If you are conversant with operating systems, then you have probably heard about security-centered Linux Distros such as Kali and Tails. These are great options for penetration testing, anonymous browsing and locking-down your system against attacks from hackers.
It now seems like, on every other day, we are hearing about a newmalware outbreak or browser exploit, many of whichoriginate from the so-called “dark web.” This article will not particularly focus on that topic but if you want to know more about the dangers of exploring the dark web, click here.
For you who are continually doing a whole lot of browsing particularly on public Wi-Fi networks, you are most likely more susceptible to such types of hacks. Nonetheless, a security-based Linux distribution can be of significant service. And the use instances here are quite simple.
If you still need to utilize public networks or Wi-Fiat your local library or coffee shop, having one of these exclusively designed distributions can help hide your traffic form malicious onlookers and hackers. For instance, if you are concerned about a suspicious individual subsequently zeroing on your locationand randomizing your traffic, these types of systems can help you remain safe.
And while you may not require this particular service on a daily basis, depending on what you’re doing with your computer—whether it’s uploading personal documents or checking bank statements—it is always better to be safe than ultimately sorry. After all, public networks are a known security risk to all internet users.
All these distributions can subsequently run from a virtual machine or a Live USB/CD. This is to say that you can carry them along with you in your pocket and use them when necessary, devoid of going through too many hassles.
About Linux Distros
Linux Distros are usable on several functions that range from education to games. But for security, there is an entire assortment available.
Not only is it possible for you to find Distros designed to safeguard your privacy, ensuring that you are fully covered as you make your way around the internet, but it’s also designed to assist you in assessing your system security and network.
Tails: Security Through Anonymity
In definition, Tails is an exclusive Linux Distros program precisely structured to facilitate online anonymity. It is a (live) operating system structured in Debian, which employs Tor for its internet traffic. It is mainly designed to offer security via anonymity. By using Tails, you can subsequently browse the web anonymously via encrypted connections.
Tails safeguards you in multiple ways. First, considering that all your traffic is routed via Tor, it makes it extremely hard for anyone to track down your physical location or have access to the sites you are visiting. Fortunately, Tails doesn’t utilize computer hard disks and, as such, does not save anything you are performing with your computer.
In fact, every action you are performing is safeguarded in the RAM and subsequently erased as soon as you log off from your computer. This ensures that any documents you may be working on, sensitive or otherwise, are never permanently stored.
Based on this, Tails is a great operating system to utilize when you’re using a public network.
What’s more, Tails comes equipped with several essential cryptographic tools. For instance, it is encrypted using LUKS for those that are running it via a typical USB drive, while your entire internet traffic is HTTPS-encrypted. Additionally, your IM conversations are also encrypted using OTR (Off-the-Record) Messaging, while your documents and emails are all encoded using OpenPGP.
Nonetheless, the core of Tails is anonymity. Although it includes basic cryptographic tools, its primary objective is to ensure everything remains anonymous when you are online. This is consequently beneficial for a large number of individuals, though it does come with a few cons worth mentioning.
- Routes your traffic via Tor.
- Equipped with multiple open-source software programs.
- Features a “Windows Camouflage” mode which makes it resemble Windows 8.
- Does not locally save files.
- Slow, since it takes extra time to load websites via Tor.
Who It Best Suits:
Tails is an excellent package for on-the-move security. For those who find themselves needing to use the internet in public places quite often, then Tail has been precisely tailored to suit you.
Anonymity is everything when it comes to browsing. As such, if you want to guarantee that you are safe from the overhead eyes of malicious individuals seeking to identify what you are apparently doing, Tails is exceptionally efficient.
Kali: All About Offensive Security
Contrary to Tails, which based on anonymity, Kali focuses on security testing. It is built on Debian and is maintained by a company by the name Offensive Security. Kali can run off a USB drive, virtual machine or a Live CD.
Its primary objective is pen testing, meaning that although it is good for poking around security loops in your network, it is however not customized to suit general use. Kali lacks several basic packages that include FTP and GNU IceCat (for browsing), as well as all necessary items for running a secure server with SSH. Additionally, Kali offers tools to help conceal your location to ensure you remain anonymous.
Kali features more than 300 tools designed to help test your network’s security, which makes it extremely difficult to keep track of everything included. Nonetheless, the most popular activities to perform with Kali is cracking Wi-Fi passwords. It operates under a motto “best defense is a good offense” which indicates that it is built to assist you in assessing your network’s security in general.
- It includes everything you require to assess a network.
- It is relatively simple to use.
- It can run on either a virtual machine or a Live CD.
- Does not feature adequate everyday use tools.
- Lacks the essential cryptographic tools Tails includes.
Who it best suits:
Kali best suits hobbyists and IT administrators seeking to evaluate their networks for common security holes. Although Kali in itself is exceptionally secure, it lacks the necessary everyday use tools many users need from their primary operating systems.
While it is apparent that neither of these operating systems is designed to suit everyday use, there is no better way to guarantee anonymity than by using these remarkably developed Linux Distros.
Next time you need to use a public network or computer, you will not needto worry about the security and privacy of your activities and documents when you’re using these programs.
And while each is designed to suit an entirely different objective, both Tails and Kali are great operating systems that are intended to guarantee optimal online browsing security.
As such, depending on your particular needs, the choice is all yours.