• Thu. Oct 12th, 2023

The Most Dangerous Hacker Tools and How to Detect Them

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ByEsme Greene

Aug 16, 2023
Detecting Most Dangerous Hacker Tools
Esme Greene
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The cyber security regulators of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States released an alert, noting that attackers often use publicly available hacking tools to carry out their attacks. These publicly available tools, which include web shells, remote access trojans, and obfuscation tools, are frequently discovered on the public internet. Combinations of these technologies have been used in attack campaigns by some of the most prominent attackers.

This article will cover the tools and techniques for exploiting networks and compromising the data that the criminals operate with. It emphasizes that evidence from all the participating nations demonstrates that cyber actors, even the most sophisticated ones, typically use common, freely accessible means to achieve their goals. The following are some strategies hackers employ to profit from their victims:

Remote Access Trojans

Remote access trojans (RATs) are a serious concern because they secretly infect computers, opening up a backdoor for attackers to monitor and control operations and eventually steal data.

One prominent instance of one of these trojans is the JBiFrost. JBiFrost is frequently used by less experienced hackers, although it has the potential to be used by state actors. Its cross-platform functionality, which enables it to run on Windows, Linux, MAC OS X, and Android platforms, is what gives it its power.

JBiFrost is frequently distributed using phishing emails, giving attackers the ability to move about networks and install more malicious software. This RAT is noteworthy because it is widely accessible, and cyber security organizations have seen it used in targeted assaults on the owners of vital national infrastructure and the people who run its supply chains.

Web Shells

Malicious programs called web shells are uploaded by attackers to infected targets to provide them access to remote administration functions. These programs provide attackers considerable power over the target system, enabling them to delve further into the network and change their course to different locations.

China Chopper is an illustration of a publicly accessible online shell that has been widely utilized by attackers to remotely access web servers that have been hacked. The China Chopper web shell server may be accessed at any time by the attacker after it has been installed on a machine. It gives an attacker a number of powers, including the ability to rename, delete, copy, and even change the timestamps of files.

C2 obfuscation tools

Criminals frequently use C2 (command-and-control) obfuscation technologies to hide their whereabouts and actions when pursuing victims. These devices are used to mask their entry and avoid detection by security measures. Htran, which has been around since 2009 and can be obtained on websites like GitHub, is one of the most popular obfuscation tools. 

Attackers can hide their communications with the command-and-control infrastructure by using Htran, which makes it more difficult to find and follow their movements. The research emphasizes how several cyber attackers, both from the government and business sectors, have been seen employing Htran in their attacks. But it’s vital to remember that Htran is only one of the numerous openly accessible hacking techniques employed by attackers.

Spyware Tools

Spyware is a kind of malware that sneaks onto a computer and takes private data without the user’s awareness. It has the ability to gather login information, track internet behavior, and breach personal information. The whereabouts of a person can also be tracked via spyware, as in the example of stalkerware. It can be difficult to identify malware, and signs might include device slowing and excessive data use. 

Spyware may be set up in a number of ways, such as through rogue websites, file attachments, or software installations. It has the ability to alter browser settings, gather private data, and even thwart security precautions. Piracy of media, downloading from untrusted sites, clicking pop-up advertisements, and opening email attachments from unknown senders are just a few examples of behaviors that might result in spyware infestations.


When a person visits websites containing malware, malicious adware is frequently packaged with free software or covertly placed on their computer. This was demonstrated in 1999 when the game Elf Bowling had tracking software, which exposed many users to spyware. Adware may be recognized and marked as potentially dangerous by antimalware tools.

Tracking cookies are a typical form of adware that keep track of users’ personally identifiable information (PII) and surfing patterns. These cookies are used by advertisers to monitor website traffic and personalize ads in contextual marketing campaigns. For instance, they could monitor a user’s downloads and browsing history to show customized pop-up or banner adverts to encourage purchases. Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation have been put in place to protect visitor PII.

Keyboard Loggers

Keyloggers are used by hackers to steal personally identifiable information (PII), login passwords, and sensitive data, but they may also be used for surveillance by employers, parents, device owners, and law enforcement agencies. Similar to USB flash drives, hardware keyloggers directly link the keyboard to the computer. Software keyloggers, on the other hand, can be unwittingly downloaded and run as part of a rootkit remote access Trojan or remotely deployed without requiring physical access.

