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

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By: rohitkharat

February 14, 2018

What is Kali?Kali is the latest and greatest version of the ever popular Backtrack Linux penetration testingdistribution. The creators of the Backtrack series kept Kali in a format very similar to Backtrack, soanyone 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 youroptions for computer security penetration testing or “pentesting” systems.If you are coming to Kali from a Backtrack background, after a short familiarization period youshould 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 platformthat 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 beenremoved and the tool interface streamlined. You can now get to the most used tools quickly as theyappear in a top ten security tool menu. You can also find these same tools and a plethora of others allneatly categorized in the menu system.Kali allows you to use similar tools and techniques that a hacker would use to test the security of yournetwork so you can find and correct these issues before a real hacker finds them.Tech Note:Hackers usually perform a combination of steps when attackinga 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 scanningprocess.Elevation of Privileges – Elevating a lower accessaccount to Root, or System Level.Maintaining Access – Using techniques like backdoors tokeep access to your network.Covering their Tracks – Erasing logs, and manipulatingfiles to hide the intrusion.An Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester (good guys hired tofind the holes before an attacker does) mimics many of thesetechniques, using parameters and guidelines set up withcorporate management, to find security issues.They then report their findings to management and assist incorrecting the issues.We will not be covering every step in the process, but willshow you many of the techniques that are used, and how todefend against them.I would think the biggest drive to use Kali over commercial security solutions is the price. Securitytesting tools can be extremely costly, Kali is free! Secondly, Kali includes open source versions ofnumerous commercial security products, so you could conceivably replace costly programs by simplyusing Kali.All though Kali does includes several free versions of popular software programs that can beupgraded 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 basicallyBacktrack version 6, or the latest version of Backtrack. But it has been completely retooled from theground up, making software updates and additions much easier.In Backtrack updating some programs seemed to break others, in Kali, you update everything using theKali 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 noteof caution, updating tools individually could break Kali, so running the Kali update is always the bestway 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 toobig of a deal as another tool in Kali most likely does the same or similar thing. And then again youcan 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 - amini credit card sized ARM based computer. With Kali, you can do almost everything on a Pi that youcould do on a full sized system. In my book I will cover using the PI as a security testing platformincluding 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 asecurity tool, but a full-fledged Linux Operating System. So if your favorite tool runs under Linux, butis not included, most likely you can install and run it in Kali.Source:
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