Weapon Of Choice
The great thing about deciding to become a cyber security researcher / White Hat Hacker / Pen Tester, is that there are many free ways to help you get started. In today’s post I will share with you some of those options, and hopefully it will help you get started.
There are 2 main ways to do it basically:
1- Using one of the many distro flavors out there.
2- DIY-ing your own system.
All 3 are linux based, and most of the commands are pretty much the same. So if you can navigate and use one of these, you will most likely be able to use the other two.
So what’s the difference? Personal, Preference.
When I first started in infosec, all I heard was Kali linux, it is very well known, and is used in many (if not all) of the classes that teaches you about cybersecurity. So I installed it and played around with it. I was appreciative, but it still just felt like a tool. Just a tool.
Then a couple of years I heard about Parrot OS, so I downloaded it and stared using it, and I was in LOVE. I liked it so much better then Kali. Yes still the same tools, but it just felt a bit more pleasant. The OS has a “home” version, which is basically a Linux OS without all the hacking tools, and you can install those later with a few commands if you wanted later.
Many people in the field don’t use their hacking machines as a personal machine, which is understandable. I don’t use my hacktop for anything malicious, just to practice VMs, and research. But I still want to be able to use it as a normal machine when I wanted to, and I am able to. It just has that nice feel to it.
BackBox is very new to me, I downloaded it and ran it on a VM, it seems nice, but again, it felt more of a tool. But as I said, all 3 can do basically the same thing, it will come down to your preference.
Commando VM(an honorable mention)
This is a VM (Virtual Machine, not an OS), and its basically a Windows based hacking OS. I personally have not used it as of this post, but I figured it should be mentioned in case you (the reader) were wandering if there was a Windows equivalent to these tools.
// WAY #2 : DIY-ing your own system.
With this option you would simply have your favorite OS running on your machine, and you would individually install the hacking tools that you want. A quick search on github and you will find a plethora of different tools, free to download and use.
The CON for this, is that it will be time consuming, because you would be installing one tool at a time.
The PRO for this, is that you have TOTAL control of what tools are installed. This means your machine won’t have tools that you aren’t using, because you are installing only the ones that you are. This gives you a great deal of customization, and making the system truly your own. Many of the distros mentioned above come with all the bells and whistles, and you may end up not using all of them.
Also, installing these tools isn’t always a double-click and your done. Some might be that way, but many of them may require you to configure some things, or may not work the first time around and you would have to troubleshoot it, but in doing so, you will have a deeper understanding of the tool, which is always a good thing.
There you have it.
One thing you can do is install a program like VirutalBox, download the distros and try them out before doing a full install on your system, that way you get a feel of what fits your personality. Yes, you can just run them from the VirtualBox or VM Ware, but I have found that installing them as the OS of a machine tended to make life (and hacking) a lot easier.
Many of these are pretty light weight, so you easily use and old computer, and get a refurbished machine and there is your hacktop.
I hope this was helpful
Go (ethically) Hack The Planet.