with no prior mutual consent is illegal. The responsibility to be all applicable to local, state, and federal laws is on the end-user. 

The use of code is endorsed only by the creators in those circumstances directly related to educational environments or allowed penetration testing engagements that declare the goal, that is of finding and mitigating vulnerabilities in systems, limitation of their exposure to compromises and exploits employed by malicious agents as defined in their respective threat models.

Developers presume that they have no liability and that they are not responsible for misuses or damages caused by any code contained in this ethical hacking project that, accidentally or otherwise, it comes to be used by a threat agent or unauthorised entity to compromise the security, and their associated resources by leveraging the exploitation of both known or unknown vulnerabilities present in said systems, including, but not limited to, the implementation of security controls, human- or electronically enabled.

5. Capsulecorp Pentest

The Capsulecorp Pentest is a small virtual network maintained by Vagrant and Ansible. It incorporates five virtual machines, including one Linux attacking system running Xubuntu and 4 Windows 2019 servers configured with various other vulnerable services. You can use it as a standalone environment for learning network penetration testing.

Setting up a virtual network and learning penetration testing can be tiresome tasks and time and resource-draining. But in this ethical hacking project, things are done for the user already. After getting Vagrant, Ansible and VirtualBox installed on the machine, the user can run a couple of vagrant commands to have a completely functioning, Active Directory domain that you can use for hacking, learning, pentesting etc.

6. Hrshell

HRShell is an HTTPS/HTTP reverse shell built with a flask. It is an advanced C2 server with many features & capabilities. It is also compatible with python 3.x. 

It is a stealthy ethical hacking project with TLS support. The Shellcode can be set or changed on the fly from the server. You must check the client’s proxy support, directory navigation (cd command and variants), and interactive history commands available on Unix systems. One may need to download, upload, screenshot, and hex the available commands. It also supports pipelining and chained commands and non-interactive commands like gdb, top, etc.

The server is capable of both HTTP and HTTPS. It is available with two built-in servers named: flask built-in and tornado-WSGI. Also, it is compatible with other production servers like gunicorn and Nginx. Since most of its functionality comes from the server’s endpoint-design, it is effortless to write to a client in any other language, e.g. Java, GO, etc.

7. Lockphish

Lockphish is the first-ever tool for phishing attacks on the lock screen, which is designed to grab windows credentials, android and iPhone passcodes using an HTTPS link. It is a lock screen phishing page for Windows, Android and iOS. Also, it doubles up as an auto-detect device. The port forwarding is guided by Ngrok and includes an IP Tracker.

This ethical hacking project idea is illegal. The usage of Lockphish for attacking targets without prior mutual consent is illegal. The responsibility falls on the end-users to obey all applicable local, state and federal laws. Developers assume no liability and are not responsible for any misuse or damage caused by this program. 

While these are only a handful of ethical hacking projects that you could try, the best way to master ethical hacking is to enrol in a professional course. Since certification programs and professional courses are defined per industry standards, they enable learners to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of a domain.  

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As the demand for cybersecurity continues to skyrocket, the scope for ethical hacking is bound to increase. In such a scenario, it is wise to acquire industry-relevant skills such as ethical hacking. By working on ethical hacking projects like the ones mentioned above, you can sharpen your real-world skills and enter the job market as a skilled, ethical hacking expert. 

If you want to pursue this profession, upGrad and IIIT-B can help you with a Advanced Certificate Programme in Cyber Security . The course offers specialization in application security, cryptography, data secrecy, and network security.

We hope this was helpful!

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Designing, implementing, and managing the security of a company's computer networks is the responsibility of networking security engineers. To safeguard data and systems from illegal access, theft, or destruction, they use firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security technologies. They also create policies and processes to protect user privacy and secure network connections.

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