Kali Linux is the world’s most powerful and popular penetration testing platform, used by security professionals in a wide range of specializations, including penetration testing, forensics, reverse engineering, and vulnerability assessment. It is the culmination of years of refinement and the result of a continuous evolution of the platform, from WHoppiX to WHAX, to BackTrack, and now to a complete penetration testing framework leveraging many features of Debian GNU/Linux and the vibrant open source community worldwide.
Kali Linux has not been built to be a simple collection of tools, but rather a flexible framework that professional penetration testers, security enthusiasts, students, and amateurs can customize to fit their specific needs.
1. Why this book?
Kali Linux is not merely a collection of various information security tools that are installed on a standard Debian base and preconfigured to get you up and running right away. To get the most out of Kali, it is important to have a thorough understanding of its powerful Debian GNU/Linux underpinnings (which support all those great tools) and learning how you can put them to use in your environment.
Although Kali is decidedly multi-purpose, it is primarily designed to aid in penetration testing. The objective of this book is not only to help you feel at home when you use Kali Linux, but also to help improve your understanding and streamline your experience so that when you are engaged in a penetration test and time is of the essence, you won’t need to worry about losing precious minutes to install new software or enable a new network service. In this book, we will introduce you first to Linux, then we will dive deeper as we introduce you to the nuances specific to Kali Linux so you know exactly what is going on under the hood.
This is invaluable knowledge to have, particularly when you are trying to work under tight time constraints. It is not uncommon to require this depth of knowledge when you are getting set up, troubleshooting a problem, struggling to bend a tool to your will, parsing output from a tool, or leveraging Kali in a larger-scale environment.