Friday, January 30, 2009

Philosophical thoughts about BackTrack 4

Many people have asked me why we chose a Debian base (*buntu) for BackTrack 4. One person even asked in dismay "Ubuntu ?? That's for noobs!".

The reasoning is simple.

Last year the Defcon people were tracking User Agents on their network, and I was astounded by the massive use of BackTrack throughout the con. What many didn't know is that everyone running BackTrack was potentially vulnerable due to a flaw in wget which was discovered a few weeks earlier.

This is only an example of course. The main point being, that with over 3 million users that downloaded BackTrack, none were receiving any security updates or patches as they came out. The distribution was not maintained.

With fortune 500 and government agencies using BackTrack as their main testing platform, we felt compelled to address this situation by making BT4 a real distribution with security and tool updates. This literally lifts BackTrack 4 from a LiveCD to a full blown Distribution.

At the end of the day, Linux is a kernel with user space applications around it. The alignment of these applications is what distinguishes one distribution from another.

Oh, and here's a screenshot of aircrack-ng cracking WPA at 1400+ keys per second using a Pico card on BT4 Beta :)

For more Pico action shots, click here:


  1. Backtrack rules no matter what distro its based on. ph33r!

  2. Actually, I know ubuntu is thought of a n00b distro, But we run it here at the office, I use it on my laptop. at home I run LFS. I have enough in my life to do than fix every little thing on machines. Ubuntu just works, with little effort.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Does this mean if I'm using Debian, there's a repository I can use to just install the BT packages?

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  6. am downloading backtrack3. i ran a ubuntu 8-04 on my laptop does this means, am way of target

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  11. fucking spams!!! btw, backtrack rules yeah..If ubuntu is for noobs, we dont use Ubuntu, we use Backtrack :-)

  12. why/how are comments like that posted (see chinese spam above)? It's unintelligible and as advertising serves no purpose. What is really going on with that?

  13. Sure, Ubuntu's for n00bs. It's for n00bs, it's for businesses, it's for hackers, it's for everyone.

    I give Ubuntu away to n00bs all the time and they actually use it (some of them). I also install it on work machines (Xubuntu LTS), use it in single purpose VMWare images, and all sorts of things.

    Ubuntu is for n00bs, but it is also for those of us who got tired of waiting for Debian proper to catch up with the rest of the world and got tired of hand-holding Gentoo through simple software updates.

  14. can bt4 dual boot with windows(xp or vista- i ll install xp if bt boot with that).

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