One headache people often come across when setting up wireless cards on their macbook with Linux apart from actually getting it working (see this post for help on that) is enabling monitoring mode.
By default the broadcom drivers don’t allow the wireless network card in the macbook (and I assume other Mac variants) to be put into monitor mode. This is particularly frustrating when you need to run airodump-ng for example to capture wireless packets.
There is however a solution for this that I have discovered, you simply need to execute the following command at the terminal
echo 1 | sudo tee /proc/brcm_monitor0
After this if you run the ifconfig command you will see a new wireless device is listed prism0. This is your monitoring device for your wireless card. So when you run airodump-ng for example, rather than using mon0 as the interface you will substitute it for prism0
To test this is working run airodump-ng prism0 command in the terminal. You should then see the wireless networks and the packets being collected like this :-
And there you have it, your broadcom wireless card on a macbook pro 2014 model up and running with monitor mode enabled. Enjoy!
Note, you will need to run this terminal command to setup prism0 after each reboot, even with persistence enabled.
After setting up your Kali Linux USB Live Drive with persistence, there’s one final step that usually provides a major headache for Mac users, the Wifi. It took me many many hours of searching and trying different things and learning to come up with a concrete solution, like a detective piecing together the threads of information I could find.
One big drawback it seemed was that those who had managed to get things working weren’t able to put the WiFi into monitor mode, effectively making airodump-ng and other Wireless cracking/hacking tools useless, as you could not monitor and collect packets of data from the WiFi traffic.
Thankfully though I was able to find the solution for this as well.
This is confirmed as working 100% on my Macbook Pro (Mid 2014 model). The model you have of Macbook (or Mac Mini or macbook air etc) will determine exactly what broadcom chipset you have. You can find out what exact chipset you have by using the lspci command at the terminal window. You will get a list of all pci devices connected to your system. Look in the list to find your broadcom device. On my mid 2014 model Macbook Pro the device is BCM4360
- First you need to boot up into your Kali Linux Live Drive with persistence turns on and configured correctly (otherwise you will need to do this procedure overtime you boot up if you don’t have persistence configured correctly). Also you are going to need internet access, so you will have to most probably plug in a thunderbolt Ethernet adapter so you can gain access online during this procedure.
- If you run the ifconfig and ifconfig commands in your linux terminal you will see only your ethernet and loopback devices listed, no wireless Lan.
- In terminal run the following commands to update your Linux installation
- sudo apt-get update
- apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r | sed ‘s,[^-]*-[^-]*-,,’) broadcom-sta-dkms
- After the above two commands have run (they take a few minutes each to complete, as the updates need to be downloaded and installed) you will need to run the following commands to remove the possibly conflicting drivers which come with Debian.
- mod probe -r b44 b43 b43legacy ssd brcmsmac
- After this you are good to go with he following command
- Now if you run the ifconfig and iwconfig you should see the wireless card is now listed
- Open up the network settings of Kali Linux and you should find you are now able to connect to wireless networks. Once connected, disconnect your ethernet cable and run the following in terminal
- If the ping returns are good then your wireless connecting is working!
- That’s just the beginning, now you have this working but you will not be able to switch the wireless adapter into monitor mode when trying to perform any wireless cracking techniques. If you try putting the wlan0 device into monitor mode it fails like this.
- This was one of the most difficult parts to puzzle out but here is the correct working method. You will need to run this command EVERY TIME you reboot, I haven’t figured out yet how to make this persistent.
- In terminal type the following :-
- echo 1 | sudo tee /proc/brcm_monitor0
- This will now create a new wireless interface called prism0 which you can see if you run the iwconfig command in terminal. It is the prism0 adapter that you will be using for your wireless attacks as it has monitor mode enabled.
- Now, there’s no need to run airmon-ng, the prism0 device is already your monitoring wireless lan. You can run airodump-ng to test that everything is working properly
- airodump-ng prism0
In my last post I went through the details of partitioning and setting up your Linux USB live drive with persistence, specifically for Kali Linux.
If you’re already familiar with partitioning the drive then you can continue, if not I advise you to check my previous posting and come back here later.
So I am assuming you already have a FAT partition on your USB thumb drive that is around 4GB in size. All you need to do now is download the file at this link. These files are what is created by the free tool “Mac Linux USB Loader”
After you extract thee files, copy the whole root folder (titled efi) to your USB drive partition. Inside the efi folder, is another folder called boot. Inside this you you will find several files. All you now need to do is download the Kali Linux .iso image file. Rename the downloaded file to be “boot.iso” and then copy this inside the boot folder on the USB thumb drive. That’s pretty much all there is to it, go ahead and reboot your mac holding down the option key and you should have the efi boot menu as an option from where you can boot into your Linux distribution.
In theory this will work with any Debian based Linux (such as Ubuntu for example). You just follow the same procedure. There will be some manual editing required to the enterprise.cfg file so that the correct Linux distribution name is displayed but this is easily done within text edit on OSX.
