What Is Kali Linux and Why Do Hackers Use Kali Linux OS

February 14, 2018 | Views: 19457

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What is Kali?

Kali is the latest and greatest version of the ever popular Backtrack Linux penetration testing

distribution. The creators of the Backtrack series kept Kali in a format very similar to Backtrack, so

anyone familiar with the older Backtrack platform will feel right at home.

Kali has been re-vamped from the ground up to be the best and most feature rich Ethical Hacking/

Pentesting distribution available. Kali also runs on more hardware devices greatly increasing your

options for computer security penetration testing or “pentesting” systems.

If you are coming to Kali from a Backtrack background, after a short familiarization period you

should find that everything is very similar and your comfort level should grow very quickly.

If you are new to Kali, once you get used to it, you will find an easy to use security testing platform

that includes hundreds of useful and powerful tools to test and help secure your network systems.

Why Use Kali?

Kali includes over 300 security testing tools. A lot of the redundant tools from Backtrack have been

removed and the tool interface streamlined. You can now get to the most used tools quickly as they

appear in a top ten security tool menu. You can also find these same tools and a plethora of others all

neatly categorized in the menu system.

Kali allows you to use similar tools and techniques that a hacker would use to test the security of your

network so you can find and correct these issues before a real hacker finds them.

Tech Note:

Hackers usually perform a combination of steps when attacking

a network. These steps are summarized below:

Recon – Checking out the target using multiple sources –

like intelligence gathering.

Scanning – Mapping out and investigating your network.

Exploitation – Attacking holes found during the scanning


Elevation of Privileges – Elevating a lower access

account to Root, or System Level.

Maintaining Access – Using techniques like backdoors to

keep access to your network.

Covering their Tracks – Erasing logs, and manipulating

files to hide the intrusion.

An Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester (good guys hired to

find the holes before an attacker does) mimics many of these

techniques, using parameters and guidelines set up with

corporate management, to find security issues.

They then report their findings to management and assist in

correcting the issues.

We will not be covering every step in the process, but will

show you many of the techniques that are used, and how to

defend against them.

I would think the biggest drive to use Kali over commercial security solutions is the price. Security

testing tools can be extremely costly, Kali is free! Secondly, Kali includes open source versions of

numerous commercial security products, so you could conceivably replace costly programs by simply

using Kali.

All though Kali does includes several free versions of popular software programs that can be

upgraded to the full featured paid versions and used directly through Kali.

There really are no major tool usage differences between Backtrack and Kali. Kali is basically

Backtrack version 6, or the latest version of Backtrack. But it has been completely retooled from the

ground up, making software updates and additions much easier.

In Backtrack updating some programs seemed to break others, in Kali, you update everything using the

Kali update command which keeps system integrity much better.

Simply update Kali and it will pull down the latest versions of the included tools for you. Just a note

of caution, updating tools individually could break Kali, so running the Kali update is always the best

way to get the latest packages for the OS.

I must admit though, some tools that I liked in the original Backtrack are missing in Kali. It is not too

big of a deal as another tool in Kali most likely does the same or similar thing. And then again you

can install other programs you like if needed.

In addition to stand alone and virtual machine instances of Kali, I also use Kali on a Raspberry Pi – a

mini credit card sized ARM based computer. With Kali, you can do almost everything on a Pi that you

could do on a full sized system. In my book I will cover using the PI as a security testing platform

including testing Wireless networks.

Testing networks with a computer you could fit in your pocket, how cool is that?

Though Kali can’t possibly contain all the possible security tools that every individual would prefer,

it contains enough that Kali could be used from beginning to end. Don’t forget that Kali is not just a

security tool, but a full-fledged Linux Operating System. So if your favorite tool runs under Linux, but

is not included, most likely you can install and run it in Kali.

Source: Haklab.net

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  1. Thanks! I am new to Linux in general so this was a very good read!

  2. Wifi not running on kali installed on lenovo G500 i3 powered. tried youtube help videos also. 🙁

  3. If you ask my opinion i love parrot os more than kali.
    But if you’re a newbie who trying to understand linux/hacking topics don’t use it as your main os. Cause they have a lot of tools in there and they increase the attack surface.

  4. Kali is my primary OS. Good background info on it.

  5. not bad … atleast it’s the truth

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