1. Kali Linux
maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd. is first in our list. Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. Kali is the one of the best and favourite operating systems of hackers.
It was developed by Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns of Offensive Security through the rewrite of BackTrack, their previous forensics Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Kali Linux has a dedicated project set-aside for compatibility and porting to specific Android devices, called Kali Linux NetHunter. It is the first Open Source Android penetration testing platform for Nexus devices, created as a joint effort between the Kali community member “BinkyBear” and Offensive Security. It supports Wireless 802.11 frame injection, one-click MANA Evil Access Point setups, HID keyboard (Teensy like attacks), as well as Bad USB MITM attacks.
Features : BackTrack (Kali’s predecessor) contained a mode known as forensic mode. This capability was carried over to Kali via live boot. This mode is very popular for many reasons such as many Kali users already have a bootable Kali USB drive or CD, and this option makes it easy to apply Kali to a forensic job. There are however some changes to forensic mode over the regular operation of the system, such as forensic mode doesn’t touch the hard drive or swap space and auto mounting is disabled. However, it is recommended by the developers that if Kali is going to be used for real world forensics that these things be tested in that environment.
Supported Platforms : Kali Linux is distributed in 32- and 64-bit images for use on hosts based on the x86 instruction set and as an image for the ARM architecture for use on the BeagleBoard computer and on Samsung’s ARM Chromebook. Kali Linux is already available for BeagleBone Black, HP Chromebook, CubieBoard 2, CuBox, CuBox-i, Raspberry Pi, EfikaMX, Odroid U2, Odroid XU, Odroid XU3, Samsung Chromebook, Utilite Pro, Galaxy Note 10.1 and SS808.
BackBox is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution penetration test and security assessment oriented providing a network and informatic systems analysis toolkit. BackBox desktop environment includes a complete set of tools required for ethical hacking and security testing.
Features : It includes some of the most used security and analysis Linux tools, aiming for a wide spread of goals, ranging from web application analysis to network analysis, from stress tests to sniffing, also including vulnerability assessment, computer forensic analysis and exploitation. Part of the power of this distribution comes from its Launchpad repository core, constantly updated to the latest stable version of the most known and used ethical hacking tools. The integration and development of new tools in the distribution follows the open source community, particularly the Debian Free Software Guidelines criteria.
3. Parrot Security OS
Parrot Security OS (or ParrotSec) is a GNU/LINUX distribution based on Debian. It was built in order to perform penetration tests (computer security), Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation, Computer Forensics and Anonymous Surfing. It has been developed by Frozenbox’s Team. Like Kali Linux Parrot Security OS is also hackers favourite operating system.
Parrot is based on Debian’s stable branch (jessie), with a custom hardened linux 4.1 kernel with a grsecurity patched branch available. It follows a development line of rolling release kind.The desktop environment is MATE, fork of Gnome 2, and the default display manager is LightDM.The project is certified to run over machines which have 265Mb of RAM at least and it is suitable to both 32bit (i386) and 64bit (amd64), with a special edition it works on old 32bit machines (486). Moreover, the project is available for armel and armhf architectures. It even offers an edition (both 32bit and 64bit) developed for servers only to carry out cloud pentesting.
Features : Parrot Security OS is a security oriented operating system designed for Pentesting, Computer Forensic, Reverse engineering, Hacking, Cloud pentesting, privacy/anonymity and cryptography.