Kali Linux is a flavor of Linux targeted at digital forensics experts and penetration (pen) testers. It includes over 400 pen-testing programs, and it is the primary tool used by ethical hackers. Using Kali Linux, certified ethical hackers can test networks on their organizations’ behalves, to see if they’re vulnerable to outside attacks.
Kali Linux is based on Debian Testing. Most packages Kali uses are imported from the Debian repositories.
Kali Linux is developed using a secure environment with only a small number of trusted people that are allowed to commit packages, with each package being signed by the developer. Kali also has a custom-built kernel that is patched for injection. This was primarily added because the development team found they needed to do a lot of wireless assessments.
Kali Linux is distributed in 32-bit and 64-bit images for use on hosts based on the x86 instruction set and as an image for the ARM architecture for use on the BeagleBoard computer and on Samsung’s ARM Chromebook.
What’s Different About Kali Linux?
Kali Linux is specifically geared to meet the requirements of professional penetration testing and security auditing. To achieve this, several core changes have been implemented in Kali Linux which reflect these needs:
Single user, root access by design: Due to the nature of security audits, Kali Linux is designed to be used in a “single, root user” scenario. Many of the tools used in penetration testing require escalated privileges, and while it’s generally sound policy to only enable root privileges when necessary, in the use cases that Kali Linux is aimed at, this approach would be a burden.
Network services disabled by default: Kali Linux contains systemd hooks that disable network services by default. These hooks allow us to install various services on Kali Linux, while ensuring that our distribution remains secure by default, no matter what packages are installed. Additional services such as Bluetooth are also blacklisted by default.
Custom Linux kernel: Kali Linux uses an upstream kernel, patched for wireless injection.
A minimal and trusted set of repositories: given the aims and goals of Kali Linux, maintaining the integrity of the system as a whole is absolutely key. With that goal in mind, the set of upstream software sources which Kali uses is kept to an absolute minimum. Many new Kali users are tempted to add additional repositories to their sources.list, but doing so runs a very serious risk of breaking your Kali Linux installation.
The logo of Kali Linux appears on the background in the TV series Mr. Robot (2015) in episode 5 of season one. The Kali Linux logo also appears again as wallpaper in scenes from episode 1, episode 9 and more prominently in the episode 6, season 2 of the same series, when it is used by two of the main characters, Angela and Darlene. The operating system is also shown to be downloaded and installed at episode 10 of season 2. It appears again on Romero´s home pc, as wallpaper, through several episodes.
Is Kali Linux Right For You?
While Kali Linux is architected to be highly customizable, don’t expect to be able to add random unrelated packages and repositories that are “out of band” of the regular Kali software sources and have it Just Work. In particular, there is absolutely no support whatsoever for the apt-add-repository command, LaunchPad, or PPAs. Trying to install Steam on your Kali Linux desktop is an experiment that will not end well. Even getting a package as mainstream as NodeJS onto a Kali Linux installation can take a little extra effort and tinkering.
If you are unfamiliar with Linux generally, if you do not have at least a basic level of competence in administering a system, if you are looking for a Linux distribution to use as a learning tool to get to know your way around Linux, or if you want a distro that you can use as a general purpose desktop installation, Kali Linux is probably not what you are looking for.
In addition, misuse of security and penetration testing tools within a network, particularly without specific authorization, may cause irreparable damage and result in significant consequences, personal and/or legal. “Not understanding what you were doing” is not going to work as an excuse.
Homepage : http://www.kali.org/
Download : http://www.kali.org/downloads/
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Linux
Distrowatch : http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=kali