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08 March 2007, 14:01

New version of live security distribution BackTrack

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Besides adding diverse tools, the developers of the live security distribution BackTrack have in Version 2.0 implemented numerous new drivers for WLAN cards and dongles. Among other things, a separate VoIP section now exists. All other tools that have been part and parcel of the distribution in the past have been updated.

The exploit framework Metasploit was also updated and now also works together with the WLAN tool Lorcon, which bombards WLAN drivers with numerous packages and monitors their behaviour. Unfortunately, the tool collection has to make do without the vulnerability analysis tool Nessus, as its vendor Tenable has since Version 3 prohibited redistribution.

BackTrack is the outcome of the merger of the security distribution Whax and the Auditor Security Collection. It is available for download as an ISO image with a size of about 700 MB; it can also be had via BitTorrent.

Although the graphical user interface of BackTrack has been reworked, anyone who still finds it too complicated might want to turn to other distributions such as BOSS from BSI. The latter includes the older open-source Version 2.x of Nessus.

The planned tightening of the "hacker sections" of German law, for example, render even the creation, making available to others, distribution or procuring of "hacker tools" a punishable offense; however, they also make it impossible to use such tool collections -- even for testing the security of one's own systems. At present, it doesn't look as if the federal government means to back off from its intention to enact the proposed law despite widespread criticism. Even the Bundesrat, the upper chamber of Germany's federal parliament, has said that it thinks the government has gone too far with its prohibition of "hacker tools."

See also:

  • BackTrack, the project page of


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