Offensive Security used Black Hat Europe in Amsterdam to launch the next incarnation of its popular pen-testing Linux distribution. BackTrack has now become Kali – a name derived from a warlike god or an African word meaning ‘hot’ or ‘fierce’ – take your pick.
It represents a somewhat surprising change in direction. BackTrack was always very popular with penetration testers, hackers, researchers and (it has to be said) script kiddies for the way it put all the most popular hacking tools in one place. These tools – including, of course, the ever-popular Metasploit – often came ready-configured. But it always had a steep learning curve. And aside from Debian’s built-in updating tools, moving from one version to the next usually involved a complete reinstall.
Mati Aharoni, CEO of Offensive Security, explained to Steve Mansfield-Devine (in a sometimes noisy press office) why Kali takes a new approach. It’s designed to be more appealing to enterprise users – particularly the kind of IT specialist who might have only basic security skills but needs to carry out some security auditing tasks. It also provides easier upgrading facilities and a slicker front-end.
He’s joined by Christian Kirsch, product marketing manager at Rapid7 which has created a full-blown Debian package of its Metasploit framework for the new platform and is going to be offering enterprise-level support.
Offensive Security used Black Hat Europe 2013 to introduce Kali, an enterprise-friendly evolution of its famous BackTrack Linux distro, and Rapid7 is supporting Metasploit on the platform. Mati Aharoni of Offensive Security and Christian Kirch of Rapid7 explain the thinking behind the greater focus on enterprise users and what the platform can offer.