How is Kali Linux Used for Hacking?

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Cyber security has become a major concern among businesses in the age of the internet and rapid technological progress. Ethical hacking has become a prominent profession to fight against cybercriminals from gaining unauthorised access into computer systems and networks. Professionals have to use a specific operating system to fiddle around with network utilities. Kali Linux is the most preferred operating system by ethical hackers. In this blog, we are going to enlighten you on how Kali Linux is used for hacking and ethical hacking. 

Understanding Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a fork of Linux taken from Debian. This operating system has been specially designed for advanced penetration testing and computer forensics. Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns developed Kali Linux by rewriting BackTrack. You will find several hundred specialised tools in this operating system that are developed for various information security tasks such as computer forensics, security research, penetration testing, etc. Enrolling on ethical hacking courses can help you get started with Kali Linux.  

The first version (1.0.0) of Kali Linux was introduced in the March of 2013. Today, this operating system features over 600 penetration-testing applications to explore. We can further separate these utilities into these categories: 

  1. Wireless Attacks 
  2. Exploitation Tools 
  3. Password Attacks 
  4. Maintaining Access 
  5. Reverse Engineering 
  6. Reporting Tools 
  7. Hardware Hacking 
  8. Forensics Tools 
  9. Stress Training 
  10. Vulnerability Analysis 
  11. Information Gathering
  12. Web Applications 
  13. Sniffing & Spoofing
Professionals that Prefer Kali Linux

Security Administrators: These professionals have to effectively safeguard an institution’s information and data. Using Kali Linux is helpful to review the environment(s) and ensure that there are no easily findable vulnerabilities. Ethical hacking courses are often recommended to become successful security administrators. 

Network Administrators: These professionals have to maintain an efficient and secure network. Using Kali Linux is very effective in auditing the network. For example, we are using Kali Linux for detecting rogue access points. 

Network Architects: These professionals have to design secure network environments. By using Kali Linux, they are able to audit their early designs and check if nothing has been overlooked. 

Penetration Testers: These professionals have to utilise Kali Linux to perform auditing of environments and execute reconnaissance on corporate environments. 

CISO: These officers have to use Kali Linux for internally auditing their environment and find out if any suspicious malware or fishy configurations have been installed. 

Forensic Engineers: These professionals rely on Kali Linux for its ‘Forensic Mode’ to execute data recovery. 

White Hat Hackers: These hackers have a similar role as Penetration Testers. They rely on Kali Linux for auditing and discovering vulnerabilities in an environment. 

Black Hat Hackers: These cybercriminals use Kali Linux to find and exploit the vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. They prefer this OS for compromising an individual or an organisation. 

Grey Hat Hackers: These individuals lie between the two above mentioned hackers. They use Kali Linux to access various hacking tools and methods. 

Why Hackers Prefer for Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is a very polished version of Backtrack and features more testing-centric tools. Using Kali Linux is a simplified task instead of relying on old Backtrack with unnecessary utilities. Advanced penetration testing and security auditing are preferred by ethical hackers and cyber security professionals. They are able to use hundreds of tools suitable for various information security tasks, such as Security research, Computer Forensics, Penetration Testing, and Reverse Engineering. 

Cybersecurity professionals also love Kali Linux because its original source is openly available (open source). This means that the system could be easily customised according to the cybersecurity professional using it. They can personalise their Kali Linux for various cybersecurity tasks.

The use of Kali Linux by black hat hackers is widespread, but it is not illegal.It is simply an operating system used by cyber security experts.Nevertheless, hackers and cybercriminals have favoured it. Installation of any operating system, however, is legal provided it has a licence.

Various pre-installed cybersecurity tools make Kali Linux more popular among ethical hackers and cyber security experts. These are some of the most popular tools found in Kali Linux:


It is a penetration testing tool that cybersecurity professionals prefer for easier hacking. They use it for automating manual processes such as gaining access, evading detection, information gathering, etc. Testing exploits and vulnerabilities become a lot easier with Metasploit.

John the Ripper

It is a well-known password cracking tool that is easily customisable and consists of various cracking modes to cater to unique requirements. Cybersecurity professionals prefer it since it could run against different encrypted password formats. It can also launch different cracking methods such as brute force and dictionary attacks. 


It is used as a network tool for reading and writing data among network connections. Netcat supports a plethora of features such as port scanning, transferring files to port listening, etc. You can create almost any type of connection with Netcat, and it is considered a favourite tool for port scanning. 


It is an open-source packet analyser commonly used for seeking and evaluating the traffic on a network. This feature is essential for security professionals and system administrators because it provides a real-life indicator of traffic flow across the network. We can also use Wireshark for troubleshooting. 

Learning Kali Linux 

Work on the Development of a Kali Linux Virtual Machine

You will find many freeware to set up your hypervisor and work with a virtual machine that supports Kali Linux development. A virtual machine will help you create a safe environment set up multiple instances of Kali Linux effectively. 

Try the Cyber Tools in Kali Linux

You will find that there are various built-in tools in the operating system. They have been categorised well, so you can start learning each tool at a time. Each tool has a tutorial online. Try to learn only one tool at a time because mastering each tool will help you learn others. 

Using These Tools Against Legal Hacking Sites

Hacking sites that you are not authorised to attack might cause serious trouble. Thus, find sites that have been designed for legal hacking. You will gain the authority to exploit these sites legally. Before testing out, any tool doesn’t forget to read all the disclaimers carefully. An ethical hacking certification could help you take the best advantage of Kali Linux. 

Benefits of Using Kali Linux

Free: Kali Linux has always been free for download. Visit their official website to get a copy. 

Tons of Tools: Kali Linux features more than 600 penetration testing and security-related tools. 

Open-Source: Being a Linux fork, it also features open-source code. You can view their development history on Git. 

Supports Multiple Languages: Kali Linux has always supported multiple languages to allow more users to operate in their native language without any hassle. 

Supremely Customisable: It is very easy to customise Kali Linux according to your unique requirements. You can have your own custom build in just a few steps. 

Learning Ethical Hacking with LSET

If you want to become an ethical hacker or a cybersecurity professional, the LSET ethical hacking certification is the best way to learn from industry experts and experience a practical learning experience. Become more employable in the emerging market of cyber security today.

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