If you want to follow Our tutorials and try out Kali Linux, the Raspberry Pi is a perfect way to start. In 2018, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ was released featuring a better CPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet built in. Our recommended Kali Pi kit for beginners learning ethical hacking on a budget runs the “Re4son” Kali kernel and includes a compatible wireless network adapter and a USB Rubber Ducky.
You should be using a system separate from your day-to-day computer for testing out hacking tools and downloading hacking software, and a Raspberry Pi brings the price of keeping your hacking endeavors siloed from your personal computer down to between $45 to $50.
Build a Beginner Hacking Kit with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

Why Use a Raspberry Pi to Learn Hacking

The Raspberry Pi has a lot of fans, which means a lot of support for beginners. Aside from security professionals and hackers using it to run Kali Linux, many developers use the Pi for scientific and industrial applications. While the original Pi was made to introduce schoolchildren to programming, today’s Raspberry Pi is capable of some truly amazing things with the right accessories and creativity. For building a prototype cyberweapon, the Raspberry Pi has been the foundation for proof of concept attacks ranging from drone takeovers to mass Wi-Fi jamming.
The Pi’s small size and ability to do some powerful things have also seen it featured in shows like Mr. Robot, where it’s used to remotely hack into the climate control system of a data center. That being said, it’s not a supercomputer, so it’s important to set your expectations for this tiny, discreet computer. Things like brute-force cracking won’t be practical on the Pi except for the most simple of lists, but most of this work can be outsourced to the cloud in a real-world attack.
Learning on the Raspberry Pi means you’re not just tied to the Kali Linux operating system. In fact, projects like BerryBoot enable you to have an SD card with many operating systems for the Pi stored on it, allowing you to mount whichever OS you want to work with. This means you can have a Pi act as both a hacking workstation and a deliberately vulnerable server to attack just by rebooting the system and selecting a different disk image.
The Raspberry Pi also runs Raspbian, the official OS of the Raspberry Pi. This Debian-based OS can also be used to learn basic Linux and hacking tools, although it requires much more customization before it’s suitable for this. If you’re stuck learning about software-defined radio or NFC in Kali Linux on the Pi, sometimes switching to Raspbian can get all the hardware to work together when all else fails.

Using the Pi 3 Model B+ for Hacking

Thanks to the Re4son kernel, the improved specs, and updated networking performance can be used with the hacking tools Kali has to offer. The new Pi features a 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN controller, as well as dramatically improved Wi-Fi speeds, making the Pi ideal for networking applications like running a static web server, NAS, or proxy server. It also makes it an ideal platform for Wi-Fi and network hacking, making the Pi much more versatile in a pentesting kit.
In addition to the networking improvements, the Pi 3 Model B+ enjoys a 16.7% processing speed increase from the previous model, running a 1.4 GHz 64-bit quad-core processor. While this performance increase isn’t enough to bring the Pi into the realm of most desktop or laptop computers, the increase does make Kali feel more responsive.
Like the previous Kali Pi builds, it’s easy to get started using your Pi once you’ve booted Kali for the first time. You can plug your Pi into an available screen via HDMI, or you can connect to your Pi without a screen via SSH over an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. Adding a battery pack can give you access to a Kali Linx system anywhere, allowing you to connect to your Pi from a laptop or smartphone over your home Wi-Fi network or cell phone’s data hotspot.

Why We’re Using the Re4son Kernel

While the new Raspberry Pi comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other options that can be used with Kali Linux, getting them working isn’t always straightforward. We found many beginners had trouble setting up the Bluetooth on the Pi to work with tools in Kali. To fix this, we looked to the Re4son kernel, a special version of Kali Linux optimized for the Raspberry Pi. This version of Kali was working on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ before an official release was available from Offensive Security (it still is not as of this writing).
Another issue the Re4son kernel fixes is the ability to log in upon startup. In order to power up your Pi and log in while on the go, you’ll need your Pi to be able to start Kali Linux and join a familiar Wi-Fi network. After doing so, you can log into the Pi via SSH from any device on the same network. This doesn’t work, however, if the Pi gets stuck on the login screen that requests your username and password when Kali starts. Our Pi image comes with a setup script that takes care of enabling this for us.

Recommended 2018 Hacking Kit for Beginners

For started with the Raspberry Pi as a hacking platform. You’ll need a few key components to getting the Pi up and running. Initially, you’ll need access to another computer to burn your Kali image to an SD card.
Aside from the Pi 3 B+ itself, a good power adapter is necessary to power the Pi. The Pi takes a micro USB power cord, and the CanaKit beginner kit version of the Pi includes an appropriate adapter. In general, a dedicated 2.4-amp power supply is the best way to go.
Next, you’ll need an SD card to put the operating system on. There are a lot of available options. But you should opt for a faster SD card with 16 GB of space. In particular, we recommend SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Plus. You can get away with 8 GB, but things will be tight.
To interact with the Pi, you’ll need a keyboard and mouse. It’s easiest to use a wireless keyboard and mouse combination like the Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad Remote Control, although we recommend avoiding the Bluetooth ones at all cost. They do not work well with Kali and take forever to configure.
For started you’ll need a Kali-compatible wireless network adapter. After testing many, we were pleased with the performance of Panda Wireless network adapters, in particular, because of their small size and 2.4/5 GHz capabilities. For discreet Wi-Fi hacking, we recommend the PAU05 for 2.4 GHz or the PAU07 for 2.5 and 5 GHz. If you want to connect a directional or high-gain antenna to the adapter, the PAU06 is great for 2.4 GHz hacking, while the PAU09 is a powerful dual-band adapter with two swappable antennas.
Finally, we recommend beginners include a Hak5 USB Rubber Ducky running the Twin Duck firmware. The Twin Duck firmware allows us to mount the Rubber Ducky as USB mass storage. Which means we can write and encode Ducky Script on our Pi with the Rubber Ducky plugged in. While the Rubber Ducky doesn’t ship with the Twin Duck firmware, it can easily be flashed.


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