A couple of weeks ago, we were approached (independently) by two blind security enthusiasts who both drew our attention to the fact that Kali Linux had no built-in accessibility features. This made Kali difficult, if not impossible, to both install and use from a blind or visually impaired user’s perspective.
We’ve been busy this week, still behind on our emails, but going strong with Kali development. We packaged some new tools which were pointed out by the community as missing, such as inguma, arachni, bully, lbd, uniscan, automater, as well as started to build a framework of libraries and patches for bluetooth sniffing and ubertooth tools. We also fixed the Kali Menu to be editable again.
Five days into the Kali Linux release at BlackHat EU in Amsterdam, and we’re still not fully recovered. Since the release, we’ve had just over 90,000 downloads, a dozen or so package updates, added more articles to the Kali Documentation, started a Portuguese translation, and we even managed to squeeze in a small bugfix release (Kali 1.0.1), which resolved an annoying USB keyboard issue some users reported. The responses to Kali so far have been extremely positive and our bug tracker is surely enough filling up with new tool requests. We encourage open source tool developers to contact us so that we can work together towards this goal.
“So, what’s the difference between BackTrack and Kali?” you might be asking. Unfortunately for us, that’s not a simple question to answer. It’s a mix between “everything” and “not much”, depending on how you used BackTrack. From an end users perspective, the most obvious change would be the switch to Debian and an FSH compliant system. What this means is that smaller scripts which used to reside in /pentest are no longer there but present in the system path. However, there’s much hidden magic in that last sentence.
It’s been 7 years since we released our first version of BackTrack Linux, and the ride so far has been exhilarating. When the dev team started talking about BackTrack 6 (almost a year ago), each of us put on paper a few “wish list goals” that we each wanted implemented in our “next version”. It soon became evident to us that with our 4 year old development architecture, we would not be able to achieve all these new goals without a massive restructure, so, we massively restructured.