Linux for Cybersecurity

Mal

New Member
Hi everyone,
I'm a new member.
I've been learning Linux for a couple months now.
I was always told that if you wanna get good with computers, begin learning Linux, so I am.
The aim is to build a career in cybersecurity.
My question is, is there a specific area of Linux use that is vital for cybersecurity, such as bash scripting etc?
Any other tips on the subject of cybersecurity related to Linux would be cool.

Thanks people.
 
Last edited:


wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Hi @Mal and welcome to linux.org :)

I've been learning Linux for a couple months now.
Which Linux Distros, Mate? And if from an online source, which one/s?

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz ... that's DownUnder
 

Mal

New Member
Hi Chris.
I've been working with Ubuntu 18.04
The main tutorial has been a Udemy course called "Command Line Mastery".
Really good teacher and easy to follow for a beginner.
Coming to the end of it so looking for the next level. I'm thinking more project based learning. There were a few projects in the course, small and basic, but were a good test and felt good to complete.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Hi @Mal, and welcome! It's a long journey from Linux beginner to cybersecurity expert, but as the old saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." I hope you enjoy this journey!

I'm not an expert at anything, but I still manage to have lots of opinions about stuff. :D While we are more of a "general purpose" help site, you can probably find more knowledgeable security help in sites that specialize in such things, or with specialized training or university programs. One thing that I hope we avoid on this site is helping bad guys learn to be cyber attackers... yet the skills are the same for the bad guys as for the good guys. You know what I mean? But you seem to be a ways off yet from asking for details such as those, and there is much that I hope we can help you with. There is also much you can find with Google when your journey takes you further down the road.

To give my two-cent opinion about a "specific area" that leads to your goal, I would have to say networking. This means not just Linux, but all networking, including Windows, Mac, whatever. Whether you play offense or defense in cybersecurity... you are either attacking a network or defending one. Networking covers a broad spectrum of activities and tools, and maybe one of the first and most important is the firewall. Have you turned on your firewall in Ubuntu yet? (It's turned off by default... don't ask me why!) Open up a terminal and give the command sudo ufw status, and if it is inactive give sudo ufw enable. But ufw is a simple firewall... there is much more you can learn about iptables and other fun stuff.

Learning the command line is good in all aspects of using Linux. You don't have to learn/memorize everything, but at least get a good working knowledge and know where you can get more info if needed.

Cheers
Stan
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Hey Mal, is your surname Ware (really bad Aussie humour :rolleyes:)?

Seriously, the 'Buntus and the Linux Mints are really good starting points for someone new to Linux :)

They are "Debian-descendants", where Debian is like their father or grandfather.

Then there are "Debian-derivatives" which are more closely related to Debian, and in the world of Penetration aka Pen Testing, which is what you are looking at, best known are Kali, by Offensive Security Ltd, and Parrot Security OS.

Both of these contain a plethora of tools for learning about "Ethical Hacking", which is where we believe you are headed.

Kali, however (and this likely applies to Parrot and others) is not what we recommend for those whom have had no other experience with at least several other home user Distros. If someone asks us "How do I install Kali?" we suggest they try a number of other Distros and come back to us in 12 months (arbitrary figure). You WILL, however, likely be using it in the fullness of time.

What is not so well known, is that in quite a number of mainstream distros including your Ubuntu, you can install a number of the tools from your own Repositories (repos). Have you made the acquaintance of Synaptic Package Manager yet? If you cannot find it by starting to type it in your Dash, then it can be installed as follows

Code:
sudo apt-get install synaptic
WIZARD'S RECOMMENDED READING

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Linux

and

https://www.csoonline.com/article/2943524/network-security/17-penetration-testing-tools-the-pros-use.html

Now when you have read those, and have an idea of some of the names, your can search through Synaptic for the ones you want to try.

I am writing this from one of my Linux Mints, but yours will be similar if not the same, in results generated:



SCREENSHOT 1 - PEN TESTING TOOLS SEARCHED FOR IN SYNAPTIC

You can see that I have in the background the Wikipedia article for reference, and then in Synaptic I have performed a search for a number of them. with a high percentage of hits.

So very many Linux Distros can be turned into your own Pen Testing laboratory.

If you choose to do so, then I would advocate your making the acquaintance of Timeshift. I have a Tute for it here

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

Timeshift is a bit like Windows Restore, but way more versatile, and it actually works (as a friend of mine says) ;)

With Timeshift, you might take an On Demand snapshot of your system, before trying the pen testing tools, and then if anything goes wrong, you can rollback.

Cheers

Wizard
 

Mal

New Member
Hi @Mal, and welcome! It's a long journey from Linux beginner to cybersecurity expert, but as the old saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." I hope you enjoy this journey!

I'm not an expert at anything, but I still manage to have lots of opinions about stuff. :D While we are more of a "general purpose" help site, you can probably find more knowledgeable security help in sites that specialize in such things, or with specialized training or university programs. One thing that I hope we avoid on this site is helping bad guys learn to be cyber attackers... yet the skills are the same for the bad guys as for the good guys. You know what I mean? But you seem to be a ways off yet from asking for details such as those, and there is much that I hope we can help you with. There is also much you can find with Google when your journey takes you further down the road.

