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Ethical Hacking, Networking & Linux

Posted by Abhinavcynix on May 25th, 2020

Why is Linux good for ethical hackers?

The concept of Linux for ethical hackers focuses on the use of the Linux operating system for the sole purpose of ethical hacking. There are a couple of skills that hackers must equip themselves with as they approach hacking using Linux, because a good number of devices that they will be hacking into will be Linux devices and a large percentage of tools in existence today are Linux-based.

There are a number of reasons that hackers will need to use Linux. We’ll look at some of these next.

Ethical Hacking using Kali Linux — A Beginner's Guide To Kali Linux

Why do hackers use Linux?

In order to familiarize yourself with the full range of ethical hacking tools, it is important to be conversant with the Linux OS. As the systems engineer Yasser Ibrahim said in a post on Quora: “In Linux you need to understand from the basics to the advanced, learn the console commands and how to navigate and do everything from your console, also shell programming (not a must, but always preferable), know what a kernel is and how it works, understand the Linux file systems, how to network on Linux.”

Hackers will want to utilize Linux for hacking for a wide number of reasons. These include the following:

Linux is open-source

The ability to manipulate Linux source code to your liking is one of the reasons why security enthusiasts opt for this over Windows. This is especially worth remembering today, where privacy concerns with major corporations is a concern.

Linux is transparent

We are able to understand the inner workings of Linux because we have access to its entire code. We can manipulate how each component of the operating system works. This is something that operating systems such as Windows don’t allow for.

Linux offers granular control

Linux allows us to quickly and easily program certain aspects of the OS, using scripting languages such as BASH or even Python. Windows, on the other hand, hinders you from accessing certain parts of the OS.

Most hacking tools are built for Linux

A good percentage of hacking tools are written for Linux. This is because using scripting languages such as BASH and lightweight languages such as Python makes it easy to write minimal code that accomplishes a lot. Today, over 90% of hacking tools available are written for Linux.

The future is in Linux

As technology advances, embedded systems are relying on the Linux kernel due to its efficiency and lightweight. More and more devices are getting connected to the internet by the day, and people are embracing the Internet of Things. These devices rely on Linux and require being secured on the internet.

The reasons above have attracted most of the security industry to rely on Linux for ethical hacking. So now that we know why Linux is the most favored, why don’t we see how we can be able to run it on our own? 

How can one run Linux for ethical hacking?

Linux can be installed and run from your computer or within a virtual machine environment such as VirtualBox. There are a few ethical hacking Linux distributions that you can choose to run. The most common include:

  1. Kali Linux: This is the most popular hacking OS. It is Debian-based and is maintained by Offensive Security. It includes numerous hacking tools, making it the most desirable hacking OS
  2. Black Arch: This is an Arch Linux-based hacking OS with over 2,300 hacking tools incorporated within it. Even though it has more tools than Kali, it is a relatively new project and thus less popular at the moment. This also means that it is less stable compared to Kali
  3. Parrot OS: This is another Debian-based hacking OS. It has hacking tools for a wide variety of security projects, from pentesting to digital forensics
  4. Santoku Linux: Santoku Linux is a mobile security-based Linux distribution, with tools specific to mobile security
  5. BackBox Linux: This is a Debian-based Linux distribution that focuses on being incredibly lightweight

Of the distributions above, the most commonly used one is Kali Linux. This is what we shall be using in this article. You can access the Kali documentation here to learn more about it, and there’s a detailed guide on how to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox here. 

It is advisable that you first begin by installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox and learning how to use it there before you are confident enough to make it your daily driver. As engineer Sylvain Leroux advises on It’s FOSS:  “Some commands may be potentially harmful to your home network. In addition, by not understanding the implications of what you are doing, you may put yourself in a difficult situation by using those tools at your work, school, or public networks. And in that case, ignorance will not be an excuse.” you can enroll for a live ethical hacking training by OnlineITGuru with 24/7 support and lifetime access.

Also See: Ethical Hacking, Hacking Tools, Kali Linux, Hacking Os, Tools, Linux, Hacking

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