Kali Linux 2021.3: Forensic distribution with specialized tools

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Forensics and security distribution, which is designed, among other things, to carry out professional penetration tests Kali Linux In the current version 2021.3, it receives new system images with updated software packages for the highly specialized tool kit. Linux 5.10 and Debian 11 serve as the foundation.

Debian 11 as a stable base

As a Debian derivative, Kali Linux 2021.3, which is also available as a rolling release under the official code name “kali-rolling”, is based on the new Debian 11 (“Bullseye”), which was only released in August, and its current LTS, which is supported until December 2026. Kernel, which is used here as Linux 5.10.46.

Kali Linux 2021.3 with KDE Plasma 5.21 Kali Linux 2021.3 with KDE Plasma 5.21 (Image: Offensive Security)

In addition to the standard desktop Xfce 4.16, KDE Plasma 5.21 is also available for the first time on the Kali Linux installation media. As in Debian 11 before, Kali Linux does without the new Gnome 40 and leaves it with Gnome 3.38 (“Orbis”) as the third free desktop in the group. The highlights of the release document the official ones Releases Notes as follows:

  • OpenSSL – Wide compatibility by default – Keep reading for what that means
  • New Kali-Tools site – Following the footsteps of Kali-Docs, Kali-Tools has had a complete refresh
  • Better VM support in the live image session – Copy & paste and drag & drop from your machine into a Kali VM by default
  • New tools – From adverse emulation, to subdomain takeover to Wi-Fi attacks
  • Kali NetHunter smartwatch – first of its kind, for TicHunter Pro
  • KDE 5.21 – Plasma desktop received a version bump

In particular OpenSSL and the special applications, the so-called “Potash tools“Experience numerous improvements and updates. By working with the security company BC Security and Joohoi, users will also have access to the tools Empire, Starkiller and the Fuzz Faster U Fool.

New security tools

But the security applications provided by Offensive Security, the publisher of the distribution, are also being expanded to search for backdoors and security gaps in networks or systems.

A large number of the “Kali Tools” are receiving new software packages or are even on board for the first time.

  • Consult_ap – Orchestrating MANA rogue Wi-Fi access points
  • CALDERA – Scalable automated adversary emulation platform
  • EAPHammer – Targeted evil twin attacks against WPA2-Enterprise Wi-Fi networks
  • HostHunter – Recon tool for discovering hostnames using OSINT techniques
  • RouterKeygenPC – Generate default WPA / WEP Wi-Fi keys
  • WPA_Sycophant – Evil client portion of EAP relay attack
  • Subjack – Subdomain takeover

New “Kali Tools” in Kali Linux 2021.3

The Kali NetHunter, with the help of which Kali Linux 2021.3 also runs on the smartphone, is also receiving further adjustments and now runs on even more models. For the first time ever, Kali is also running on a specially designed smartwatch, the TicHunter Pro, using NetHunter. However, the developers point to the still experimental stage of development.

Kali Linux 2021.3 also runs on the Smartwatch via Kali NetHunter Kali Linux 2021.3 also runs on the Smartwatch via Kali NetHunter (Image: Offensive Security)

Installation media for AMD64 and Apple Silicon

In addition to the known on AMD64 optimized installation media Installer (ISO), Live system (ISO) and Net Installer (ISO) Offensive Security offers a specially adapted ARM64 installer for the Apple M1 processor and ARM computers such as the Raspberry Pi 400 or Raspberry Pi 4. The YouTuber “Zexa“Demonstrates the operation of Kali Linux by means of virtualization on an Apple Mac with M1-SoC.

Further information on Kali Linux is provided by the extensive and very well maintained documentation as well as the official Blog the distribution.

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