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Open-source Hacking Tools are among the most controversial topics in the cybersecurity community.


If you aren’t familiar with the term, OSTs are those software apps and hacking exploits distributed as free downloads, under an open-source license.


And following the same fundamentals, OST projects are, in most cases, launched to provide proof-of-concept about hacking techniques or vulnerabilities out there.

That’s why we have chosen Open-Source Hacking Tools as today’s topic


Open-Source Hacking Tools: Why Everyone Have Access to Them


As in the case of Online Piracy, there will always be people in favor and others against it.

Those who support Open-Source Hacking Tools, point out that ethical hackers can use them as well, and learn to prepare better systems and networks for the ever-evolving future. 


On the other hands, it’s obvious that OST tools and projects also help black-hat hackers to execute better attacks, with the help of these tools (for a considerably cheaper price) 

However, both points of view from this eternal discussion are based only on personal experiences and not actual, raw data. At least that’s what Interzer Lab’s security research Paul Litvak has addressed.

Where does he get such a hypothesis from?

He (Litvak) compiled data from 129 sources (Open Source Hacking tools), plus other malware samples and cyber-security reports, discovering how low-level malware gangs and financial crime groups adopt OSTs. 

Cybercrime operations like TrickBot and even nation-state groups like DarkHotel have taken advantage of the libraries of OSTs developed by security experts (which are now deployed by bad actors). 


You can see the results mapped out here.



5 Most Popular Open-Source Hacking Tools

Without a doubt, Litvak confirmed two things.

The first one is something that almost everyone knew: bad actors are capable of twisting anything to use for their cybercrime ecosystem.

And second, that some tools are preferred and more used than others.

“The most popular memory injection tool was the ReflectiveDllInjection library, followed by the MemoryModule library. For RATs [remote access tools], Empire, Powersploit, and Quasar were the leading projects.

UAC sidestep libraries were overwhelmed by the UACME library. Nonetheless, Asian hacking “clans” seemed to have chosen Win7Elevate as their favorite, considering Windows 7’s bigger territorial introduce base.

Curiously, those OST projects with credential-stealing features are among the least popular. He believes that this is because there are better all-in-one tools alternatives provided in underground hacking forums

But… You aren’t a white, grey, or black-hat hacker


And your only interest in the topic is probably related to taking care of your business and hard-earned assets.


What can you do to mitigate the abuse of Open-Source Hacking Tools?


How to Prevent/Mitigate OSTs Abuse


Believe it or not, there was a last, more interesting observation made by the Interzer Labs researcher. Litvak said that OSTs that require deeper levels of understanding are rarely employed by attackers.

Taking this into consideration, then that would mean that the best approach to solve the exploiting of released OSTs, security researchers should add complex codes that prevent mainstream cybercriminals to use them.

Even so, at least, to make the code with irregular values for easy detection.

This was exactly what the author of Mimikatz did with its tool. Its generated ticket’s lifetime was left to 10 years by default.

Now, that’s what toolmakers can do to prevent bad actors from using their tools. But what can you do, as a business owner, to prevent bad actor’s threats?

You can contact us now with a request or question related to IT or cybersecurity. MyITGuy experts will help you, as soon as possible.

If you aren’t ready yet, you can keep reading about the topic, here.

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