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Best Linux Penetration Testing Distros 2017


Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions
    Linux Penetration Testing Distributions are a group of special purpose Linux distributions used for analysing and evaluating system and network security. Almost all of those distros can run LIVE from an optical or a usb drive, and most of them are installable and can be used as a standalone Linux distribution. The main user demography includes network and computer security enthusiasts, security students and companies interested in security audits.
A penetration test, or the short form pentest, is an attack on a computer system with the intention of finding security weaknesses, potentially gaining unrestricted access to the system and the data.


    Pen-testing distros have come a long way. These new pentest distros are being developed and maintained with user friendly design in mind and anyone with moderate Linux knowledge can use them. Tutorials and HOW TO articles are usually available for public usages.
Now lets have a look at some of the best linux penetration testing distributions:

Kali Linux

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: kali
    Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. It is maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd. It was developed by Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns of Offensive Security through the rewrite of BackTrack, their previous forensics Linux distribution.
   Kali Linux is preinstalled with numerous penetration-testing programs, including nmap (a port scanner), Wireshark (a packet analyzer), John the Ripper (a password cracker), Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs), Burp suite and OWASP ZAP (both web application security scanners). Kali Linux can run natively when installed on a computer’s hard disk, can be booted from a live CD or live USB, or it can run within a virtual machine. It is a supported platform of the Metasploit Project’s Metasploit Framework, a tool for developing and executing security exploits.
   Kali Linux is distributed in 32- 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 Raspberry Pi computer and on Samsung’s ARM Chromebook.



Pentoo

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: pentoo
    Pentoo is a Live CD and Live USB designed for penetration testing and security assessment. Based on Gentoo Linux, Pentoo is provided both as 32 and 64 bit installable livecd. Pentoo is also available as an overlayfor an existing Gentoo installation. It features packet injection patched wifi drivers, GPGPU cracking software, and lots of tools for penetration testing and security assessment. The Pentoo kernel includes grsecurity and PAX hardening and extra patches – with binaries compiled from a hardened toolchain with the latest nightly versions of some tools available.
It’s basically a gentoo install with lots of customized tools, customized kernel, and much more. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the features currently included :
  •     Hardened Kernel with aufs patches
  •     Backported Wifi stack from latest stable kernel release
  •     Module loading support ala slax
  •     Changes saving on usb stick
  •     XFCE4 wm
  •     Cuda/OPENCL cracking support with development tools
  •     System updates if you got it finally installed
    Put simply, Pentoo is Gentoo with the pentoo overlay. This overlay is available in layman so all you have to do is layman -L and layman -a pentoo. Pentoo has a pentoo/pentoo meta ebuild and multiple pentoo profiles, which will install all the pentoo tools based on USE flags. The package list is fairly adequate. If you’re a Gentoo user, you might want to use Pentoo as this is the closest distribution with similar build.


BackBox Linux

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: backbox
    BackBox is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, and designed for performing penetration testing, incident response, computer forensics, and intelligence gathering. The main aim of BackBox is providing an alternative, highly customizable and well performing system. BackBox uses the light window manager Xfce.
    It includes some of the most used security and analysis Linux tools, aiming for a wide spread of goals, ranging from web application analysis to network analysis, from stress tests to sniffing, also including vulnerability assessment, computer forensic analysis and exploitation.
    Part of the power of this distribution comes from its Launchpad repository core, constantly updated to the latest stable version of the most known and used ethical hacking tools. The integration and development of new tools in the distribution follows the open source community, particularly the Debian Free Software Guidelines criteria.



Parrot Security OS

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: parrot
    Parrot Security OS is a cloud friendly operating system designed for Pentesting, Computer Forensic, Reverse engineering, Hacking, Cloud pentesting, privacy/anonimity and cryptography. Based on Debian and developed by Frozenbox network.
Parrot is designed for everyone, from the Pro pentester to the newbie, because it provides the most professional tools combined in a easy to use, fast and lightweight pentesting environment, and it can be used also for an everyday use.
Parrot Security OS is a Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution designed to perform security and penetration tests, do forensic analysis or act in anonymity. It uses the MATE Desktop Environment and it is available as a live lightweight installable ISO image for 32bit and 64bit processors with forensic options at boot, optimizations for programmers and new custom pentesting tools.



