With some of the groundwork out of the way in getting a Mac set up for hacking, it's time to start looking at toolboxes. Our first toolbox is Git, which will be used throughout future tutorials.
After enabling disk encryption, creating encrypted disk images, installing KeePassX and iTerm2, and using Git with local repositories, the next step to getting your Mac computer ready for hacking is setting up a package manager that can install and update open-source hacking tools. There are multiple options to choose from, but Homebrew has a slight advantage.
We're almost there to completing the setup of your Mac for hacking! Now that we have Git and Homebrew under our belts, it's time to take on something fairly easy, but very important for our hacking needs.
We're nearly done getting our Mac set up for hacking. If you haven't checked out previous tutorials, I'd recommend you do so first before diving right into this one.
Metasploit is an extremely popular pentesting tool capable of enumeration, exploitation, and injecting shell code, and is a part of almost every hacking toolkit. So there's no way I could leave this out of our series on getting your Mac set up for hacking.
With all of the bare-bones setup out of the way in our Mac for Hackers series, your Apple machine should be ready to run a significant amount of pentesting tools. We can pull tools from GitHub and compile them, we can pull dependencies or tools from Homebrew, we have both Python and Ruby. Everything is ready to go and now it's time to start building a toolbox on our local host.
MacOS isn't known as an ideal operating system for hacking without customization, but it includes native tools that allow easy control of the Wi-Fi radio for packet sniffing. Changing channels, scanning for access points, and even capturing packets all can be done from the command line. We'll use aliasing to set some simple commands for easy native packet capture on a macOS system.
If you're worried about the security of your Mac, there are easy measures to prevent the most dangerous attacks. Named after the tactic of accessing an unattended computer in a hotel room, we can thwart "evil maid" attacks with Do Not Disturb and LuLu, free macOS tools by Objective-See that keep an eye on unattended computers and flag suspicious network connections that indicate a malware infection.
When it comes to hacking guides, most are written from the perspective of a Linux user. There are a few outliers, but it's mainly Linux, which leads to the idea that Linux is the only OS that's viable for hacking. This couldn't be further from the truth. A properly set up Apple machine can do quite a bit of heavy lifting.
This is the very first article in my series on setting up a Mac for hacking. In this series, I will be operating under the assumption that you have a clean install of macOS (previously OS X). If you aren't starting with a clean installation, there may be a few differences, but nothing we can't help you out with.
Before we dive any further into getting your Mac ready for hacking, I wanted to continue on with the concept of encryption. In the last part, we talked about full disk encryption on your Mac, but now I want to quickly cover the encryption of disk images before we dive into managing passwords, terminal emulators, etc.
Now that we've learned about keeping all our data safe with encryption, it's time to continue progressing through getting your Mac set up for hacking.
Now that we've talked about encryption and managing your passwords, let's continue this series on getting your Mac ready for hacking by turning our attention to the terminal.
While you might suspect your MacOS computer has been infected with malware, it can be difficult to know for sure. One way to spot malicious programs is to look for suspicious behavior — like programs listening in on our keyboard input or launching themselves every time we boot. Thanks to free MacOS tools called ReiKey and KnockKnock, we can detect suspicious programs to discover keyloggers and other persistent malware lurking on our system.
While MacOS computers have been spared from some of the most famous malware attacks, there is no shortage of malicious programs written for them. To keep your computer safe from some of the most common types of malware, we'll check out two free tools. These tools can automatically detect ransomware encrypting your files and watch for unauthorized access to your microphone and camera.