Linux is the kernel of the operating system that has been used for many things. There are distributions for games, business, leisure and many other purposes. But did you know there are Linux distributions for cracking?
Whether you’re pursuing or pursuing a career in IT security, learning the ropes in your specific field can help you become better at your job. Using Linux and its various distributions can improve your understanding of the use of ethical hacking and prepare you for penetration testing.
9 Best Linux Distros for Hacking
So what does Linux have to do with IT security? Several Linux distributions provide various tools for assessing network security and other similar tasks. Differences between distributions also depend on the user interface and the specific tools offered.
The most famous and used Linux distribution for hacking and penetration testing is Kali Linux. It is based on Debian and was developed by Offensive Security under the BackTrack umbrella.
Kali Linux follows the Rolling Release model in the sense that every tool that comes with a distribution, and there are many, is automatically updated. Kali is the most advanced penetration testing platform. As such, its tools are mainly focused on penetration testing in various areas of security and forensics.
The Kali Linux community is quite large and active, and there is a wealth of documentation available to learn or brush up on some tips and tricks that might help you.
One of the best distributions in this area should be the Ubuntu-based BackBox. It is a distribution designed specifically for penetration testing and security assessments. It even has its own software repository that provides the latest stable versions of various systems and network analysis toolkits, as well as ethical hacking tools.
BackBox is designed with a minimalist approach to both structure and visual design using the XFCE desktop environment. With BackBox, you get lightning fast, efficient, actionable and fully customizable experiences with a fairly large and helpful community.
Parrot Security OS
Parrot Security OS
One of the newer distributions on the market, Parrot Security OS, is provided by Frozenbox Network Target audience – penetration testers looking for anonymity on the Internet, system encryption and easy access to the cloud.
Another distribution on this list is based on Debian, it uses MATE as its desktop environment. With Parrot Security OS, you will get almost all known penetration testing tools, as well as some exclusive special tools from the developer Frozenbox Network Like Kali Linux, Parrot Security OS also benefits from Rolling Release.
BlackArch serves as a penetration testing and security research distribution with its own repository. The ever-growing repository contains thousands of different tools grouped into different categories and groups for easy navigation.
BlackArch gets its name from the distribution on which it was built, Arch Linux. This means that if you are already using Arch Linux as your preferred Linux distribution, you can easily customize the BlackArch toolbox right on top of it.
Bugtraq comes with several desktop environments (XFCE, GNOME and KDE) based on different Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSUSE. It is also available in 11 different languages.
Bugtraq comes with a huge arsenal of penetration testing, forensics and laboratory tools specially designed by its loyal community. Some tools include malware testing, mobile forensics, and GSM frequency checking tools.
Then we have the Digital Evidence & Forensics Toolkit (DEFT), which is a Linux distribution designed for computer forensics. The main purpose of DEFT is to be able to run a live system without fear of damage or interference from external sources such as external or mobile devices.
DEFT is usually paired with a forensics system for the Windows operating system known as the Digital Advanced Response Toolkit or DART. DART contains the very best tools you will find for forensics and incident response.
The staff who developed DEFT continually help develop new systems that assist law enforcement, military, and government officials.
Samurai Web Testing Framework
Samurai Web framework Testing Framework
Samurai Web Testing Framework is a virtual machine and was developed for online penetration testing. It is based on Ubuntu and contains many great open source tools that prioritize website attacks.
One of the more interesting and handy features of the Samurai Web Testing Framework is that it includes a pre-configured wiki page that is configured to hold information during your penetration tests.
This framework comes with several prerequisites, such as Vagrant, a development environment that works best with VirtualBox.
Pentoo, based on Gentoo Linux, is a security and penetration testing oriented distribution. It is available as a persistent LiveCD, which means that any changes made during runtime will remain and will be available on next boot if you are using a USB stick.
Pentoo is an exact copy of Gentoo, except for a large set of specialized tools focused on security and penetration testing. Anyone familiar with Gentoo’s work and interface will easily adapt to the Pentoo environment. It is also available as an overlay for anyone already using Gentoo as their preferred Linux distribution for cracking.
If your current or potential career is in the forensic profession, then the Computer Investigation Environment (CAINE) is the one for you. It was created with the sole purpose of helping with digital forensics.
CAINE provides built-in investigation tools, supports liveDVD session, and takes an older approach to the Linux desktop environment. CAINE offers first-class forensic tools. The menu contains 18 applications, as well as four additional subfolders containing additional specialized forensics tools focused on memory, database, mobile and network forensics.
It is a serious hacking distro that offers more standard Linux programs than you are likely to find in most general purpose Linux distributions. Visually and functionally, CAINE is less attractive than newer, more user-friendly distributions, but its business approach will get the job done