Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux
distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration
testing. It is maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd.
Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns and Raphaël Hertzog are the core
Kali Linux is preinstalled with over 600 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 has a dedicated project set-aside for compatibility
and porting to specific Android devices, called Kali Linux
It is the first Open Source Android penetration testing platform for Nexus devices, created as a joint effort between the Kali community member “BinkyBear” and Offensive Security. It supports Wireless 802.11 frame injection, one-click MANA Evil Access Point setups, HID keyboard (Teensy like attacks), as well as Bad USB MITM attacks.
BackTrack (Kali's predecessor) contained a mode known as forensic mode. This capability was carried over to Kali via live boot. This mode is very popular for many reasons such as many Kali users already have a bootable Kali USB drive or CD, and this option makes it easy to apply Kali to a forensic job. There are however some changes to forensic mode over the regular operation of the system, such as forensic mode doesn't touch the hard drive or swap space and auto mounting is disabled. However, it is recommended by the developers that if Kali is going to be used for real world forensics that these things be tested in that environment.
Special Kali Linux Features of Note:
Full Customisation of Kali ISOs
Full customisation of Kali ISOs with live-build allowing you to create your own Kali Linux images – Kali Linux is heavily integrated with live-build, allowing endless flexibility in customising and tailoring every aspect of your Kali Linux ISO images. Want a non-root user, KDE version of Kali with only the top 10 tools installed? We have a Kali Linux live build recipe for that!
Kali Linux ISO of Doom and Other Kali Recipes
The Kali Linux ISO of doom – a great example of the flexibility of live-build, and the types and complexity of customisations possible. Build a self installing, reverse VPN auto-connecting, network bridging Kali image – for the perfect hardware backdoor.
Kali Linux Live USB with LUKS Encrypted Persistence
Kali Linux Live USB persistence with LUKS encryption – Kali has extensive support for USB live installs, allowing for features such as file persistence or full (USB) disk encryption.
Kali Linux Live USB with Multiple Persistence Stores
Kali Linux Live USB with multiple persistence stores – What’s more, Kali Linux supports multiple persistence USB stores on a single USB drive. You can create a live Kali USB bootable drive which supports encryption and multiple store profiles.
Kali Linux Full Disk Encryption
Kali Linux LUKS Full Disk Encryption (FDE) – Having the ability to perform a full disk encryption of your sensitive penetration testing computer drive is an essential feature needed in our industry. Just the thought of unencrypted client data getting lost or mishandled is horrific.
Kali Linux LUKS Encryption Nuke
Nuking your Kali Linux hard disk with the Kali LUKS nuke option – While being able to encrypt your drives is important, we believe it’s also important to be able to quickly control the destruction of data on these drives. Our Kali LUKS nuke feature is unique to our distribution.
Kali Linux Metapackages
Mastering Kali Linux tool sets with Kali Metapackages – Kali contains a bunch of metapackage collections which aggregate different toolsets. This makes it easy to get custom, minimized environments set up. For example, if all you need are some wireless tools for an upcoming assessment, you can apt-get install kali-linux-wireless.
Kali Linux Amazon EC2 AWS Images
Kali Linux in the cloud – Kali Amazon EC2 images available – Need to spin up a Kali box quickly? Perhaps you need some serious bandwidth or disk space for your upcoming tasks. You can easily set up a cloud version of Kali Linux in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.
Kali Linux Accessibility Features
Kali Linux accessibility features for visually impaired users – Kali is one of the very few Linux distributions which have a working accessibility system for blind or visually impaired users through both voice feedback and braille hardware support.
Automating Kali Linux Deployment
Automating Kali Linux deployment via Unattended PXE installations – You can automate and customize your Kali Linux installations over the network. You are one PXE boot away from a fresh, custom Kali installation, or 10,000 of them.
Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi and Other ARM Devices
Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of other interesting ARM devices – Kali supports over a dozen different ARM devices and common hardware such as Raspberry Pi, Odroid, Beaglebone, and more. We’re very active in the ARM arena and constantly add new interesting hardware to our repertoire.
Kali Linux Forensics Mode
Kali Linux forensics mode – The bootable “Forensics” mode available in Kali makes it perfect for forensics work, as the forensics Kali live image option does not mount any drives (including swap) with this option. The wealth of forensics tools on Kali (metapackage – kali-forensics-tools) makes Kali a good choice for any forensics work you need.
Kali Linux NetHunter
Kali Linux NetHunter ROM overlay for Nexus Android devices – Kali is so versatile that creating the “Kali NetHunter” Android was a natural extension to our distribution. NetHunter is a custom Android ROM overlay for ASOP which brings together all the toolset of Kali Linux (and more!) to your Nexus or OnePlus phones.
Kali Linux Running on Android
Kali Linux running on Android through Linux Deploy – Have a recent Android device other than a Nexus or OnePlus phone? Try using the Android App “Linux Deploy” to get Kali seamlessly installed in a chroot environment.
Disk Encryption on Raspberry Pi 2:
Disk Encryption on Raspberry Pi 2 and other ARM hardware – There’s no easy way of having LUKS disk encryption on ARM hardware. We’ve simplified the process and gave it bells and whistles.