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toolsmith: Testing and Research with BlackArch Linux

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Introduction It’s the 24th of May as I write this, just two days prior to Memorial Day. I am reminded, as Wallace Bruce states in his poem of the same name, that “who kept the faith and fought the fight; the glory theirs, the duty ours.” I also write this on the heels of the Department of Justice’s indictment of five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army charging them hacking and cyber theft. While I will not for a moment draw any discussion of cyber conflict together with Memorial Day, I will say that it is our obligation and duty as network defenders to understand offensive tactics to better prepare ourselves for continued digital conflicts. To that end we’ll focus on BlackArch Linux, “a lightweight expansion to Arch Linux for penetration testers and security researchers.” I was not familiar with Arch Linux prior to discovering BlackArch but found myself immediately intrigued by the declarations of its being lightweight, flexible, simple, and minimalist; worthy goals all. …