Mobile Spyware

Because it may be spread via text messages via the Short Message Service or Multimedia Messaging Service and frequently operates without user participation, mobile spyware is hazardous. The microphone and camera of a tablet or cellphone that has been infected with mobile spyware that is sideloaded with a third-party program may be used to record phone conversations, spy on surrounding activities, log browser history, and record keystrokes. The GPS or accelerometer on a mobile computing device may also be used to track the position of the device owner.

How to Protect Yourself From Spyware

To prevent spyware, follow these cybersecurity best practices: download software only from trusted sources, read all disclosures when installing software, avoid interactions with pop-up ads, keep your browser, operating system, and applications up to date with the latest updates and patches. It’s also important to exercise caution with email attachments and links from unknown senders, use reputable antivirus software and spyware tools, and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible.

In addition, you can practice the principle of least privilege and require remote workers to access network resources through a secure virtual private network (VPN) that performs security scans, Utilize pop-up blockers and ad blockers in web browsers, and stick to official app stores for mobile app downloads and avoid jailbreaking or rooting devices, as these actions can increase the risk of spyware infections.


When ransomware infiltrates your computer, it acts like a digital kidnapper holding your files hostage. It is malicious software developed by hackers who are looking to extort money from people, companies, or organizations.These online criminals utilize cunning techniques to infiltrate your network or machine. You can fall for phishing emails that appear benign but actually include harmful files or links. 

As an alternative, they can present their ransomware as alluring downloads or take advantage of holes in your program to enter covertly. Once the ransomware has infected your machine, it encrypts your data to lock them up and prevent access to them. It resembles having all of your crucial records, pictures, and movies locked up in a virtual safe with the attacker controlling the only key.

Then the ransom demand appears. In order to receive the decryption key that will unlock your files, the cybercriminal who created the ransomware will often demand payment in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. They take advantage of the fact that you value your data highly to exert pressure on you to accede to their requests.

Unfortunately, ransomware assaults have advanced with time. Attackers continuously devise novel strategies and tactics to infect unwary victims and increase their revenues. Some of them even take your private information and threaten to reveal it if you don’t pay. 

There are various types of ransomware, including:

Phishing Emails

Attackers frequently employ phishing emails to spread ransomware. These emails seem convincing and frequently pretend to be from reliable sources. By feigning urgency, they persuade recipients to click on nefarious documents or links. When these are interacted with, ransomware is launched, encrypts files, and potentially spreads to other systems.

Malicious Downloads

Additionally, ransomware may be downloaded maliciously through hacked websites, file-sharing platforms, or phony software upgrades. Users unwittingly download and run ransomware-containing files, which causes the malware to infiltrate their computers. Ransomware can be downloaded maliciously through compromised websites, file-sharing services, or fake software updates. Unintentionally downloading and running ransomware-containing files enables it to propagate throughout users’ systems.

Exploit Kits 

To take advantage of flaws in software or web browsers, attackers employ exploit kits, which are software tools. These kits already contain code that can automatically identify and exploit these flaws. When a user visits a compromised website, the exploit kit looks for and exploits these holes, allowing the ransomware payload to get to the victim’s computer.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Attacks 

Attackers using ransomware may use vulnerable or hacked Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections to obtain unauthorized access to a machine. As soon as the attackers have gained access to the system, they start to spread ransomware, which locks users out of the machine or encrypts files.


Malvertising is a tactic used by cybercriminals in which harmful advertising are posted on trustworthy websites. Users that interact with these adverts without thinking do so by clicking on them, which sends them to websites that house ransomware and starts the infection process.

How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

Maintaining a cautious attitude is essential to protect against ransomware. Deal with questionable email attachments and links with caution, and only download from reliable sources. It’s crucial to routinely update your operating systems and applications with the newest security updates. Identifying and stopping ransomware infestations can be facilitated by using dependable antivirus software. 

Above all, creating frequent backups of crucial files on external storage devices or cloud services is strongly advised. By doing this, you will have a backup copy of your data even if you fall victim to a ransomware assault, eliminating the need to comply with the attacker’s demands. As statistics show, most of the time even if the ransom is paid, the attackers will release your data regardless. Note that paying the ransom will not guarantee the safety of your information.

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Esme Greene

Esme brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our website, specializing in all aspects of DarkWeb security. With a deep understanding of the intricate workings of the DarkWeb and its associated cybersecurity risks, Esme curates insightful and informative content for our readers.