BlackArch Linux

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: blackarch
    BlackArch Linux is a lightweight expansion to Arch Linux for penetration testers and security researchers. The repository contains 1082 tools. You can install tools individually or in groups. BlackArch is compatible with existing Arch installs. For more information, see the installation instructions.
Please note that although BlackArch is past the beta stage, it is still a relatively new project. BlackArch Linux is not for newbies, you can (and most probably will )  get lost even during the install stage. If you’re moderately comfortable with Arch ( or Linux in general ) we highly recommend it.


Samurai Web Testing Framework

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: samurai
    The Samurai Web Testing Framework is a live linux environment that has been pre-configured to function as a web pen-testing environment. The CD contains the best of the open source and free tools that focus on testing and attacking websites. In developing this environment, we have based our tool selection on the tools we use in our security practice. We have included the tools used in all four steps of a web pen-test.
Starting with reconnaissance, we have included tools such as the Fierce domain scanner and Maltego. For mapping, we have included tools such WebScarab and ratproxy. We then chose tools for discovery. These would include w3af and burp. For exploitation, the final stage, we included BeEF, AJAXShell and much more. This CD also includes a pre-configured wiki, set up to be the central information store during your pen-test.
Most penetration tests are focused on either network attacks or web application attacks. Given this separation, many pen testers themselves have understandably followed suit, specializing in one type of test or the other. While such specialization is a sign of a vibrant, healthy penetration testing industry, tests focused on only one of these aspects of a target environment often miss the real business risks of vulnerabilities discovered and exploited by determined and skilled attackers. By combining web app attacks such as SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting, and Remote File Includes with network attacks such as port scanning, service compromise, and client-side exploitation, the bad guys are significantly more lethal. Penetration testers and the enterprises who use their services need to understand these blended attacks and how to measure whether they are vulnerable to them. This session provides practical examples of penetration tests that combine such attack vectors, and real-world advice for conducting such tests against your own organization.
Samurai Web Testing Framework looks like a very clean distribution and the developers are focused on what they do best, rather than trying to add everything in one single distribution and thus making supporting tougher. This is in a way good as if you’re just starting, you should start with a small set of tools and then move on to next step.


WEAKERTH4N

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: weak
    Weakerth4n has a very well maintained website and a devoted community. Built from Debian Squeeze (Fluxbox within a desktop environment) this operating system is particularly suited for WiFi hacking as it contains plenty of Wireless cracking and hacking tools.
Tools includes: Wifi attacks, SQL Hacking, Cisco Exploitation, Password Cracking, Web Hacking, Bluetooth, VoIP Hacking, Social Engineering, Information Gathering, Fuzzing Android Hacking, Networking and creating Shells.
Vital Statistics
  •     OS Type: Linux
  •     Based on: Debian, Ubuntu
  •     Origin: Italy
  •     Architecture: i386, x86_64
  •     Desktop: XFCE
If you look into their website you get the feeling that the maintainers are active and they write a lot of guides and tutorials to help newbies. As this is based on Debian Squeeze, this might be something you would want to give a go.



Matriux

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: matriux
    The Matriux is a phenomenon that was waiting to happen. It is a fully featured security distribution based on Debian consisting of a powerful bunch of more than 300 open source and free tools that can be used for various purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, ethical hacking, system and network administration, cyber forensics investigations, security testing, vulnerability analysis, and much more. It is a distribution designed for security enthusiasts and professionals, although it can be used normally as your default desktop system.
With Matriux, you can turn any system into a powerful penetration testing toolkit, without having to install any software into your hardisk. Matriux is designed to run from a Live environment like a CD / DVD or USB stick or it can easily be installed to your hard disk in a few steps. Matriux also includes a set of computer forensics and data recovery tools that can be used for forensic analysis and investigations and data retrieval.
Matriux is now a member of Open Invention Network (OIN).



