Introduction to BlackArch

A few years back, the open discussion or teaching of hacking techniques was considered a bit taboo. Fortunately, times have changed and people are beginning to understand the value of offensive security. Offensive security is now being embraced by organizations regardless of size or industries. Governments are also getting serious about offensive security. Many governments have gone on record stating they’re actively building and developing offensive security capabilities.

Ultimately, penetration testing should play an important role in the overall security of your organization. Just as policies, risk assessments, business continuity planning and disaster recovery have become integral components in keeping your organization safe and secure, penetration testing needs to be included in your overall security plan as well. Penetration testing allows you to view your organization through the eyes of the enemy. This process can lead to many surprising discoveries and give you the time needed to patch your system before a real attacker can strike.

One of the great things about learning how to hack today is the plethora and availability of good tools to perform your craft. Not only are the tools readily available, but many of them are stable with several years of development behind them. Maybe even more important to many of you is the fact that most of these tools are available free of charge. For this course, every tool covered will be free.

It’s one thing to know a tool is free, it’s another to find, compile, and install each of the tools required to complete even a basic penetration test. Although this process is quite simple on today’s modern Linux OS’s, it can still be a bit daunting for newcomers. Most people who start are usually more interested in learning how to use the tools that they’re in searching the vast corners of the Internet locating and installing tools.

To be fair, you really should learn how to manually compile and install software on a Linux machine; or at the very least, you should become familiar with pacman (or the like).

A basic understanding of Linux will be beneficial and will pay you mountains of dividends in the long run. For this course, there’ll be no assumption that you’ve prior Linux experience, but do yourself a favour and commit yourself to become a Linux guru someday. If you’re interested in penetration testing or hacking, there’s no way of getting around the need to know Linux.

Fortunately, the security community is a very active and very giving group. Several organizations have worked tirelessly to create various security-specific Linux distribution. A Linux distribution, or “distro” for short, is a flavour, type or brand of Linux.

One of these penetration testing distributions is called “BlackArch”. BlackArch is built with about more than 2500 tools (as the date of this being written), all of those tools are distributed into categories, some categories are “blackarch anti-forensic”, “blackarch backdoor”, “blackarch database”, “blackarch drone”, “blackarch dos”, “blackarch VoIP” etc.