Introduction to Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution operating system and it is widely used for Penetration Testing and Security Auditing. Kali contains many several tools which are mostly used for various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security research, Computer Forensics and Reverse Engineering. Kali Linux is developed, funded and maintained by Offensive Security.

Kali Linux has over 600 preinstalled penetration-testing applications to discover. Each program with its unique flexibility and use case. Kali Linux does excellent job separating these useful utilities into the following categories:

  1. Information Gathering
  2. Vulnerability Analysis
  3. Wireless Attacks
  4. Web Applications
  5. Exploitation Tools
  6. Stress Testing
  7. Forensics Tools
  8. Sniffing & Spoofing
  9. Password Attacks
  10. Maintaining Access
  11. Reverse Engineering
  12. Reporting Tools
  13. Hardware Hacking

Who uses Kali Linux and Why?

Kali Linux is truly a unique operating system, as its one of the few platforms openly used by both good guys and bad guys. Security Administrators, and Black Hat Hackers both use this operating system extensively. One to detect and prevent security breaches, and the other to identify and possibly exploit security breaches. The number of tools configured and preinstalled on the operating system, make Kali Linux the Swiss Army knife in any security professionals toolbox.

Professionals that use Kali Linux

  1. Security Administrators – Security Administrators are responsible for safeguarding their institution’s information and data. They use Kali Linux to review their environment(s) and ensure there are no easily discoverable vulnerabilities.
  2. Network Administrators – Network Administrators are responsible for maintaining an efficient and secure network. They use Kali Linux to audit their network. For example, Kali Linux has the ability to detect rogue access points.
  3. Network Architects – Network Architects, are responsible for designing secure network environments. They utilize Kali Linux to audit their initial designs and ensure nothing was overlooked or misconfigured.
  4. Pen Testers – Pen Testers, utilize Kali Linux to audit environments and perform reconnaissance on corporate environments which they have been hired to review.
  5. CISO – CISO or Chief Information Security Officers, use Kali Linux to internally audit their environment and discover if any new applications or rouge configurations have been put in place.
  6. Forensic Engineers – Kali Linux posses a “Forensic Mode”, which allows a Forensic Engineer to perform data discovery and recovery in some instances.
  7. White Hat Hackers – White Hat Hackers, similar to Pen Testers use Kali Linux to audit and discover vulnerabilities which may be present in an environment.
  8. Black Hat Hackers – Black Hat Hackers, utilize Kali Linux to discover and exploit vulnerabilities. Kali Linux also has numerous social engineer applications, which can be utilized by a Black Hat Hacker to compromise an organization or individual.
  9. Grey Hat Hackers – Grey Hat Hackers, lie in between White Hat and Black Hat Hackers. They will utilize Kali Linux in the same methods as the two listed above.
  10. Computer Enthusiast – Computer Enthusiast is a pretty generic term, but anyone interested in learning more about networking or computers, in general, can use Kali Linux to learn more about Information Technology, networking, and common vulnerabilities.

A bit History of Kali Linux

Kali linux to Offensive Security Ltd. The company has created its main developer mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns and Raphaël Hertzog who have made their most important contributions in making this project! And today even Offensive Security Ltd Kali is working on Linux and adding features and tools to it! Offensive Security Ltd. Company is a Security Company which deals with Security related tools and provides services related to its many types of Security! At the time of invention of kali Linux, it was not named kali linux, its name was Back Track, which was changed in 2013 with a new version of Kali linux, along with the time as updated on BackTrack or Kali linux. Added and improved its performance Today, with the Black Linux Security testing, there is as much competence as any other Debian based Operating system

Has Kali Linux version been something like this?

May 25th 2006 BackTrack 1.0 Released
March 6th 2007 BackTrack 2.0 Released
June 19th 2008 BackTrack 3.0 Released
January 9th 2010 BackTrack 4.0 Released
May 10th 2011 BackTrack 5.0 Released
August 13th 2012 BackTrack 5.0 R3 Released
March 13th 2013 Kali Linux

What are Some of the Features of Kali Linux?