DEFT

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: deft
    DEFT (acronym for Digital Evidence & Forensics Toolkit) is a distribution made for Computer Forensics, with the purpose of running live on systems without tampering or corrupting devices (hard disks, pendrives, etc…) connected to the PC where the boot process takes place.
The system is based on GNU Linux, it can run live (via DVDROM or USB pendrive), installed or run as a Virtual Appliance on VMware or Virtualbox. Distro employs LXDE as desktop environment and WINE for executing Windows tools under Linux. It features a comfortable mount manager for device management.
DEFT is paired with DART (acronym for Digital Advanced Response Toolkit), a Forensics System which can be run on Windows and contains the best tools for Forensics and Incident Response. DART features a GUI with logging and integrity check for the instruments here contained.
Besides all this, the DEFT staff is devoted to implementing and developing applications which are released to Law Enforcement Officers, such as Autopsy 3 for Linux.
The Linux distribution is made up of a GNU / Linux and DART (Digital Advanced Response Toolkit), suite   dedicated to digital forensics and intelligence activities.
It is currently developed and maintained by Stefano Fratepietro, with the support of Massimo Dal Cero, Sandro   Rossetti, Paolo Dal Checco, Davide Gabrini, Bartolomeo Bogliolo, Valerio Leomporra and Marco Giorgi.



CAINE

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: menu
Caine is another Italy born/origin Ubuntu based distro. Caine (an acronym for Computer Aided Investigative Environment’) is a distribution live oriented to Computer Forensics (computer forensics) historically conceived by Giancarlo Giustini, within a project of Digital Forensics Interdepartmental Research Center for Security (CRIS) of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Caine includes:
  • Caine Interface – a user-friendly interface that brings together a number of well-known forensic tools, many of which are open source;
  • Updated and optimized environment to conduct a forensic analysis;
  • Report generator semi-automatic, by which the investigator has a document easily editable and exportable with a summary of the activities;
  • Adherence to the investigative procedure defined recently by Italian Law 48/2008, Law 48/2008,.
   In addition, Caine is the first distribution to include forensic Forensics inside the Caja/Nautilus Scripts and all the patches of security for not to alter the devices in analysis. CAINE represents fully the spirit of the Open Source philosophy, because the project is completely open, anyone could take the legacy of the previous developer or project manager.


Bugtraq

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: bugtraq-tools
     Bugtraq is a distribution based on GNU/Linux aimed at digital forensics, penetration testing, Malware Laboratories, and GSM Forensics usehttp://www.bugtraq-team.com/. The current version is Bugtraq-II BlackWidow., based on Ubuntu 12.04 (precise), Debian 7 (Wheezy) and OpenSuse.
Offers the most comprehensive distribution, optimal, and stable with automated services manager in real time. This distribution has a huge range of penetration, forensic and laboratory tools. Bugtraq is available with XFCE, Gnome and KDE based on Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSuse. The systems are available in 11 different languages.
Bugtraq was founded by Rubén and Christian on 2010, where they wanted to create a pentesting distribution where you can find it more administrative more stable and friendly, and where also you can find most of the tools already configure it.
Bugtraq built a Community, in order to improve on every release with users contributions.
Bugtraq can be installed from a Live DVD or USB drive, the distribution is customized to the last package, configured and updated the kernel including wireless injection patches other distributions do not recognize. There are some special features like automated installation scripts and tools like Nessus, OpenVAS, Greenbone, Nod32, Hashcat,



NodeZero Linux

Best Linux Penetration Testing Distributions: node
    Penetration testing and security auditing requires specialist tools.The natural path leads us to collecting them all in one handy place. However how that collection is implemented can be critical to how you deploy effective and robust testing.
It is said the necessity is the mother of all invention, and NodeZero Linux is no different. Our team is built of testers and developers, who have come to the census that live systems do not offer what they need in their security audits. Penetration Testing distributions tend to have historically utilized the “Live” system concept of linux, which really means that they try not to make any permanent effects to a system. Ergo all changes are gone after reboot, and run from media such as discs and USB’s drives. However all that this maybe very handy for occasional testing, its usefulness can be depleted when your testing regularly. Its our believe that “Live System’s” just don’t scale well in a robust testing environment.
All though NodeZero Linux can be used as a “Live System” for occasional testing, its real strength comes from the understanding that a tester requires a strong and efficient system. This is achieved in our belief by working at a distribution that is a permanent installation, that benefits from a strong selection of tools, integrated with a stable linux environment.
NodeZero Linux is reliable, stable, and powerful. Based on the industry leading Ubuntu linux distribution, NodeZero Linux takes all the stability and reliability that comes with Ubuntu’s Long Term Support model, and its power comes from the tools configured to live comfortably within the environment.
So what are you waiting for, download your free and open copy of NodeZero Linux today, because real hackers count from zero!


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