Computer Security Tools: Backtrack 4 Linux Security Distribution

My favorite computer security/ penetration testing tool is Backtrack 4. And apparently, I am not alone. Backtrack 4 is listed as the highest rating Linux security distribution to date. The latest version 4, which was released in January, has been downloaded over 500,000 times.

You have several options in using Backtrack 4, you can use it as a Live CD, install it to a hard drive, or run it off a thumb drive. You can even download the VMWare version, install the free VMWare player and be up and running in no time. Installation is straight forward no matter which route you take and it comes with more security tools than you can shake a stick at.

Numerous open source tools needed for security testing are pre-installed. Everything from Maltego CE, The Browser Exploitation Framework and Metasploit, Wireshark, Kismet and many more are included. 

If you are a Windows guy and have never used Linux, it will take a while to get used to. Backtrack 4 is based on Ubuntu Linux. You may want to download a VMWare image of Ubuntu from VMWare appliances and get used to using Linux first. I think Ubuntu is one of the easier version of Linux to use when coming from the Windows world.

Backtrack 4 is a serious tool and should only be used in a testing lab or on test machines that you have specific permission to use. It is illegal to use some of these tools against computer systems and gaining access without obtaining permission first.

Certified training is available from Offensive Security. Backtrack 4 is definitely worth checking out.  

* For a Cyberarms Tutorial of Backtrack 4, see Penetration Testing with the Social Engineering Toolkit (SET).



5 thoughts on “Computer Security Tools: Backtrack 4 Linux Security Distribution”

  1. MMMM… Backtrack. I’ve been a Linux dabbler since before STD. Haven’t used backtrack that much but I have used it and it is, the best, all around, security tool that I’ve ever played with. If you don’t know Linux as of now, then security probably isn’t your thing but if you want to get into it, Backtrack will definetly make you lose sleep.

    1. I hear you there. I am a long time Microsoft user and only dabbled in Linux over the years. I figured it was about time to learn Linux when I found out that all the best security stuff was Linux native.

      I was very frustrated at first. It is like a mix of DOS and Windows 3.1. Nothing seems to go right at first. You follow the directions for something and it just doesn’t work right. Then you find two days later that it was something simple. A setting in a .conf file somewhere or something.

      But it is definetly worth it, and things will start to click, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get into it earlier.

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