Hacking tools: A new version of BackTrack helps ethical hackers

BackTrack is the quickest way to get access to hundreds of (legal) hacking tools

Version 3.0 of BackTrack has been released. BackTrack is a Linux-based distribution dedicated to penetration testing or hacking (depending on how you look at it). It contains more than 300 of the world's most popular open source or freely distributable hacking tools.

I wrote about the first version of BackTrack back in 2006, although it was based off of Whax/Whoppix/Knoppix distributions, which started even earlier. Version 3.0, released on June 19, includes even more hacking tools (unfortunately, it still doesn't include Nessus due to vendor negotiations/restrictions), many fixes bugs, and improved menus.

Readers often ask me how they can quickly get up to speed on hacking or defending against hackers. My answer is always the same: Subscribe to multiple computer security distribution lists, read as much as you can, and learn how to (legally) hack. BackTrack is the quickest way to get access to hundreds of tools, if the Linux part doesn't scare you. For non-Linux users, this distribution is about as Windows-friendly as you can get. Most users can get up and running using BackTrack with little or no Linux knowledge. The KDE graphical user interface makes most tools and programs usable with a few mouse clicks. For instance, setting up Snort is a one-click process (try that outside of BackTrack).

BackTrack also does a decent job for wireless and password hacking. Although there's a long list of include tools, here are my personal favorites:

  • Metasploit (vulnerability tester)
  • Snort (intrusion detection/prevention)
  • Hping (packet shaper)
  • Nmap (fe gui included)
  • Xprobe2 (OS identifier)
  • Cisco Auditing Tool
  • Curl
  • Httprint (and GUI)
  • Lynx (bare-bones browser)
  • Nikto (awesome free Web site vulnerability scanner)
  • SQL Scanner
  • Milw0rm archive
  • Dsniff
  • Ettercap
  • Hydra (password guesser)
  • John the Ripper
  • Wireshark (packet sniffer/analyzer)
  • Kismet
  • Airsnort
  • Bluesnarfer
  • SIPCrack
  • OllyDBG

Not only does BackTrack have an excellent collection of tools, the designers of the CD have tried to align BackTrack with common penetration-testing guideline frameworks, including the Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual and Information Systems Security Assessment Framework, which can only help any budding pen tester.

You can download several different types of images, including a 784MB USB/DVD image, a stripped-down 695MB ISO, and a 689MB VMware image.

Lest I get any angry readers taking me to task for "teaching malicious hacking," these tools are for the good guys. Bad hackers are already doing just fine without the supereasy toolkits. Overall, we need more defenders learning more, and tools like BackTrack help in that regard.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Roger A. Grimes

InfoWorld

1 Comment

Anonymous

1

Beg.

Hello, i liked what u provide. but I am requesting that from where I get more information BACKTRACK? I am much interested in this.

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?