  • Availability of more than 600 tools: Kali Linux has an extensive collection of penetration testing tools. Whichever tool you need—from Aircrack-ng for examining Wi-Fi network security to John the Ripper for cracking passwords, this bundle has everything for your cyber security needs.
  • Completely free: Just like its predecessor, BackTrack, Kali Linux is offered free of charge—forever.
  • Multi-language support: The team at Offensive Security has done an excellent job at offering Kali Linux help in several languages, apart from the traditional English language.
  • Entirely customizable: Do you want to customize Kali Linux to suit your unique preferences? Nothing prevents you from reworking the tool to suit your design needs, even from the kernel.
  • ARMEL and ARMHF support: If you like using an ARM-derived, single-board infrastructure such as BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi, Kali Linux will have you covered. The tool supports ARMEL and ARMHF systems, allowing you to carry out hacking without many hassles.
  • Open-source model: Kali Linux is offered as an open-source software, allowing anyone who wants to tweak its source code to do so.

How to Use Kali Linux

With Kali Linux, ethical hackers can assess the computing infrastructure of an organization and discover vulnerabilities to be addressed.

Here are the main steps for carrying out penetration testing on a network and the Kali Linux tools that can be used.

1. Reconnaissance

In this first process, a pen tester collects preliminary information or intelligence on the target, enabling better planning for the actual attack.

Some Kali Linux reconnaissance tools include

  • Recon-ng
  • Nmap
  • Hping3
  • DNSRecon

2. Scanning

In this step, technical tools are utilized to collect more intelligence on the target. For example, a pen tester can use a vulnerability scanner to identify security loopholes in a target network.

Some Kali Linux scanning tools include

  • Arp-scan
  • jSQL Injection
  • Cisco-auditing-tool
  • Oscanner
  • WebSploit
  • Nikto

3. Gaining access

In this third step, the ethical hacker infiltrates the target network with the intention of extracting some useful data or to use the compromised system to launch more attacks.

Some Kali Linux exploitation tools include

  • Metasploit Framework
  • BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)
  • Wireshark
  • John the Ripper
  • Aircrack-ng

4. Maintaining access

Just like the name suggests, this phase requires the pen tester to continue dominating the target system as long as possible and cause more destruction. It requires tools that can allow stealthy behavior and under-the-ground operations.  

Some Kali Linux tools for maintaining access include

  • Powersploit
  • Webshells
  • Weevely
  • Dns2tcp
  • Cryptcat

5. Covering tracks

In this last stage, the hacker removes any sign of past malicious activity on the target network. For example, any alterations made or access privileges escalated are returned to their original statuses.

Some Kali Linux tools for covering tracks include

  • Meterpreter
  • Veil
  • Smbexec

Free to download

Kali Linux is free to download from the official website. Kali Linux image files make a fresh release every few months, which is always available for download. For more information, you can visit their official website https://www.kali.org/downloads/

Installation Requirements

A minimum of 20 GB disk space for the Kali Linux install.

  1. RAM for i386 and amd64 architectures,
  2. minimum: 1GB, recommended: 2GB or more.
  3. CD-DVD Drive / USB boot support

For more information on install Kali Linux, you can visit their official website https://docs.kali.org/installation/kali-linux-hard-disk-install

More than 600 penetration testing tools

Kali Linux has around more than 600 penetration testing tools from various domains and it will be very helpful for ethical hackers to penetrate a network. The tools are categorized from these domains such as

Information Gathering, Vulnerability Analysis, Wireless Attacks, Web Applications, Exploitation Tools, Stress Testing, Forensics Tools, Sniffing & Spoofing, Password Attacks, Maintaining Access, Reverse Engineering, Reporting Tools and Hardware Hacking.

Open source Git tree

Kali Linux development tree open source by the community for all. The complete source code of Kali Linux is available for anyone who ever wants to do some modifications or rebuild the packages as per their needs. For information on Kali Git tree please visit their official website http://git.kali.org/gitweb/

For more information on Kali Linux

If you want to know more about Kali Linux then please visit their related articles section.

Should I Use Kali Linux? — https://docs.kali.org/introduction/should-i-use-kali-linux

Kali Community Support — https://docs.kali.org/category/community

Customizing Kali Linux — https://docs.kali.org/category/development

 

Hope this article helpful for you. Thank You


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