What is BackTrack ?
BackTrack is a Linux distribution distributed as a Live CD which resulted from the merger of WHAX and the Auditor Security Collection. It takes advantage of SLAX’s modular design and structure to enable the user to include customizable scripts, additional tools and configurable kernels in personalized distributions. The BackTrack project was created by Mati Aharoni and Max Moser and is a collaborative effort involving the community.
BackTrack 2 was released on March 6, 2007 and includes over 300 security tools. A beta version of BackTrack 3 was released on December 14, 2007, but it was announced that its main focus was to support more and newer hardware as well as provide more flexibility and modularity.
BackTrack 3 was released on June 19, 2008. New additions include SAINT and Maltego. Nessus was not included in this release, and the developers decided not to upgrade from kernel version 126.96.36.199.
BackTrack 4 Beta was released on February 11, 2009, with the biggest change being the move to a Debian-based distribution.
BackTrack focuses its central idea on the needs of computer penetration
testers. The inclusion of Live CD and Live USB functionality enables any user to just insert their respective data medium and boot up BackTrack. Direct hard disk installations (2.7 GB uncompressed) can also be completed within the Live CD (700 MB compressed) environment through the basic graphical installation wizard with no restart subsequent to installation. BackTrack further continues its compatibility with the computer forensics demographic with accessibility and internationalization by including support for Japanese input in reading and writing in Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.
The key additions to the BackTrack suite are notably –
BackTrack’s functionality further increases with the arrangement of each tool in 16 categories. The tool categories are as follows –
- Exploit Archives
- Password Attacks
- Wireless Tools
- Cisco Tools
- Database Tools
- Forensic Tools
- BackTrack Services
In relation to basic software packages, BackTrack includes some ordinary
desktop programs such as Mozilla Firefox, Pidgin, K3b, and XMMS.