Securing our digital world involves utilizing the best offensive, cyber security penetration measures to test each environment’s security. Some of the finest tools available for this “ethical hacking” process are those offered through Kali Linux. Kali Linux is an open-source, Debian-derived distribution available to download and install through Windows and Linux. It is developed and maintained by Offensive Security, a group of highly skilled information security and certified penetration testing professionals. As such, it is intended for professional penetration testers and proven security specialists, and not as a basic Linux desktop distribution to be employed for development or web design.
Aided by an open source community of hackers, the Kali Linux environment promotes security training through a multitude of penetration testing tools, as well as a website that offers tutorials on how to utilize these tools. Some examples of the various tool functionalities include password cracking, vulnerability scanning, and packet-sniffing. However, the utilization of these tools should follow ethical hacking guidelines, or there may be legal consequences from misuse of the tools.
Kali Linux is available for download in 32-bit and 64-bit images and requires a minimum of 20GB hard disk space, 1GB RAM, and a bootable drive or USB. This environment is usually booted up using a Virtual Machine, so the specs can be configured and specified depending on the tools that will be used.
It is not primarily used as a main desktop OS on computers because of the security risks associated with users creating Kali Linux desktop environments and having default root login credentials. Since root has all administrative permissions, getting hacked would lead to potential system problems.
System security is very important, and should be managed properly. Kali Linux is a great open source project environment that helps develop and increase knowledge in security and hacking.