Mobile Hacking: How Easy is NetHunter OS Setup in 2022

mobile hacking with nethunter os

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Wait… I can hack with my phone?

YES!! We live in an amazing (and sometimes scary) age, and the team that supports Kali Linux has also created a mobile hacking OS. In this article, we’ll cover how you can transform an Android phone into a powerful ethical hacking tool.

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Legal Stuff

Before we get too far, it’s important to set up a proper environment. This will ensure all the devices in your network belong to you and will prevent any legal issues/awkwardness from accidentally hacking your neighbors.

The purpose of this walkthrough is to showcase NetHunter OS and some of the readily available tools for the platform. As you become more familiar with the platform, it is important to remember the famous quote from Uncle Ben: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Legal Disclosure

R U Coding Me LLC does not condone nor recommends the illegal use of NetHunter OS, Kali Linux or any other tool/technique that may be used with malice, destruction, etc.

What is White Hat Hacking?

White hat hacking is an ethical application of hacking, where penetration testers infiltrate frameworks and software to find vulnerabilities and report them back to development teams. Pen-testers have full authorization from business entities to perform such attacks and operate under a strict agreement to not destroy company property.

This approach gives companies more time to prepare defenses. It also highlights weak points in the system before someone with malicious intent does so.

Pen-testers range in a variety of skill sets, from website exploitation to physical security applications. White hats can be hired by a company to perform field work in their own offices. Almost like hiring a private investigator, but with cyber security!

It makes sense for pen-testers to have a mobile device with hacking tools readily available if they need to do in-person testing. Tools like Wireshark require the device to be listening on the same network as target devices in order to sniff their traffic.

Previously, testers could port Kali or a similar OS onto a Raspberry Pi, but it would still require a power supply and keyboard/touch screen interface. At the end of the day, this didn’t fit well into pockets and bags. It makes more sense to use a phone for mobile hacking, so the Kali developers released an Android compatible version of their popular open-source hacking OS.

Setting Up Your Ethical Mobile Hacking Station

Acquiring Your Android Device

NetHunter OS can run on Android mobile devices like phones and tablets. However, Androids are not all built the same. Not every Android will be compatible with NetHunter OS, which may mean you need to invest some dough to acquire a device that will work with NetHunter. There are several options you can install NetHunter OS onto. Whichever Android you choose, ensure that it is compatible with one of the available kernels.

The OnePlus Nord is a great entry level option that balances affordability with enough firepower to run tools. In general, Android devices with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage will serve our purposes very well.

If you are looking for a larger screen, a great tablet option is the Nexus 9. While it is more expensive and with less system performance, having more real-estate to work with can make using NetHunter more practical.

You can always find open-box or refurbished models, but be sure you purchase these from reputable sources. Otherwise, you may end up with a fire starter…


Installation is similar to installing any other OS into an Android device. Once you have your build file, you will need to enter developer mode by tapping on the Build number repeatedly until you receive a notification saying you have entered developer mode.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to root your device, giving you access to advanced privileges necessary to install a new OS.

You will need to transfer the image onto the phone and boot in recovery mode. This will allow you to flash the zipped OS to the phone. Once this is complete, reboot and you should be greeted with the NetHunter OS!

Wrapping Up

As it turns out, selecting an Android device compatible with NetHunter is more complicated than the install itself. This process is quite straightforward, however, exercise patience if this is your first time rooting a device.

If you like these styles of blog posts, be sure to sign up to our emailing list to stay in the loop with our blog! We will be continuing this series to explore Net Hunter OS in more detail.

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