A Review of the New Backtrack 5 Operating System

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Lee Munson

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There are certain tools when you are a security consultant that are just crucial to your job. No matter how good you are, these tools will make you a lot better.

In the past couple of years one of the security tools that has risen to this rank is called Backtrack. It is a Linux based operating system that comes pre installed with a numerous amount of security programs on it.

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an expert you will find several tools that are installed on it that will help you.

In the past few weeks the newest version of the Backtrack operating system, version 5, has been released. There are several new things that the people who have used this operating system will love about the new release. There are also things about this release that will excite people who are new to the operating system as well.

In the following article I will discuss the Backtrack operating system in more detail and I will show how you can use it on your own system to secure it.

More details about the Backtrack operating system

As I said earlier this is a Linux based operating system that comes equipped with tons of security software that you might need. But there is a little more to it than that.

First of all, the software is not only installed but also optimized for the system. You will not have to worry about configuring the software to work on your system correctly.

The Linux installation that it is based on is known as Ubuntu. Ubuntu is known as being a very user friendly operating system. The installation also has several different UI configurations that you can use to get started. There is the gnome desktop interface and KDE interface.

If you are a new user then you might want to go with the Gnome interface since some people seem to think that it is easier. More advanced users might want to try the KDE version of the operating system. It gives you more options to configure the system.

There are several different aspects of the Backtrack operating system that allow it to be the tool of choice for security professionals. One of these is the amount of different categories of security that the operating system maintains software for.

These categories include information gathering, network mapping, vulnerability identification, web application analysis, Digital forensics, reverse engineering, and basic penetration.

So as you can see, no matter which part of the computer security field that you work in the Backtrack operating system should have you covered.

What is added with the number 5 version of Backtrack

When you install backtrack version number 5 you will find several things that are different compared to previous versions. The first thing that is different is that both KDE and the Gnome interface have been updated to the latest version.

Also you will find that the latest version of the Backtrack operating system is able to be installed in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavors. More and more computers are now 64 bit and Backtrack has upgraded to reflect that reality.

Another aspect of the new version of the Backtrack operating system is the fact that all of the software that came with it before has now been updated. The whole purpose of this operating system is to allow you to use the software that you need without any configuration.

If you have to keep track of the updates of these pieces of software then that would defeat the whole purpose. Instead the Backtrack operating system will update them for you every time there is a new version that is available.

Of course, if you want the newest version of the software you can install it yourself but with this system it is not necessary.

But it is not only the software that you use directly that has been updated. It is the software that is behind the scenes that has been updated as well. The drivers that you will need to use the Linux based system have been updated to the newest versions, especially the wireless drivers.

In the past, the Backtrack operating system has had a problem with drivers for different wireless cards that were installed on the user's computer. While this problem hasn't gone away completely you will find that it is a much easier situation to deal with. There are more wireless drivers included in the installation than ever before.

In conclusion

You will find that if you are a computer security consultant that there is no better tool to use than Backtrack. It has all of your favorite tools in one place ready for you to use.

If you own a company that has to store important data then it is vital for you to have a tool like this. That way your security people can be sure that they are testing your network with the same tools that the bad guys are using.

Contributed by Security FAQs

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