In the files that I have provided the enterprise.cfg file has been edited already to allow for persistence booting of Kali Linux, so that the changes you make and files you create are saved for the next session. However, in order to make this function work there are a few procedures you need to follow in addition to the above. This involves creating a new partition for storing the persistence data on, and creating a mount point for this. All of this procedure can be found here.
The video below also gives a comprehensive overview of setting up the Kali Linux USB Live Drive as well as partitioning the disk correctly and configuring the persistence partitions.
Getting Kali Linux, or any other Linux distribution, up and running on your Mac can sometimes be problematic. Although things have gotten easier with some new tools. As a Macbook Pro user (mid 2014 model) I wanted to be able to use Kali Linux on my Macbook in a USB liveboot mode, with persistence. One primary reason for wanting to maintain persistence is that there is quite a bit of setup involved to get all the drivers working, and I didn’t want to have to go through all of that each time I booted into Linux.
I tried many methods of getting things working, even following the instructions on the Kali Linux website didn’t work exactly. I ended up with a strange occurrence when rebooting that I had to select the windows partition for boot rather than the mac EFI. Below are my instructions on how I set up this live USB with persistence, it’s produced reliable results and hopefully it will do for you to. The process was done using my Macbook Pro mid 2014 model, running OSX El Capitan.
There’s a few things you will need in order to get started.
- A USB stick with minimum of 8GB storage (I’m using a 16GB scan disk USB3.0 thumb drive)
- Download the free software “Mac Linux USB Loader” from here https://sevenbits.github.io/Mac-Linux-USB-Loader/
- Download the latest build of Kali Linux (I use the amd64 version) and keep the .iso file in your downloads folder
- First we need to prepare the USB stick. We will use the MAC OSX native disk utility tool for this. Open the Disk utility tool, and select the correct USB device (in my case SanDisk Cruzer…..)
- Click on “Erase” and choose the following options
- Name – Kali Linux
- Format – MS-DOS (FAT)
- Scheme – Master Boot Record
- Press the “Erase” button. The Disk Utility will then run through it’s formatting process. When finished click on “Done“. You should now have a single clean partition on your USB drive as shown below.
Now the USB disk has been prepared we can move onto the next step, which will be to setup the drive using the “Mac Linux USB Loader“.
- Open up the Mac Linux USB Loader software and select “Create Live USB“. This will bring up a finder window, where you can navigate to your downloaded Kali Linux.iso disk image. Select the Kali Linux disk image that you downloaded earlier.
- On the next screen you will see your USB thumb drive listed with he name “kali Linux” (if you named it that when formatting). Select this USB drive and click “Next”
- On this screen click on “Begin Installation“.
- Once this has completed, you should now find a directory structure on the USB disk like this :-/efi/boot inside the boot folder there will be a couple of .efi files and a “boot.iso” disk image.
- There’s one final step we need to take in order to ensure that Kali Linux boots in persistence mode every time. We need to edit the enterprise configuration file. Open up the Mac Linux USB Loader again, and select the option “Setup USB Device“.
- In the new window, select the Kali Linux USB drive from the left side. This is a list of the various available bootable USB drives. Once the correct drive is selected click on “Edit Enterprise Configuration File“. This will open a text edit window with the configuration file. You need to change the “hostname” from “kali” to “kali persistence“. Save this file, and close.
- Your USB bootable disk is now ready. Reboot your Macbook Pro while holding down the “alt / option” key. You will be presented with a boot option list, select the “EFID” boot option. This will present another menu where you can select the boot mode, and the available Linux Distributions. Kali Linux should then boot up and now you have a Linux Live session running on your machine. There’s now just one more thing we need to do in order to setup persistence and make it work correctly.
- We will use Linux tools to resize the partition. You can use the GUI tool “GParted” or it can be done through the terminal. Here’s the terminal commands :-
- read start _ < <(du -bcm kali-linux-1.0.8.amd64.iso | tail -1); echo $start
- parted /dev/sdb mkpart primary $start $end
- after the parted process has finished there will be a new partition created at /dev/sdb3. You can verify this with the “disk -l” command to list all available drives.
- Next we wil create a ext3 filesystem in the new partition. the filesystem will be labeled “persistence”. The terminal commands are as follows :-
- mkfs.ext3 -L persistence /dev/sdb3
- e2label /dev/sdb3 persistence
- Next we will create a mount point for the new partition and then create the persistence configuration file, finally we will then unmount the partition. Here’s the terminal commands :-
- mkdir -p /mnt/my_usb
- mount /dev/sdb3 /mnt/my_usb
- echo “/ union” > /mnt/my_usb/persistence.conf
- umount /dev/sdb3
- We are pretty much done! All that remains now is to reboot (using the option key again to boot into Linux). Once into Kali Linux create a new folder on the desktop, or a file in the documents folder. Reboot again, and check that it’s still there. If so then congratulations you’ve done everything right and you now have a live bootable USB drive running Kali Linux in persistence mode on your Macbook Pro.
Now all that remains is to get the Wireless adapter working. This is by far the most difficult part of the whole process, the broadcom drivers for Linux aren’t well supported, and depending on the model year of your Macbook Pro will depend on what chipset version and driver you need.