Penetration test is basically an attack or way to spoil weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a computer system. Penetration testing is done with the intention to gain access to a system, change its attributes and properties and to find security flaws. It is a fully legal way to determine the security status of an IT Infrastructure as a single loophole is enough to bring whole infrastructure down. Penetration testing is used to check status of OS security services, applications, configuration settings and end-user security services like anti-viruses. Some of the Linux distributions are developed for the sole purpose of penetration testing and are equipped with most advanced tools used for this purpose. 5 most Popular Linux Penetration Testing Distros are:
Previously known as BackTrack R3, Kali Linux is a whole new build of BackTrack developed by solely abiding to Debian development standards. Kali Linux can be installed onto the hard disk and even can be booted from a live CD. Kali Linux is an open-source project maintained by Offensive – Security. It is based on Ubuntu build and is available only with KDE environment. Tools which are available in Kali are John The Ripper Password cracker, Wireshark Packet Sniffer, Aircrack-ng a tool for pentesting Wireless networks and nmap a network analyzer etc.
NodeZero linux is also an Ubuntu based penetration testing distro which receives update each time updates are released for Ubuntu. NodeZero developer states that in spite of being able to boot from a live CD real power of penetration testing comes from full installation in hard disk. It is specially famous for its THC IPV6 Attack toolkit which includes alive6, dnsdict6, detect-new-ip6 etc.
BlackBox Linux is one of the most concise and compact penetration testing Linux distro. It is also based on Ubuntu and its updates also depends on ubuntu updates. It is very fast as compare to others as well as stable. It uses a very light window manager Xfce. Its launchpad repository is constantly updated with most stable versions of tools used for forensics, documentation and reporting tools and reverse engineering tools.
This is a straight penetration testing version of popular Ubuntu and use GNOME as window manager. It is generally used by trainers and students due to similarity with Ubuntu. It has a vast hardware support and provides services like Information Gathering, Network mapping, Penetration, privilege escalation, VoIP analysis and Digital Forensics etc.
WEAKERTH4N is based on Debian Squeeze and uses Fluxbox as its window manager and is particularly suited for WiFi hacking as it contains various tools for wireless cracking. There are many guides available for beginners and newbies on the website and are updated regularly by the developers. Tools categories for WEAKERTH4N are WiFi attacks, SQL hacking, Cisco Exploitation, VoIP Hacking, Social Engineering and many more.