Kali Linux: Learn how to get started with penetration testing.
Image Source: https://techcola.com/my-favorite-tools-on-kali-linux/
Linux has easily been one of the most versatile and interesting computer-based systems I have tinkered around with in recent years, and when I was searching the web for more “interesting and cool things you can do with Linux” I was pleased to see that using Linux to learn how to penetration test was quite the popular idea!
You may ask: “What is penetration testing and why would I be interested?”… Well penetration testing is a useful practice in many companies where cyber security attacks are often problematic. There have been many books written and courses administered on the subject because many think that it is (and will continue to be) a relevant skill to have in an increasingly “computer-centric” world. The best way that I could describe penetration testing would be “ethical hacking”: essentially you are learning skills that hackers use to destroy lives, ruin businesses, take over (or simply shut down) company/ government websites, but it is very important to note that these skills can be used to combat hackers and to better understand how we are all vulnerable to attacks online and of course, the latter is the intention of today’s article! 🙂
Now, when it comes to Linux, there are many different distributions available, whether you want to emulate through a virtual machine like VMWARE Workstation, Oracle Virtual box, or even if you want to run the operating system directly on your PC, there are hundreds of options. Luckily for the purpose of learning penetration testing, “Kali Linux”, a debian based Operating system has been designed with teaching “ethical hacking” in mind.
As you can see above, Kali Linux has a very clean interface that is set up in a way for you to get right into learning the console commands and thankfully, there is a working web browser that comes preloaded with bookmarks that all have to do with learning how to get started with penetration testing!
So, perhaps at this point, you are interested in getting started! Then if you are like me, you will want to get started with a basic and accessible tutorial, and freeCodeCamp.org has us covered! freeCodeCamp.org is a fantastic Youtube channel that has some of the most complete and accessible tutorials when it comes to computer software, computing languages, arduinos, etc. This video tutorial presented by them is all you will need to get quite comfortable with using Kali Linux with no previous experience and get to doing some more advanced tasks relating to penetration testing. The first 20 minutes of the video is dedicated to getting you setup with the latest version of Kali Linux and with VMWARE Workstation, the program that will emulate Linux on your machine (You can also use Oracle virtual box if you prefer, and while I do use it for other Linux distributions, I found using VMWARE with this tutorial was much less of a headache).
I have not spent as much time working on this as I would have liked but from what I have done and seen so far, it definitely warrants some further investigation, so do keep an eye out for further articles or workshops regarding Kali Linux! In the meantime, check out this tutorial and follow along with me!
NOTE: I cannot recall if this is mentioned in the tutorial but when you boot up Kali Linux, it will ask you for a username and password, the defaults may have been something else once upon a time, but as of the latest version, both the username and password are “kali” (lowercase, yes it is case sensitive).