How To: Exploring Kali Linux Alternatives: Set Up the Ultimate Beginner Arch Linux Hacking Distro with Manjaro & BlackArch
There's no doubt Kali has established itself as the most popular penetration distribution available. However, just because it's the fan favorite of beginners and security researchers doesn't make it right for everyone. Manjaro Linux is a beginner-friendly Arch-based distribution which can be easily weaponized with the Black Arch expansion, creating a friendlier first-time Arch experience.
OpenBSD implements security in its development in a way that no other operating system on the planet does. Learning to use the Unix-like operating system can help a hacker understand secure development, create better servers, and improve their understanding of the BSD operating system. Using VirtualBox, the OS can be installed within a host to create a full-featured test environment.
How To: Exploring Kali Linux Alternatives: How to Get Started with Parrot Security OS, a Modern Pentesting Distro
Kali Linux is the obvious first choice of an operating system for most new hackers, coming bundled with a curated collection of tools organized into easy-to-navigate menus and a live boot option that is very newbie-friendly. But Kali isn't the only distribution targeted at pentesters, and many exciting alternatives may better fit your use-case. We've already covered BlackArch Linux, now it's time to talk about Parrot Security OS.
How To: Exploring Kali Linux Alternatives: How to Get Started with BlackArch, a More Up-to-Date Pentesting Distro
In 2013, Offensive Security released Kali Linux, a rebuild of BackTrack Linux derived from Debian. Since then, Kali has gone on to become somewhat of a standard for penetration testing. It comes preconfigured with a collection of tools accessible by a menu system, tied together with the Gnome desktop environment. However, Kali Linux isn't the only penetration-testing distribution available.
How To: Exploring Kali Linux Alternatives: Getting Started with Pentoo for Advanced Software Installations
Kali Linux is probably the most well-known hacking distribution among penetration testers. However, there are alternative distros which offer versatility and advanced package management systems that are absolutely worth considering.
You've protected your Ubuntu system from physical attacks, annoyed network hackers, and sandboxed potentially malicious applications. Great! Now, the next logical steps to locking down your OS include thoroughly auditing Ubuntu for weak points, using antivirus software that respects your privacy, and monitoring system logs like a boss.
Once you've installed Ubuntu with security in mind and reduced the possibility of network attacks on your system, you can start thinking about security on an application level. If a malicious file is opened on your system, will an attacker be able to access every file on the computer? The chances are much slimmer if you put the proper defenses in place.
After installing Ubuntu as your primary OS, you should have protected against USB Rubber Ducky payloads, defended against hard drive forensics, and reduced the overall attack surface against physical strikes. When defending against network-based attacks, you'll want to minimize hardware disclosures, prevent packet sniffers, harden firewall rules, and much more.
Windows 10 and macOS have poor reputations when it comes to customer privacy and user policies. Our hacking Windows 10 and hacking macOS articles might make it seem like a reasonably secure operating system doesn't exist. But I'm here to tell you that there is a viable alternative that could provide some sense of security and trust.