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Learning Path

Cracking Passwords with Kali Linux for the Ethical Hacker

Instructor Courtney Allen
Time to complete: 56m

Published byO'Reilly Media, Inc.

CreatedJanuary 2018

What is this learning path about, and why is it important?

The best way to test the robustness of any product or system is to put it through its paces under real-world conditions. Extending this axiom to your security measures, the best way to ensure that passwords created by users of your IT resources are sufficiently strong is to attempt to crack them—before the bad guys try to do it. In addition to its well-known array of security tools, Kali Linux also offers tools that you can use to try to crack your users’ passwords in whitehat attacks to identify weak or vulnerable ones.

In this learning path, designed for entry- to intermediate-level security engineers, analysts, and specialists, author Ric Messier, introduces you to the Kali Linux tools that you can use to test the integrity of passwords that you rely on to protect your IT assets. Whitehat password cracking is an invaluable part of a comprehensive security strategy. Indeed, some businesses and clients will expect testers to gain entry into systems. But as with the entire Kali Linux ecosystem, it can be a bit difficult to navigate its complexity. With Ric as your guide, you'll be up and testing quickly and effectively.

What you’ll learn—and how you can apply it

  • How to crack local passwords
  • How to crack remote passwords
  • Identify weak passwords that are vulnerable to exploits by bad actors

This learning path is for you because…

  • You're a security engineer, analyst, or specialist who wants to conduct tests to expose weak user passwords
  • You have some experience in the Linux ecosystem, but could use some assistance making sense of the broad array of security tools available in the Kali Linux distribution
  • Kali Linux is a common distribution for security testing and security testing is a much-needed skill


  • You should have a basic knowledge of computer operating systems

Materials or downloads needed in advance:

  • Kali Linux