To give my two-cent opinion about a "specific area" that leads to your goal, I would have to say networking. This means not just Linux, but all networking, including Windows, Mac, whatever. Whether you play offense or defense in cybersecurity... you are either attacking a network or defending one. Networking covers a broad spectrum of activities and tools, and maybe one of the first and most important is the firewall. Have you turned on your firewall in Ubuntu yet? (It's turned off by default... don't ask me why!) Open up a terminal and give the command sudo ufw status, and if it is inactive give sudo ufw enable. But ufw is a simple firewall... there is much more you can learn about iptables and other fun stuff.

Learning the command line is good in all aspects of using Linux. You don't have to learn/memorize everything, but at least get a good working knowledge and know where you can get more info if needed.

Cheers
Stan
Hi atanere,

Thanks for the tip on Networking. There's an "IT support" type course that I was looking at that I think would cover a lot of that. That might be next on the list.
And firewalls in Linux.... Never even thought of it. As I understand, antivirus is not needed, but it makes sense to have a good firewall up and running.
I'm definitely not headed to the dark side. The field always fascinated me though, and you only really hear about the dark side of cyber security in the popular media. I'm beginning to change that for myself.

Good onya mate.
 

Mal

New Member
Hey Mal, is your surname Ware (really bad Aussie humour :rolleyes:)?

Seriously, the 'Buntus and the Linux Mints are really good starting points for someone new to Linux :)

They are "Debian-descendants", where Debian is like their father or grandfather.

Then there are "Debian-derivatives" which are more closely related to Debian, and in the world of Penetration aka Pen Testing, which is what you are looking at, best known are Kali, by Offensive Security Ltd, and Parrot Security OS.

Both of these contain a plethora of tools for learning about "Ethical Hacking", which is where we believe you are headed.

Kali, however (and this likely applies to Parrot and others) is not what we recommend for those whom have had no other experience with at least several other home user Distros. If someone asks us "How do I install Kali?" we suggest they try a number of other Distros and come back to us in 12 months (arbitrary figure). You WILL, however, likely be using it in the fullness of time.

What is not so well known, is that in quite a number of mainstream distros including your Ubuntu, you can install a number of the tools from your own Repositories (repos). Have you made the acquaintance of Synaptic Package Manager yet? If you cannot find it by starting to type it in your Dash, then it can be installed as follows

Code:
sudo apt-get install synaptic
WIZARD'S RECOMMENDED READING

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Linux

and

https://www.csoonline.com/article/2943524/network-security/17-penetration-testing-tools-the-pros-use.html

Now when you have read those, and have an idea of some of the names, your can search through Synaptic for the ones you want to try.

I am writing this from one of my Linux Mints, but yours will be similar if not the same, in results generated:



SCREENSHOT 1 - PEN TESTING TOOLS SEARCHED FOR IN SYNAPTIC

You can see that I have in the background the Wikipedia article for reference, and then in Synaptic I have performed a search for a number of them. with a high percentage of hits.

So very many Linux Distros can be turned into your own Pen Testing laboratory.

If you choose to do so, then I would advocate your making the acquaintance of Timeshift. I have a Tute for it here

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

Timeshift is a bit like Windows Restore, but way more versatile, and it actually works (as a friend of mine says) ;)

With Timeshift, you might take an On Demand snapshot of your system, before trying the pen testing tools, and then if anything goes wrong, you can rollback.

Cheers

Wizard
WizardfromOZ, I love your work mate!

This is a really good next step for me.

I've gotten to the point where I can understand most tutorials I find out there. And just recently became more well acquainted with the repos and the apt command.

I read about Kali Linux and took the advice not to start there. It is in the future though. There is a certification with the Kali 'team' that I plan to take at some point.

One thing I am working on is building this 'lab'. I'm not even sure what it means yet, but I realise that I can't just keep taking courses for ever, but instead need to start using Linux to do things, projects and experiments.

Malware could be my dark-hat handle.....

Cheers mate.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
.
 
Last edited:

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
The cat seems to have Brian's tongue (or else his dog, Belle) above, I can delete that if he wants.

WizardfromOZ, I love your work mate!
Aw schucks, you'll make me blush ("Not bloody likely" says his adoring wife).

There is a certification with the Kali 'team' that I plan to take at some point.
Yes, I failed to mention that, I expect it would be good value.

Mal, IMO, there is NOTHING better than getting your hands dirty with Linux, for learning, but there is reference to a free course here

https://training.linuxfoundation.org/training/introduction-to-linux/ and also this one

https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-to-linux

Not sure if they are related.

EdX courses usually cost a bit, but about 3 - 4 years ago they went into collaboration with the Linux Foundation to produce this self-paced online course.

I did it about 3 years ago last January, and at that time, it featured a short video welcome from Linus Torvalds, the man himself. I found it great for consolidating the knowledge I was partway through learning.

Cheers and enjoy your Linux

Wizard
 
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