Learning Kali Linux: Security Testing, Penetration Testing, and Ethical Hacking

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One of the places over the last half century that had a deep hacker culture, in the sense of learning and creating, was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, specifically, its Artificial Intelligence Lab. The hackers at MIT generated a language and culture that created words and a unique sense of humor. The preceding quote is an AI koan, modeled on the koans of Zen, which were intended to inspire enlightenment. Similarly, this koan is one of my favorites because of what it says: it’s important to know how things work. Knight, by the way, refers to Tom Knight, a highly respected programmer at the AI Lab at MIT. The intention for this book is to teach readers about the capabilities of Kali Linux through the lens of security testing. The idea is to help you better understand how and why things work. Kali Linux is a security-oriented Linux distribution, so it ends up being popular with people who do security testing or penetration testing for either sport or vocation. While it does have its uses as a general-purpose Linux distribution and for use with forensics and other related tasks, it really was designed with security testing in mind. As such, most of the book’s content focuses on using tools that Kali provides. Many of these tools are not necessarily easily available with other Linux distributions. While the tools can be installed, sometimes built from source, installation is easier if the package is in the distribution’s repository.


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