Pwnie Express, the company that began as a builder of "drop boxes" for penetration testers and white-hat corporate hackers, has been evolving toward a more full-service security auditing platform vendor over the past few years while continuing to refine its hardware and software in ways that appeal to the corporate security set. Now Pwnie has released the third generation of its flagship mobile penetration testing platform, the Pwn Pad, bringing the Android and Kali Linux-based platform a step further away from the rough-hewn penetration testing tools it began with and into the realm of something with a lot more polish—and performance.
Pwnie Express' Mobile Platform Engineer Tim Mossey and Director of Research and Development Rick Farina recently gave Ars a walk-through of the Pwn Pad 3, which has just begun shipping out to pre-order customers. We expect to do a full review of the Pwn Pad 3 soon but wanted to get an early look at what to expect. The biggest visible change is the hardware itself, as Pwnie has left the relative comfort zone of Google's reference platform Nexus tablets and moved to the more powerful Nvidia Shield. But there are some changes behind the scenes as well that make the Pwn Pad 3 act more like an actual flagship commercial product and less like something way off the corporate reservation.
Full disclosure is in order here—Ars bought hardware from Pwnie Express to support our own security testing lab, and we enlisted help from Pwnie Chief Technology Officer Dave Porcello for our joint project with National Public Radio last year. So we've had a bit of experience with Pwnie's platform in many of its incarnations. We've also worked with a number of open source penetration tools, including the Kali Linux-based NetHunter platform for Android.