Kali Linux is a Debian based Linux distribution aimed at penetration testing And security testing. Kali contains several hundred tools which are geared towards Various information security tasks such as penetration testing, security reporting and Computer forensics. Kali linux is developed, founded and maintained by offensive security Leading to information security training. Kali Linux was released on the 13th March, 2013 as a complete, top-to-bottom rebuild of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards. More than 600 penetration testing tools included: After reviewing every tool that was included in BackTrack, we eliminated a great number of tools that either simply did not work or which duplicated other tools that provided the same or similar functionality. Free (as in beer) and always will be: Kali Linux, like BackTrack, is completely free of charge and always will be. You will never, ever have to pay for Kali Linux. Open source Git tree: We are committed to the open source development model and our development tree is available for all to see. All of the source code which goes into Kali Linux is available for anyone who wants to tweak or rebuild packages to suit their specific needs. Wide-ranging wireless device support: A regular sticking point with Linux distributions has been supported for wireless interfaces. We have built Kali Linux to support as many wireless devices as we possibly can, allowing it to run properly on a wide variety of hardware and making it compatible with numerous USB and other wireless devices. Custom kernel, patched for injection: As penetration testers, the development team often needs to do wireless assessments, so our kernel has the latest injection patches included. Developed in a secure environment: The Kali Linux team is made up of a small group of individuals who are the only ones trusted to commit packages and interact with the repositories, all of which is done using multiple secure protocols. GPG signed packages and repositories: Every package in Kali Linux is signed by each individual developer who built and committed it, and the repositories subsequently sign the packages as well. Multi-language support: Although penetration tools tend to be written in English, we have ensured that Kali includes true multilingual support, allowing more users to operate in their native language and locate the tools they need for the job. Completely customizable: We thoroughly understand that not everyone will agree with our design decisions, so we have made it as easy as possible for our more adventurous users to customize Kali Linux to their liking, all the way down to the kernel.
Kali Linux has gained a lot of popularity recently. And there is a reason for that. Hacking is back as the cool-thing-to-do in popular culture and this can be attributed significantly to the TV series Mr. Robot. Kali is one of the few hacking focused Linux distributions and quite obviously, Mr. Robot’s popularity helped Kali Linux in getting new users. And with that, people with hardly any knowledge of Linux or anything related to computer security are now trying to use Kali as their main Linux distribution. But Kali Linux was certainly not designed for that purpose. Of course, I could easily write an article explaining why it’s wrong to use Kali as a first Linux distribution. In fact, you could find great arguments here and here to dissuade you from using Kali unless you really have specific needs. But I wanted to do something different. So I installed Kali Linux in VirtualBox and tried to put myself in the shoes of a ‘new user’ trying some basic tasks on his brand new Linux system. So, will I encounter some issues or will it be straightforward? Stay with me up until the end of this article to read my conclusions. Kali Linux was developed by the security firm Offensive Security. It’s a rewrite around Debian of their previous Knoppix-based digital forensics and penetration testing distribution BackTrack. To quote the official web page title, Kali Linux is a “Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Linux Distribution”. Simply said, it’s a Linux distribution packed with security-related tools and targeted toward network and computer security experts. A Linux Distribution is nothing more than a bundle containing the Linux kernel, a set of core utilities and applications and some default settings. So, Kali Linux does not offer something unique in that sense most of the provided tools could be installed on any Linux distribution. The difference is Kali is pre-packaged with those tools and the default settings were chosen according to the intended use cases of that distribution, rather than, say, to fit the needs of the typical desktop user. In other words, whatever is your goal, you don’t have to use Kali. It is just a special distributions making easier the tasks it is specifically designed for, while eventually making other tasks more difficult. Luckily enough, my computer is equipped with a 64bit Intel CPU, so the amd64 image was the right one for my architecture. In addition, on the download page, there was a bunch of hexadecimal numbers. Doesn’t that already feel “hackish”? No, seriously, those are not here for fun. Kali Linux is intended to be used for security-related tasks. The last thing you want is the tools you will use to be somehow compromised. So, after having downloaded the Kali Image, you should check the SHA-256 fingerprint of the file and compare it with the one provided on the download site.
Whether you want to pursue a career in Information Security or you are already working as a security professional or if you are just interested in this specific field of knowledge, a decent Linux distro that suits your purpose is a must. There are countless Linux distros for various purposes. Some are designed for specific tasks in mind and others are for different interfaces. We have seen weird Ubuntu distributions in an older article. But, today we are going to have a look at a list of some of the best Linux distro to learn hacking and Penetration Testing. Kali Linux is based on Debian. It comes with a large amount of penetration testing tools from various fields of security and forensics. And now it follows the rolling release model, meaning every tool of your collection will always be up-to-date. It is the most advanced penetration testing platform out there. It supports a wide range of devices and hardware platforms. Moreover, Kali Linux provides decent documentation and a large & active community. You can easily install Kali Linux in VirtualBox inside Windows and start your hacking practice right away. BackBox has its own software repository providing latest stable versions of various system & network analysis toolkits and the best known ethical hacking tools. It is designed with minimalism in mind and uses XFCE desktop environment. It delivers a fast, effective, customizable and complete experience. It also has a very helpful community behind it. Parrot Security OS is relatively new in the game. Frozenbox Network is behind the development of this distro. The target users of Parrot Security OS are penetration testers who need cloud friendly environment with online anonymity and encrypted system. Parrot Security OS is also based on Debian and uses MATE as its desktop environment. Almost every recognized tool for penetration testing is available here, along with some exclusive custom tools from Frozenbox Network. And yes, it is available as Rolling Release.
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