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02 March 2012, 12:12

BackTrack 5 update expands security toolkit

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BT5R2 logo The BackTrack developers have announced the arrival of the second update to version 5 of their Linux distribution for penetration testing. Based on a custom-built 3.2.6 Linux kernel with improved wireless support, BackTrack 5 R2 upgrades a number of the existing tools and adds more than 40 new tools.

These include a "special BackTrack edition" of the open source Maltego intelligence and forensics application for data mining, version 4.2.0 of the Community Edition of the Metasploit exploit framework, an updated release of the Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF) and version 3.0 of the Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET), a social-engineering penetration testing framework. Other new tools include the findmyhash Python script for cracking hashes using online services, Goofile CLI filetype search, LibHijack, used for injecting arbitrary code and shared objects into a process during runtime, and sucrack for cracking local user accounts.

Another important change in the new release is that Ubuntu updates will be included in the project's repositories "on a more regular basis". This means that when users run a distribution upgrade (dist-upgrade), they will now be presented with updated tools and packages from Ubuntu, resulting in a more secure and stable distribution. "Rest assured that we will not be pushing out the updates blindly", said the developers, adding that, "We will be testing the updates internally to ensure that they don’t break any functionality prior to rolling them out publicly."

More details about this update, including a list of new tools, can be found in the official release announcement; a getting started guide and installation instructions are provided on the project's wiki. BacKTrack 5 R2, with either a GNOME or KDE desktop, is available to download as ISO images for 32- and 64-bit systems from the project's site. The BackTrack Linux project is sponsored by Offensive Security.

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