Top 10 Tools for Real World Red Teaming

Red Teaming

Hey Folks, this is TheToySec back again with another Post. In this post, we will discuss the Top 10 Tools for Real World Red Teaming with some example scenarios.

As cyber threats continue to evolve, so too must our defenses. One effective way to ensure our digital infrastructure is secure is by conducting Red Team exercises. Red Teaming involves mimicking real-world attacks to test an organization’s defenses and identify vulnerabilities. To carry out successful Red Team assessments, professionals rely on a range of tools. In this article, we will explore the top 10 tools that can aid in real-world red-teaming scenarios.

1. Metasploit

Metasploit is a widely used penetration testing framework that provides a comprehensive suite of tools for Red Teaming. This open-source framework allows security professionals to simulate attacks and identify potential weaknesses in a network. With its extensive collection of exploits, payloads, and post-exploitation modules, Metasploit enables Red Teamers to replicate real-world threats.


Using Metasploit, a Red Teamer can launch a simulated phishing campaign to assess an organization’s susceptibility to social engineering attacks. By exploiting common vulnerabilities, such as outdated software or weak passwords, they can uncover security gaps and provide recommendations for improvement.

2. Cobalt Strike

Cobalt Strike is a powerful tool designed specifically for Red Team operations. It facilitates covert communication, enables the creation of custom malware, and offers post-exploitation features to maintain access to compromised systems. With its flexible and user-friendly interface, Cobalt Strike allows Red Teamers to simulate sophisticated attacks and demonstrate the real-world impact of their findings.


During a Red Team engagement, Cobalt Strike can be utilized to launch a simulated Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack. By using covert channels and living-off-the-land techniques, Red Teamers can demonstrate the potential consequences of an APT breach, raising awareness among organizations and improving their security posture.

3. Wireshark

Wireshark is a well-known network protocol analyzer that plays a crucial role in Red Teaming exercises. By capturing and analyzing network traffic, Wireshark helps identify suspicious activities and potential security vulnerabilities. Red Teamers can leverage Wireshark’s extensive filtering capabilities to gain insights into network behavior, detect potential threats, and assess the effectiveness of security controls.


Suppose a Red Team is tasked with assessing the security of an organization’s wireless network. By capturing and analyzing wireless network traffic with Wireshark, they can identify any weak authentication mechanisms, unauthorized devices, or potential Man-in-the-Middle attacks. This information allows organizations to strengthen their wireless security and minimize the risk of unauthorized access.

4. Burp Suite

Burp Suite is a popular web application security testing tool widely used by Red Teamers. It combines both manual and automated techniques to identify vulnerabilities in web applications. By intercepting and manipulating HTTP/S requests, Burp Suite enables analysts to discover flaws such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL injection.


During a Red Team engagement, Burp Suite can be used to test the security of an e-commerce platform. By replicating various attack scenarios, such as injecting malicious payloads or bypassing authentication mechanisms, Red Teamers can identify vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit to compromise customer data. This allows organizations to patch any identified security gaps and fortify their web application defenses.

5. Nmap

Nmap, short for “Network Mapper,” is a versatile and powerful network scanning tool extensively used by Red Teamers. It allows security professionals to discover hosts, services, and open ports on a network. Red Teamers can leverage Nmap’s extensive scripting engine to automate tasks and perform targeted reconnaissance, aiding in the identification of potential attack vectors.


In a Red Team engagement, Nmap can be employed to identify potential entry points into an organization’s network. By scanning for open ports and associated services, Red Teamers can highlight any exposed services that could be exploited by attackers. This information enables organizations to tighten their network security and prevent unauthorized access.

6. Empire

Empire is an open-source post-exploitation framework widely adopted by Red Teamers. It enables penetration testers to maintain persistence, escalate privileges, and move laterally within a compromised network. With its extensive collection of modules, Empire provides Red Teamers with advanced capabilities for post-exploitation activities.


During a Red Team engagement, Empire can be utilized to demonstrate the consequences of a successful attack. Red Teamers can simulate lateral movement, privilege escalation, and data exfiltration to showcase the potential impact of a compromised system. This helps organizations understand the importance of proactive defense measures and the need to detect and respond to intrusions promptly.

7. BloodHound

BloodHound is a unique tool specifically designed for mapping and analyzing Active Directory (AD) environments. It allows Red Teamers to identify high-value targets, map trust relationships, and highlight potential attack paths. By visualizing privilege escalation paths, BloodHound helps security professionals better understand the security implications of their AD configurations.


Suppose a Red Team is performing an assessment of an organization’s AD environment. By utilizing BloodHound, they can identify critical AD objects, such as Domain Admins, and visualize the paths an attacker could take to escalate privileges. This information empowers organizations to implement access controls, mitigate potential vulnerabilities, and enhance their AD security.

8. Snort

Snort is an open-source network intrusion detection system widely used in Red Teaming exercises. By analyzing network traffic in real time, Snort can detect and alert suspicious activities, including attempts to exploit known vulnerabilities. Red Teamers can leverage Snort to monitor network traffic during engagements, providing valuable insights into potential attacks.


During a Red Team operation, Snort can be deployed to detect and alert specific types of attacks, such as SQL injection attempts or reconnaissance activities. The alerts generated by Snort enable organizations to take proactive measures, such as blocking malicious IP addresses or patching vulnerable systems.

9. Mimikatz

Mimikatz is a powerful post-exploitation tool that allows red teamers to extract sensitive information from compromised systems. It specializes in retrieving credentials and performing pass-the-hash attacks, making it an essential tool for testing the security of authentication mechanisms. Mimikatz can be used to demonstrate the potential impact of credential theft, providing organizations with valuable insights to strengthen their defenses.


Let’s say a Red Teamer gains access to a computer within an organization’s network. With Mimikatz, they can retrieve sensitive information like usernames and passwords stored on that computer. This showcases the risk of someone unauthorized gaining access to this data. Mimikatz helps organizations understand the importance of securing and encrypting stored credentials, preventing potential breaches and unauthorized access to critical systems.

10. Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET)

The Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET) is a powerful tool that enables Red Teamers to conduct social engineering attacks. It provides a wide range of attack vectors, including spear-phishing emails, malicious websites, and USB device impersonation. SET allows Red Teamers to assess an organization’s resilience to social engineering and educate employees on the importance of cybersecurity awareness.


During a Red Team engagement, SET can be used to test an organization’s susceptibility to social engineering attacks. By crafting realistic phishing emails or setting up convincing fake websites, Red Teamers can assess the organization’s ability to identify and mitigate social engineering threats. This information allows organizations to improve their security awareness programs and implement effective countermeasures.


Disclaimer: Hackerinthehouse, its author, its affiliates, and the developer of this tool won’t be responsible for any actions made by you. This article was just published for security research and education purposes only and we have tested it in a controlled simulated environment. It is the end user’s responsibility to obey all applicable local, state, and federal laws.


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