Most people in society largely remain uneducated when it comes to “hacking” and think that in order to learn how to become a hacker in the first place, one must travel through some of the deepest and darkest recesses of the internet. What almost no one seems to understand is that some of the worlds most advanced hacking tools and programs are actually free and open source for anyone to download – all 100% legally too.
I almost don’t want to admit it because it takes some of the “prestige” away from ‘being a hacker,’ but the truth of the matter is that nearly 95% of “hackers,” or at least 95% of all people whom actually call themselves a hacker, don’t actually posses any real skills or talent – they simply run pre-designed operating systems designed for hacking. The computer programmers that develop these operating systems and design the tools within them are the real hackers, but they are the extreme minority within the hacking community.
While many of the most popular hacking systems and tools were first developed by trained professionals for completely legitimate reasons, nearly all of them have been hijacked by “black-hat” hackers and random people on the internet for mischievous reasons. This is also why I warn that it is completely legal to own these programs/tools, but you can be arrested if you actually go ahead and use them without “authorization.”
Nearly every single tool you will find in the systems below was developed for a profession known as “penetration testing,” which is essentially the field of legalized hacking. In our digital world, with the need for cyber security becoming greater by the day, companies are starting to turn to the hacking community in order to find solutions to the very problems that hackers present. Businesses are actually willing to pay some people good money to hack their systems and then fix/patch any vulnerabilities they uncover, be it through hiring penetration testers or offering rewards though bug bounty initiatives.
It must be noted that in order to legally hack a business, person or entity, you must have written permission and consent to do so and generally speaking, all penetration testers are registered with the Government and have obtained licenses to perform such work. It is also not uncommon to have to designate the IP Address(s) you will be launching attacks from, so the company can know whether it is being tested or actually being hacked by a random person.
If, for example, I went to Microsoft and said “hey, I just hacked your systems and found this flaw, you should really patch that” or went to Donald Trump and said “hey, I just cracked the password to your Twitter account, you should really upgrade that,” I would in all likelihood be immediately arrested. Any unauthorized access to another persons computer, emails, accounts or the like is a felony – unless you work for the United States Government that is 😛
With that said, if you have no intention of ever becoming a licensed professional but still want to learn cyber security or how to hack, there are a few ways you can legally go about practicing the craft. For example, coordinate with a friend and try to hack one another. It’s not “unauthorized” or illegal if someone tells you that you can hack them or vice versa. If you have two computers in your house or possession, learn how to set up cyber security on one of them by learning to hack through it from your other computer.
Lets also be real for a moment, despite hacking conversations being “taboo” and banned around some corners of the internet these days, a regular Google or YouTube search will teach more about hacking and how to run hacking programs than any article you can possibly read.
With all of that out of the way, here are the top 5 open source systems for computer hacking – at least in my opinion. If you do not want to download the operating systems directly from their producers, I recommend using Softpedia.com for all of your downloading needs. I have used this site personally many times in the past and they have my full endorsement, for whatever that is worth.
Kali is by far the most popularly used hacking system in the entire world, professionally or otherwise. It is a safe bet to make that any hacker you will ever meet has run Kali at some point in their life and I would also be willing to bet that nearly every low level hack you hear about in the news was carried out by people running Kali Linux.
Download Here: https://www.kali.org/downloads/
I happen to like Black-Arch because it is incredibly simple and straight to the point, others do not like it because it has a very bland theme. Some argue that the OS is so proficient and easy to use because it is so generic looking, others consider this a negative. The most recent version comes pre-installed with over `1,700 different ethical hacking tools, virtually unbeatable when it comes to quantity.
Download Here: https://blackarch.org/downloads.html
Honestly this should probably go ahead of Black-Arch as the second most popular hacking system behind Kali, I just placed it 3rd based on personal prejudice. Emerging on the scene as of 2013, Parrotsec OS is a much newer system than many of the alternatives in the industry and combining this fact with a visually stunning graphics package, Parrotsec OS has gone on to become very popular – particularly with the youngest demographics of hackers.
Download Here: https://www.parrotsec.org/download.fx
While Tails is based around security, not necessarily hacking, the system allows you to run a virtual machine inside the software as it’s running – for example, something like Kali. There is no doubt that all the best hackers around the world run Tails because the system literally forgets everything you have done after you are done running it. In addition to erasing all memory and offering lock tight system security, the system bounces its users identity (IP) across various proxies around the world through the Tor network – making any individual user nearly impossible to identify or track.
Imagine buying a new computer and turning it on for the first time before you have ever done one thing on it, this is the experience you get every time you open Tails. You could literally hack the central bank of Russia one minute and then log off of Tails the next minute and it would be like your computer hadn’t just done anything at all.
Want to know why Donald Trump cant find any of the leakers of all this information right now? They are all running Tails!
If you have read the article to this point I bet you did not see this coming, but Windows Command Prompt actually offers some advanced features that have practical use in hacking. Much like Tails, you can run a virtual machine while using Windows which allows you to utilize the best of both worlds.
Windows is often dismissed by top hackers, but if used properly it does have an important place in this discussion. Learning how to master Command Prompt is also incorporated in the training for many of the Federal Governments top hackers and cyber security professionals, including the FBI.
Windows CMD Encyclopedia: https://ss64.com/nt/
As you might imagine I am not the first person to write this type of article and my list happens to be based of personal experience – I am sure there are others out there whom will disagree. Outside of the systems listed above, there is a long line of system just like them freely available to the public if you know where to look. You can read more about them here: https://www.google.com/#q=top+hacking+operating+systems&*
Categories: Hacking News