5 min read

Hackers love Pwnbox and its Parrot OS tools. Here’s why!

The world's top hackers need the best tools available. Learn all about Pwnbox and Parrot OS hacking tools.

KimCrawley avatar

Jun 14

Hackers love Pwnbox and Parrot OS. More and more people are using the free Debian Linux-based cybersecurity and penetration testing operating systems every day. When you’re done reading this blog post, you will want to give Pwnbox a try. I’ll explain why!

Pwnbox is a Swiss Army knife of Parrot OS tools for hackers

I love kits that are full of all of the tools you need. I keep two fully stocked first aid kits in my home, with all kinds of bandages, ointments, tweezers, you-name-it. They give me peace of mind. I have an actual Swiss Army knife in my purse, with blades of different sizes, a corkscrew, a nail file, a bottle opener, tweezers, a toothpick, and a USB drive. Because you never know what might happen!

As a hacker who cares about cybersecurity, I love Pwnbox for similar reasons. It really is one of the most useful tools a hacker can have in their toolbox. 

Pwnbox has all the cool features and applications that are in Parrot Security OS. But you can run it off of the Hack The Box cloud and in your web browser. This is a great way to provide yourself with all the Parrot OS pentesting tools you need to participate in our Labs, CTFs, Hacking Battlegrounds, Academy courses, and all our interactive cybersecurity education programs. Pwnbox can also be used for your work as a penetration tester.

One advantage of running Parrot in your web browser with Pwnbox is that you don’t need to install an OS. You can conserve disk space and computing power on your local machine. You could use a really low-spec laptop if you want, and have all the power of a high-spec machine! Another advantage is you don’t have to set up an additional VPN or VM. Hack The Box takes care of that for you.

If you really enjoy Pwnbox, you can sign up for a VIP account with Hack The Box. A regular VIP account gives you up to 24 hours of Pwnbox use; upgrading to a VIP+ account gives you unlimited Pwnbox usage and full internet access within it.

Related read: How to learn Linux fast

The power of Parrot OS for pentesting 

Pwnbox is one of the best ways to leverage the power of Parrot OS. But you can also download disc images of Parrot OS on your local machine. From there, you have the options to install it directly to your HDD, run off of a live USB drive, or run it in your own virtual machine. Parrot OS has been optimized for Oracle VirtualBox, so if you want to run it in your own VM, that’s what we recommend. Get Oracle VirtualBox here. And here’s where you can download disc images for Parrot OS.

Here’s how Parrot’s developers describe Parrot OS:

“Parrot Security is an operating system derived from Debian Linux. The main goal of the project is to provide a familiar environment to cyber security professionals, developers and people who care about their privacy, by making good habits and best practices easy to follow and eventually hard to break. Parrot has a worldwide community of developers and security specialists that work together to build a shared framework of tools to make their job easier, standardized and more reliable and secure.”

If you care about your privacy online, Parrot has tools to protect you. You can do your regular PC work within Parrot -- make documents, explore the web, email people, check your social media. You can even engage in Hack The Box’s hacking training content from Parrot. You can use Parrot as your usual everyday operating system if you’d like.

Here are some of the tools Parrot provides to improve your personal cybersecurity:

  • Tor Network and Tor Browser tunnels your internet traffic through the Tor proxy network to protect your privacy. And you can visit both ordinary “clearnet” websites and the Dark Web through Tor Browser. You can also use Tor Browser to do everything you need to do with HTB’s web platform! Hacking Labs, Pro Labs, HTB Academy, CTFs, you name it.

  • GIMP for open source raster image creation and editing, with multiple image format compatibility.

  • LibreOffice Suite, with full document compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats.

Parrot Home OS has all of those features, and you can use it as your everyday operating system if you’d like.

Parrot Security OS has everything that Parrot Home OS has, plus penetration testing and hacking tools, including:

    • Metasploit Framework, a complete network vulnerability scanning platform.

    • Nmap, a must-have for exploring your target network.

    • Wireshark, an excellent tool for packet analysis.

    • Bettercap

    • Maltego

... and approximately 600 more tools, scripts, and applications for all of your penetration testing and cybersecurity research needs!


Learn more about  Parrot OS and Pwnbox

You’re probably excited to give Pwnbox a go! Perhaps you’d like to try Parrot OS on your local machine, too. Here are some handy resources for Hack The Box fans.

0ne-nine9 has a full Pwnbox guide here, perfectly suited for when using Hack The Box services.

0xdf has a full Pwnbox review on their GitHub blog. There’s lots of helpful information here.

Watch STÖK give Pwnbox a go here on his YouTube channel. He’s obviously having a lot of fun with it!

Check out the official Parrot OS website, where you can download disc images, learn more about Parrot OS, and browse Parrot’s full documentation.

Whether you give Pwnbox a try or take your time to install Parrot OS directly, I’m sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. Pwnbox and Parrot OS are your keys to getting the most out of Hack The Box, and you can use these tools in your penetration testing career. You’re one step closer to becoming a pro hacker!

If you're new to penetration testing, start by reading our what is penetration testing post to understand the basics.

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