Python is a rapidly growing programming language that is widely used in a variety of fields, including machine learning, data science, and web development. It is open-source, easy to use, and highly versatile, which makes it a popular choice for developers of all skill levels.
One of the main reasons that Python is so popular in the field of ethical hacking is because it has a wide range of libraries and tools that can be used to aid in ethical hacking tasks. These libraries include tools for packet manipulation, network mapping, cryptography, and data analysis, among others. As a Python developer, you have the ability to create ethical hacking tools using the wide range of libraries and tools available in Python. This can make your scripts more efficient and effective at identifying vulnerabilities and securing systems.
In addition to using Python for ethical hacking, it is also commonly used by hackers and cybersecurity professionals for tasks such as analyzing malware and identifying vulnerabilities. Some hackers even write exploit programs using Python, due to its versatility and ease of use. Overall, Python is a valuable tool for anyone interested in ethical hacking and cybersecurity.
This article will highlight the top 10 Python libraries that can be utilized for ethical hacking or penetration testing:
Scapy is a packet manipulation tool written in Python by Philippe Biondi. It is a complete, interactive tool that allows you to send, receive, forge, and decode packets of various protocols. It is widely used for tasks such as network scanning, network discovery, tracerouting, attacks, and probing.
One of the main benefits of Scapy is that it makes packet manipulation easy by providing a range of functionality that bridges the gap between low-level network programming and high-level protocols. This means that you can use Scapy to perform a wide range of tasks, from simple tasks such as sending and receiving packets, to more complex tasks such as matching requests with responses and returning lists of packet couples and unmatched packets.
Although Scapy is relatively easy to use, it does have a steep learning curve. However, once you become familiar with the tool, you will find that it is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used for a wide range of packet manipulation tasks. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hacker, Scapy is a valuable tool to have in your toolkit.
pip install scapy
Visit the documentation page to learn more on Scapy.
Requests is a popular library in Python that is used for making HTTP and HTTPS requests. It provides a convenient interface for sending requests and handling responses, and it is widely used for tasks such as fetching data from APIs, scraping websites, and interacting with web services.
One of the key features of the Requests library is its support for Keep-Alive and connection pooling. This allows you to reuse connections and reduce the overhead of establishing new connections, which can improve the performance of your scripts. The library also supports international domains and URLs, and it includes features such as cookie persistence and browser-style SSL verification.
The Requests library is an essential tool for ethical hacking, since many hacking activities involve communication with remote servers and fetching resources over the internet. It is a versatile and convenient tool that can be used for a wide range of tasks, and it is easy to use and understand. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hacker, the Requests library is a valuable resource to have in your toolkit.
If you are not familiar with the Requests library, the documentation page is a great place to start. To install Requests, run this command in your terminal:
pip install requests
Impacket is a collection of Python classes for working with network protocols. It is designed to make it easy for programmers to create and decode network packets, and it provides support for low-level socket programming, TCP/IP, and multiple higher-level protocols.
Impacket is widely used by hackers and penetration testers to craft custom network-based intrusion attacks, such as man-in-the-middle and session hijacking. It was originally developed as an internal tool for testing, but it has since grown into a powerful tool that can be used against networks.
The goal of Impacket is to simplify network programming in Python and provide a framework for implementing custom protocols. For example, you can use Impacket to create custom versions of the TCP/IP stack for a specific target platform.
To install IMpacket, run:
pip install impacket
pwntools is a Python-based CTF (Capture-the-Flag) framework and exploit development library that is designed to facilitate rapid prototyping and development. It provides a range of useful tools and features for tasks such as penetration testing, reverse engineering, exploit creation, and fuzzing.
One of the main benefits of pwntools is that it allows users to quickly create exploits for challenges in CTF competitions. It is optimized for use with 64-bit Ubuntu LTS releases and includes a number of modules that enable fast exploit development and flexibility when writing rogue code.
Find the documentation for pwntools here.
Cryptography is a Python package that provides cryptographic recipes and primitives to developers. It includes a range of features for tasks such as encryption, hashing, random number generation, signatures, and the use of ciphers for block and stream ciphers.
The Cryptography package provides a high-level API for accessing cryptographically strong algorithms, such as digital signatures, as well as low-level cryptographic building blocks that are designed for performance. It is widely used in ethical hacking to encrypt and decrypt sensitive information shared over the internet.
You can simply run
pip install cryptography to install it.
Python-nmap is a Python library that provides an interface for interacting with the Nmap port scanner. Nmap is a widely used network administration and security auditing tool that is used to discover hosts and services on a network or to examine a single host.
The python-nmap library serves as a wrapper for the Nmap tool, allowing you to access and manipulate its features and functionality from within Python. It does not replace the Nmap tool, but rather provides an interface for interacting with it.
Python-nmap offers a range of features for tasks such as port scanning, host discovery, and TCP/IP fingerprinting. It is a valuable tool for hackers and systems administrators who want to automate network scanning tasks and generate reports. The library also supports nmap script outputs.
To install python-nmap, run:
pip install python-nmap
For more on this library, check out the documentation.
Faker is a Python package that generates fake data. It can generate anything from names, phone numbers, and addresses to fake texts, bibliography entries, XML documents, etc. Faker is very easy to use. Just call
faker.name() and you’ll get a random name,
faker.address() and you'll get a fake address.
It comes with many other functions for generating fake data. There are several reasons you might want to use Faker. Maybe you need to populate a database with fake information for a prototype or you might want to remain anonymous online by using fake credentials or addresses online.
You can install the faker library by running this command:
pip install Faker
You can refer to the documentation for more guidelines.
Read also: The Top 13 Ethical Hacking Courses on Udemy (2023)
Twisted is an event-driven networking engine written in Python. It provides an abstraction of the TCP protocol that makes it easy to write network clients and servers. It is particularly notable for its broad support of SSL, IPv6, and a large number of protocols including the following: HTTP, IRC, NNTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, SSHv2, and DNS.
Twisted supports both synchronous and asynchronous networking paradigm. To install Twisted run:
pip install Twisted
To learn more about this library, see the official site.
Pylibnet is a python module for the libnet packet injection library. It provides a python API for libnet, and provides functionality for sending packets, sniffing frames, and displaying libpcap traces.
For more information, please see the pylibnet documentation.
Paramiko is a powerful library in Python that is used for secure SSH and SCP connections. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a protocol that is used to securely connect to remote servers and devices over the Internet.
Paramiko provides a range of tools and features that make it easy to use SSH and SCP in Python. With Paramiko, you can easily establish secure connections to remote servers using SSH, and you can transfer files securely over SSH using SCP. It also provides support for a variety of authentication methods, including password authentication, public key authentication, and Kerberos authentication. In addition to its support for SSH and SCP, Paramiko also includes a number of other useful features, such as support for SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), support for a range of cipher and MAC algorithms, and support for tunneling and port forwarding.
Read more on rawsocketpy at PYPI.
Raw sockets are a type of network socket that allows low-level communication using MAC addresses at the layer 2 of the OSI model. The RawSocketPy library can be used to implement custom layer 2 communication using raw sockets in Python, both synchronously and asynchronously.
The RawSocketPy library in Python is a useful tool for developers who need to work with layer 2 communication and MAC addresses. It allows you to create custom communication protocols at the network level, and it can be used for tasks such as packet capture and analysis, network scanning, and custom protocol development.
Read more on rawsocketpy at PYPI.
These are just a few examples of the many libraries that are available for ethical hacking in Python. Whether you are just starting out in the field or you are an experienced hacker looking to expand your skills, these libraries can help you get started with Python for ethical hacking.
If you are interested in taking a course on hacking, this resource is a great place to start.