Kali Linux (aka Backtrack 6) has been Released!

Kali Linux

The moment we have been waiting for has finally arrived, Kali Linux has been released!

This is huge news for Backtrack Linux fans. Kali is, in essence, Backtrack 6. All you have come to expect from Backtrack is present, and more, but the tool has been reworked from the ground up. Hence the name change to Kali.

One of the biggest things you will notice when installing is that Kali is based off of Debian Linux, instead of Ubuntu. The install routine is slightly more involved than Backtrack 5.

The desktop still uses Gnome, but it does seem to have a different look/ feel to it:

Kali Linux Menu

A quick peek at the menu shows a very good addition. A “Top Ten Security Tools” menu has been added so you can get into your favorite tools faster.

Metasploit, Aircrack, Burpsuite, Nmap, Wireshark and several other top programs are now right at your fingertips:

Kali Security Menu

But no worries, all the regular tools are still there too in the same menu system that Backtrack used.

The change to Debian also means that updating will be much easier and more streamlined. If you used Backtrack a lot, it seemed that updating some of the utilities got a little funky in recent times.

Just a note, be careful with some of the torrent downloads of Kali. I couldn’t get on Kali’s download page earlier today (lottsa people downloading it!) so I went directly to the Torrents. One of the OS images I grabbed off Torrent didn’t match the posted SHA1 Hash  (You do check that right?).

Kali Linux, the most advanced do-it-all Pentesting Linux Distro.

Check it out!

Other Articles:

Installing Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi and Connecting to it Remotely

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CVE-2013-1763 – Gaining Root access from Ubuntu 12.10 Guest Account

Ubuntu Root Shell from Guest

A Linux local privilege escalation vulnerability made public last week allows a Root level shell from a standard or guest account.

Last week an exploit was revealed that affected Linux Kernel versions 3.3 through 3.8. Successful use of the exploit allows the attacker to gain root level access on Linux machines.

I tried the attack on an Ubuntu 12.10 virtual machine and was able to escalate the “Guest” user to root.

Guest ID

As you can see from the image above I am logged into Ubuntu 12.10 as the security limited “Guest” account. This account is enabled by default with no password.

Running the exploit creates a Root level shell:

Switch to Root

Running the “id” command now returns the user ID (uid) 0, or root.

But do we really have root? Let’s try to add a user from this escalated terminal and one from a guest terminal:

Add User

The guest shell on the right failed, but as you can see it worked on our escalated shell.

This is a known issue and Ubuntu has released a Security Bulletin regarding it. Even better they have already supplied a patch to fix the exploit. All you need to do is run Ubuntu updates and the fix will automatically be installed.

It is imperative that you update your Linux systems immediately, especially if you allow public guest access.

LPS Linux – The Publicly Available Air Force Secure Linux Distro

LPS Desktop

Looking for a Secure Linux Distribution and not sure what to use? Why not try the publicly available Linux Distro created by the US Air Force?

Several nations are moving to or modifying their own Linux distributions for military use. And honestly, it just makes sense. But did you know that the SPI working with the US Air Force created the “Lightweight Portable Security” Linux (or LPS for short) and have released it for public use?

LPS is a publicly available, secure Live CD that offers security, sandboxing and encryption.

The ATSPI Technology Office produces nation-state class protection products, and according to the LPS website, “LPS-Remote Access was certified by AFNIC to connect to the GIG for general telecommuting use“. A whole lot of acronyms there, but basically what it means is that LPS is secure – secure enough to be certified by the Air Force to connect to the DoD Global Information Grid – the military’s information super highway.

And if it is good enough for military certification, you can believe that it is capable and safe for secure civilian use.

So what does it look like?

Well, a full blown Ubuntu operating system it is not. It comes with very few bells and whistles. But that is the point. The fewer the frills, the easier it is to secure it.

LPS Menu

As you can see from the user menu above, there are not a lot of pre-installed apps. Though LPS does come in a “Deluxe” version that includes OpenOffice and Adobe Reader.

LPS is meant to be used as a live CD. Simply download LPS, burn it to a CD and then boot from it when you need to use a secure OS – Like when you are traveling abroad or using public internet.

It does not write to the hard drive and does not leave anything in memory when shut down. Because it does not write anything to the hard drive, if by odd chance that LPS does get infected, there is no persistence. Just reboot and the malware will be gone.

LPS seems to be mainly be oriented to surfing, e-mail and data transfer. According to Lt. Col. Ken Edge, Air Force Research Laboratory’s Software Protection Initiative (SPI) program manager, “Imagine a pilot overseas who has to get orders but only has a very questionable Internet café computer, with LPS-Public and a smartcard reader, he can safely enter the CAC-authenticated Air Force Portal and his webmail. Likewise, sailors can securely bank online overseas, and soldiers can safely use social networking sites.”

It even comes with an easy to use Encryption Wizard that allows you to encrypt your data before transmitting it over the wire:

Encryption Wizard

Simply run the wizard, and drag the file you want to encrypt into the program box, then select how you want to encrypt it:

Encrypting File Passphrase

The wizard also decrypts files in the same easy to use manner.

There are other secure Linux distros out there with more capabilities, Tails Linux comes to mind. But if all you need is a simple, easy to use secure Live CD solution, then look no further than LPS Linux.

Backtrack to be Reborn as Kali Linux – The Best Pentest Distro Ever!

Very interesting news from the Backtrack development team. Backtrack is in the process of a major overhaul and will be reborn into a new distribution named Kali!

Apparently Backtrack was a pet project used by the developers, now that it is THE Pentesting Platform, they want to make it better than ever.

Which is great news for us!

From the Backtrack Linux Website:

“What’s happened in the past year? We have been quietly developing the necessary infrastructure and laying the foundation for our newest penetration testing distribution as well as building over 300 Debian compliant packages and swearing in 8 different languages.

These changes brought with them an incredible amount of work, research and learning but are also leading us down the path to creating the best, and most flexible, penetration testing distribution we have ever built, dubbed “Kali”.”

Can’t wait to check it out!