For those of you who have read a few of my previous posts may have noticed I use Kali Linux a lot, there’s a good reason for that its easily one of the most versatile and comprehensive Linux Distro’s available out there. Recently offensive security the group behind Kali Linux have release Kali Nethunter which is basically Kali Linux packed into an Android smartphone or tablet.
If anybody has seen or heard of the game Watch_dogs Kali Nethunter is like Aiden Pearce’s smartphone. For those of you who haven’t heard of Watch_dogs the premise is this: Aiden Peirce a notorious hacker roams around Chicago hacking a smart city with nothing but his smartphone. Kali Nethunter is pretty much the closest thing available to Aiden’s phone.
I recently went about installing Kali Nethunter on a LG Nexus 5 this post documents what did and what didn’t work in regards to getting it up and running. I hope you find this useful and it may save you a couple hours in future when it comes to rooting your own phone or installing Kali Nethunter. Once again I remind you make sure you never carryout any of these activities on devices that don’t belong to you or that you don’t have permission to be working on. Kali Nethunter is a powerful tool use it wisely.
What you will need
- A PC running Windows, Mac OSX or Linux
- A Kali Compatible device (I used a Google Nexus 5) the list of compatible devices is here
Installing it (the way that didn't work)
First you will need to prepare your phone which you can find the steps for in the prep link above in short it involved enabling developer mode on your phone and disabling storage MTP
After that the fun begins you will need to install nexus tools to be able configure your phone via the terminal
bash: install.sh: command not found root@kali:~# bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/corbindavenport/nexus-tools/master/install.sh) [INFO] Nexus Tools 2.6.3 [INFO] Please enter sudo password for install. [ OK ] Sudo access granted. [INFO] Downloading ADB for Linux [Intel CPU] [INFO] Success. [INFO] Downloading Fastboot for Linux [Intel CPU] [INFO] Success. [INFO] Downloading udev list [INFO] Success. [INFO] Fix permissions [ OK ] Fixed. [INFO] Fix ownership [ OK ] Fixed. [INFO] Making ADB and Fastboot executable [INFO] ADB OK. [INFO] Fastboot OK. [ OK ] Done, type adb or fastboot to run!
After that to check adb is working run the following command (your device should be visible)
root@kali:~# adb devices * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 * * daemon started successfully * List of devices attached sleuthdevice00001 unauthorized
After this you will want to download the files listed in the LS command below (these are available on the Kali install website)
root@kali:~# ls CF-Auto-Root-hammerhead-hammerhead-nexus5.zip Desktop kali_linux_nethunter_1.21_hammerhead_lolipop.zip openrecovery-twrp-188.8.131.52-hammerhead.img
Now to unlock and root your phone you will need to run the following commands in the exact sequence as they are below:
root@kali:~# adb reboot bootloader root@kali:~# fastboot oem unlock OKAY [ 18.770s] finished. total time: 18.771s root@kali:~# fastboot flash recovery openrecovery-twrp-184.108.40.206-hammerhead.img sending 'recovery' (14000 KB) OKAY [ 0.653s] writing 'recovery' OKAY [ 1.080s] finished. total time: 1.733s root@kali:~# chmod 755 root-linux.sh root@kali:~# ./root-linux.sh ----- CF-Auto-Root-hammerhead-hammerhead-nexus5 ----- Please make sure your device is in bootloader/fastboot mode before continuing. ***WARNING*** ALL YOUR DATA *MAY* BE WIPED ! ***WARNING*** We are going to run the OEM UNLOCK command on your device. If your device was not previously unlocked, this will wipe all your data ! After the unlock, CF-Auto-Root will boot. You should see a big red Android on your device's screen. You may need to enter your administrator password to continue. Press Ctrl+C to cancel ! Press ENTER to continue FAILED (remote: Already Unlocked) downloading 'boot.img' OKAY booting OKAY It may take a minute or so for the red Android to appear. If it doesn't show up at all, there may be a problem. Press ENTER to continue root@kali:~# adb devices List of devices attached sleuthdevice00001 device
After this my phone got stuck in a boot loop with the twrp logo flashing on the screen before rebooting
So what next? After re-running the install process under Linux a few times and seeing no change I tried with windows, I was able to progress a little further but after installing Nethunter the phone kept crashing after trying to do something simple like unlocking the phone or trying to open the menu, the phone was once again rendered unusable at this point.
Installing it (the way that works)
I then tried using the Kali Nethunter Windows Installer. Which was by far the easier and simplest of the three install processes I tried. You simply install the tool and follow the prompts it downloads all the necessary files and installs them. At the end I had a fully functioning Kali Nethunter device!
Stuff you can do with it
Here’s a small list of some of the thing Nethunter can do:
- You can use it to boot into ISO images on a PC with Drive Droid
- You can run Metasploit on it!
- Offensive security have precompiled a number of handy penetration testing tools and attacks, you can see them in action on the Kali Website.
- You can use it as a webserver!
- You can use VNC and keyboard features to control PC’s.
- Perform NFC attacks
- Monitor /capture / sniff Wi-Fi traffic
I have also included a slideshow of browsing through some of the functionality:
Please let me know if found this article useful or if you didn't, Don’t forget to like this post or leave a comment below to let me know another area you would be interested in reading about. As always thanks for your continued support! Until next time!