Kali Linux 2023.3: Still Offensive but with a Look to Defense

Powered by Linux kernel 6.3, Kali Linux 2023.3 is here mainly with changes under the hood but also with one surprising addition.

Kali Linux is a specialized, Debian-based distribution designed for digital forensics, penetration testing, and ethical hacking, developed, funded, and maintained by Offensive Security.

The just released Kali Linux 2023.3 brings some exciting changes, so without further ado, let’s see what’s new.

What’s New in Kali Linux 2023.3

Kali Linux 2023.3
Kali Linux 2023.3

Powered by Linux kernel 6.3, Kali 2023.3 has a few changes, but unlike previous releases, they are mainly under the hood.

In this light, the release is marked by the hard work of Kali developers on the project’s internal infrastructure, to which all efforts are dedicated, which is why the novelties in 2023.3 are not many.

There is a new sub-domain, mirror-traces.kali.org, which aims to make it easier for Kali mirror administrators to keep them updated on the state of all of the project’s mirrors.

However, the big novelty in Kali 2023.3 is including a defense application. Yes, you read that correctly. Although the distribution is mostly geared toward offense, the developers also look at defense with the addition of the Kali Autopilot app.

It is an automated attack framework that consists of a GUI tool to design attacks and generate attack scripts that perform those attack sequences, either manually or as a service, together with a web API interface for remote control.

Kali Autopilot
Kali Autopilot

Of course, without adding new security tools, Kali never launches an update, and the latest Kali Linux 2023.3 release contains nine of them:

  • Calico: Cloud-native networking and network security.
  • cri-tools: CLI and validation tools for Kubelet Container Runtime Interface.
  • Hubble: Network, Service & Security Observability for Kubernetes using eBPF.
  • ImHex: A Hex Editor for reverse engineers, programmers, and people who value their retinas when working at 3 AM.
  • kustomize: Customization of Kubernetes YAML configurations.
  • Rekono: Automation platform that combines different hacking tools to complete pentesting processes.
  • rz-ghidra: Deep ghidra decompiler and sleigh disassembler integration for rizin.
  • unblob: Extract files from any container format.
  • Villain: C2 framework that can handle multiple reverse shells, enhance their functionality, and share them among instances.

Furthermore, many packages have received updates, the most important being Greenbone, Humble, Impacket, jSQL, OWASP ZAP, Rizin, Tetragon, theHarvester, and Wireshark.

At the same time, two tools, King-Phisher and Plecost, have been removed from Kali due to the discontinuation of support by their developers.

You can refer to the announcement for detailed information about all changes in Kali Linux 2023.3.

Finally, if you plan a new installation, the distro is available for download from the project’s website. In addition, the upgrade instructions are here if you already have an existing Kali Linux installation.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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