WHAT IS KALI LINUX?
Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution. It is a meticulously crafted OS that specifically caters to the likes of network analysts & penetration testers. The presence of a plethora of tools that come pre-installed with Kali transforms it into an ethical hacker’s swiss-knife.
Previously known as Backtrack, Kali Linux advertises itself as a more polished successor with more testing-centric tools, unlike Backtrack which had multiple tools that would serve the same purpose, in turn, making it jampacked with unnecessary utilities. This makes ethical hacking using Kali Linux a simplified task.
Why Use Kali Linux?
There are a wide array of reasons as to why one should use Kali Linux. Let me list down a few of them:
- As free as it can get – Kali Linux has been and will always be free to use.
- More tools than you could think of – Kali Linux comes with over 600 different penetration testing and security analytics related tool.
- Open-source – Kali, being a member of the Linux family, follows the widely appreciated open-source model. Their development tree is publicly viewable on Git and all of the code is available for your tweaking purposes.
- Multi-language Support – Although penetration tools tend to be written in English, it has been ensured that Kali includes true multilingual support, allowing more users to operate in their native language and locate the tools they need for the job.
- Completely customizable – The developers at offensive security understand that not everyone will agree with their design model, so they have made it as easy as possible for the more adventurous user to customize Kali Linux to their liking, all the way down to the kernel..
System Requirements for Kali Linux- (How much RAM does Kali Linux need?)
Installing Kali is a piece of cake. All you have to make sure is that you have the compatible hardware. Kali is supported on i386, amd64, and ARM (both ARMEL and ARMHF) platforms. The hardware requirements are minimal as listed below, although better hardware will naturally provide better performance.
- A minimum of 20 GB disk space for the Kali Linux install.
- RAM for i386 and amd64 architectures, minimum: 1GB, recommended: 2GB or more.
- CD-DVD Drive / USB boot support/ VirtualBox
How To Generate Password List In Kali Linux
Can Kali Crack Password?
As an alternative for a password or a hash cracking. So to find the password we must have a powerful wordlist, and in Kali Linux, we can access crunch through this method.With crunch, one of the Kali Linux programming languages, you can generate word lists.There are built-in tools for producing custom keywords using word lists.
Wordlists are a key part of brute force password attacks. For those readers that aren’t familiar, a brute force password attack is an attack in which an attacker uses a script to repeatedly attempt to log into an account until they receive a positive result. Brute force attacks are fairly overt and can cause a properly configured server to lock out an attacker or their IP.
This is the point of testing the security of log in systems this way. Your server should ban attackers that attempt these attacks, and should report the increased traffic. On the user end, passwords should be more secure. It’s important to understand how the attack is carried out to create and enforce a strong password policy.
Kali Linux comes with a powerful tool for creating wordlists of any length. It’s a simple command line utility called Crunch. It has simple syntax and can easily be adjusted to suit your needs. Beware, though, these lists can be very large and can easily fill an entire hard drive.
Generating a List
To get started, open up a terminal. Crunch is already installed and ready to go on Kali, so you can just run it. For the first list, start with something small, like the one below.
# crunch 1 3 0123456789
Alright, so the line above will create a list of every possible combination of the numbers zero through nine with one two and three characters. To reiterate, the first number is the smallest combination of characters. In this case, it’s a single character. This is a bit unrealistic, since no one should have a one character password, and not site should allow it.
The second number is the longest combination of characters. This time, it’s three. So, Crunch will generate every possible combination of three of the characters provided.
The last part there is the list of all characters that Crunch will use to make the combinations. This list is relatively small, so feel free to run it, but as soon as you start adding more characters or increasing the maximum combination size, the overall size of the list will explode.
The scenario above isn’t all that realistic, though it might be applied to the pin combination to unlock a phone or something of the sort. A more realistic list could be generated with the following linux command
# crunch 3 5 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
That command will generate all possible three, four, and five character combinations of the numbers zero through nine and the alphabet using lower case characters. Even though the passwords generated will be short, the list will be absolutely massive.
Now, if you had the hardware and resources to really try to test the security of passwords, you may run something like the command below.
# crunch 3 10 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BEWARE! Do not try to run that. It will generate a file that will easily fill your entire hard drive and be virtually unusable with normal hardware. However, if someone were able to use it, it could test every password with every combination of three to ten characters using all numbers and both the lower and upper case alphabet.
Capturing the Output
What you’ve seen so far is just outputting numbers onto the screen. That’s obviously not very useful. After all, you’re supposed to be generating a text file to use with another program. Crunch as a built-in flag for generating output in the form of a text file.
# crunch 3 5 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz -o Documents/pass.txt
Just by adding the
-o flag and specifying a destination, you can create your wordlist in the form of a properly formatted text file.
There is another way to handle this, though. Say you already have a good word list with popular bad passwords. There’s actually one installed on Kali by default at
rockyou.txt. You just have to decompress it. What if you wanted to add your generated wordlist onto
rockyou.txt to test additional possibilities in one shot. You can. Just redirect the output of Crunch into the file.
# crunch 3 5 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz >> /usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt
The file will be very large, so make sure you have space and actually want to test that many possibilities.
There isn’t much else to say. Crunch is an excellent tool for creating wordlists. Like any security tool, it should be used intelligently and with discretion. In the case of really bad passwords, Crunch can create a short list quickly for other programs like Hydra to test. Future guides will explore the other tools that can use the wordlists created by Crunch to test for vulnerable passwords.
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