7 Hacking Tools That Look Harmless But Can Really Do Harm

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Limited-edition Transparent Flipper Zero

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

One of the best ways to stay safe and secure when using your computer and other electronic devices is to be aware of the risks For the past decade, I’ve been doing just that.

Most of the risks are obvious: use strong passwords, don’t download and install software from untrusted websites, or hand over your unlocked device to third parties.

Also: The best security keys you can buy

However, there are less obvious — yet equally dangerous — risks that can result in device or network intrusion, or even device destruction.

The tools that perform these actions can appear completely innocent and even resemble toys. But the fact that they can pass off as ordinary pieces of technology makes these hacking tools particularly dangerous.

Here are seven bits of kit that look like simple tech gadgets, but are actually powerful hacking tools.

Note that none of these tools are specifically marketed as hacking tools. Instead, they are designed for security experts and penetration testers to test company security. But that doesn’t stop them – or similar tools – from being misused.

1. Flipper Zero

The transparent Flipper Zero gives a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the device

Limited Edition Transparent Flipper Zero.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Flipper Zero looks like a kid’s toy, all plastic and brightly colored (just like tamagotchisthose digital pets that will die or get worse if you neglect them).

Also: 7 cool and useful things to do with your Flipper Zero

But underneath the cute exterior and dolphin virtual pet is a pen-testing Swiss army knife capable of all sorts of things, with built-in infrared transceivers, sub-GHz wireless antennas, iButton/NFC/RFID reader/writer/emulators, and GPIO connectors, which Flipper allows Zero to connect to other gadgets. There is also a USB port that can be connected to computers and smartphones.

This wide range of capabilities means Flipper Zero can be used to control items with infrared remote controls, clone RFID cards and NFC tags, capture and rebroadcast radio frequencies that can control things, such as access barriers and even car locks, and be Can be connected to computers or iPhones and Android devices, which can be used to send keystrokes to the system to do… well, you can do a lot from a keyboard.

Also: How to Unlock the Real Power of Flipper Zero Hacking Tool

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For $169, Flipper Zero A very capable tool.

2. O.MG cables

O.MG cables and dongles can be used to attack unsuspecting devices

O.MG cables and dongles can be used to attack suspicious devices.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

They look like regular charging cables, but are built into one end of the connector O.MG cable It’s a tiny computer that lies dormant until it’s wired to a device like a PC or Mac or even an iPhone or Android smartphone. Then, when it is connected, the computer wakes up and works.

The computer at the end of an O.MG cable acts like a small keyboard, pumping keystrokes to the device connected to it.

This hidden keyboard can do everything a keyboard operator can do. It can steal Wi-Fi passwords, copy files and move them to remote locations, delete files, install spyware or malware, and more.

Also: The Best VPN Services (And How to Choose the Right One for You)

The power of this cable is awesome. The elite version can connect to Wi-Fi, be programmed to trigger remotely and even self-destruct, so the O.MG cable becomes a regular cable, making the technology harder to identify as the source of the hack.

Trust me when I say that these cables look, feel and perform just like regular cables They come in a variety of colors and connection types and blend in with your other cables.

Price for one O.MG cables range from $119 to $200So they’re not cheap — and you definitely don’t want to mix these cables with your regular ones

3. USBkill

USBkill Tactical Kit

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

usbkill The devices are small dongles that look like USB flash drives, but instead of storing data, they send circuit-busting electrical charges to plugged-in devices.

Laptops, PCs, smartphones and even TVs, network routers and anything else that has a port on it are susceptible to being zapped by USBkill.

Also: 6 Simple Cyber ​​Security Rules to Follow

The devices can be triggered by pressing a button, using Bluetooth, executing a timed attack, or placing your hand over the device while wearing a hidden magnetic ring.

These devices provide one more reason to avoid plugging random things into your devices.

4. USB nugget

USB nugget

USB nugget looks like a cat.


It is a simple and cheap, but very effective device.

Inside its tiny shell, the USB nugget — which looks like a kitty — has everything it needs to drop malicious payloads to whatever device it finds itself connected to.

Also: I never leave home without 3 security gadgets

Thanks to a built-in ESP32–S2 Wi-Fi chipset, this device can be controlled remotely, so that the hacker does not have to be anywhere near the system.

5. Wi-Fi Pineapple

Wi-Fi pineapple

Futuristic Wi-Fi Pineapple.


The Wi-Fi pineapple It might look like a futuristic router, but it’s actually a sophisticated platform for running wireless network attacks.

Using Wi-Fi Pineapple, you can create rogue access points with the intention of stealing people’s login credentials and run advanced man-in-the-middle attacks.

Also: 9 Top Mobile Security Threats and How You Can Avoid Them

The pineapple can also be used to monitor data collection from all devices in its vicinity, and users can save and return to this data at a future date.

Pineapple can also be used to capture Wi-Fi handshakes and this information can then be used to crack Wi-Fi access passwords. In short, pineapple is an incredibly powerful tool.

6. USB rubber ducky

USB rubber ducky

The USB Rubber Ducky is a clever device.


A computer will trust a keyboard that is plugged into it because, well, people use keyboards. So, an easy way to attack a system is to get a device to pretend to be a keyboard and act like a human typing.

Also: Cybersecurity 101: Everything on how to protect your privacy and stay safe online

If you’ve ever watched the TV show Mrs. Robot, you’ve seen the rubber duck attack. While we’ve already seen devices that can send keystrokes to a device, this tool is a dedicated one Rubber ducky device.

The tool looks like a regular flash drive, the rubber ducky can be programmed to “type” commands into any plugged-in device.

The tool is another reason not to plug random stuff into your electronics. However, the rubber ducky is so discreet that someone can plug it into a device, leave it connected, and it could be days, weeks or even months before it’s found.

7. Lan Tortoise

Lan Turtle

Lan Turtle has some surprises inside.


on the outside Lan Turtle It looks like a simple USB Ethernet adapter, but inside is a tool that provides a number of ways for a hacker to see and then gain access to a network.

With a built-in microSD card slot, LAN Turtle is the perfect tool for collecting interesting data traveling across a network.

Also: How to find and remove spyware from your phone

LAN Turtle can scan a network, perform DNS spoofing, and can also be set to send alerts when certain forms of network traffic are detected.

Tortoise is another one of those hacking tools that looks innocent and can remain undetected for a long time.

Bonus: O.MG Unblocker

OMG Unblocker.

O.MG Unblocker is about being aware of something else.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

The O.MG Unblocker Looks like a data blocker. But it not only blocks data, it acts like an O.MG cable and can be used to steal data or drop malicious payloads on host systems.

Again, these hacking tools are hard to spot among all the other tech kits that people have in their workplaces. Please be careful if you plug in your device, otherwise.

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