Violent Python
A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers and Security Engineers
By TJ O'Connor
Publisher: Elsevier / Syngress
Final Release Date: December 2012
Pages: 288

Violent Python shows you how to move from a theoretical understanding of offensive computing concepts to a practical implementation. Instead of relying on another attacker’s tools, this book will teach you to forge your own weapons using the Python programming language. This book demonstrates how to write Python scripts to automate large-scale network attacks, extract metadata, and investigate forensic artifacts. It also shows how to write code to intercept and analyze network traffic using Python, craft and spoof wireless frames to attack wireless and Bluetooth devices, and how to data-mine popular social media websites and evade modern anti-virus.



- Demonstrates how to write Python scripts to automate large-scale network attacks, extract metadata, and investigate forensic artifacts.

- Write code to intercept and analyze network traffic using Python. Craft and spoof wireless frames to attack wireless and Bluetooth devices.

- Data-mine popular social media websites and evade modern anti-virus.

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4.0

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75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate (3)

      Reviewed by 4 customers

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Great hacking, hideous Python

      By Wayne the Pain

      from Fort Smith, AR

      About Me Developer, Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • About Hacking

      Cons

      • Poorly Written Code

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Newbie Hacker

      Comments about oreilly Violent Python:

      Violent Python, by TJ O'Connor, published by Elsevier / Syngress, is a
      fantastic concept coupled with some really terrible Python code. When I
      initially picked up this book I was incredibly excited, because who doesn't
      want to learn about hacking and computer security? And there is some terrific
      information in here about hacking and penetration testing and all sorts of
      other lovely ways to either get you sent to prison or a really good job. It's
      great to see Python used as a serious forensic/security tool, too.
      Unfortunately, I just couldn't get over the quality of the code.

      This book bills itself as a cookbook, and the end result may taste good, but
      the process is horrible, leaves dirty dishes all over your house, and the
      resulting dish makes you feel a bit queasy just looking at it.

      If you are new to Python, this book does not teach how to write idiomatic
      Python code. From lazily doing `from package import *` to Pokemon exception
      handling (gotta catch 'em all!), to cluttering up code examples with the
      useful but extremely verbose optparse library (the 3rd party docopt is *way*
      better), the code certainly does not follow `beautiful is better than ugly`.

      However, if you could care less about how the code looks, and you just want to
      learn how to hack, or you want to add Python to your existing toolbox and you
      don't really care about the quality of your code, you should definitely buy
      this book. As for me? I give it a 3/5. And 2.5 of those points are for the
      non-code portions of the book.

       
      5.0

      Enjoyable intro to a field of study

      By Noah the programmer

      from Santa Barbara

      About Me Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Violent Python:

        TJ O'Connor does a great job of conveying his enthusiasm for subject. The experience of reading this book, reminds me of visiting the office of an expert in his field who is excitedly sharing his knowledge. There are a few grammatical typos, that can be easily overlooked.
        After reading the first few chapters I tried an example to find that, writing a useful password cracker is not as easy as presented: brute force does not work if your passwords have been made with modern rigor (mixed case, 9+ characters, not a dictionary word). The examples were sometimes oversimplified. However, the fact remains that that this book is full of really useful projects that I had never thought to use Python for. The chapter on forensic investigation was quite revealing (what a wealth of information is stored in those sqlite databases)!

        This is a well written book that is a pleasure to read and is likely to explore practical projects that most readers would not have thought of on their own.

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Violent Python by TJ O'Connor

        By hfb

        from Nashua, NH

        About Me Engineer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Violent Python:

        This book is an interesting exercise in penetration and security testing for those using Python. In the beginning, it talks about how this book can be used for all sorts of people, from the beginner in Python to more expert Python users. I would have to say that if you're just now learning Python, you should start with a different book and once you have the basics down, then come back to this book. It goes over the basics but doesn't mention anything about syntax so if you don't already know the real basics, you're not getting it here.
        Overall, this book is quite useful for learning how to do penetration testing and in some ways, I question if we want to teach people how to write worms and how that type of thing works but honestly, you can find all that information online for free. It's not really the intent of this book either but could be a negative byproduct.
        What I wasn't a fan of was the fact that the code steers readers to use an outdate version of Python (2.6) when some of the code and libraries used in the book are actually from a newer, stable version (2.7.1). Being such a new book, it's a bit of a surprise that an outdated code base is used.
        I also found the book assumed a little too much of the reader/user. The first chapter goes over the basics and also some basic testing of servers but doesn't explain you have to have one set up that you can test against and if you don't have one to test against, it's hard to test out the code that's given.
        Overall, it's pretty good but you really need to know your stuff fairly well for it to really be worthwhile.

        Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Review of the book Violent Python

        By Carel Fenijn (HiSeCu)

        from Leiden, Netherlands

        About Me Cert Member

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Helpful examples
        • Practical

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Violent Python:

            The following is a review of the book Violent Python: A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers and Security Engineers by TJ O'Connor, Elsevier New York, 2013.

            In a few words: The book shows how the programming language Python can be used to do security related research in a convincing way.

            This book is very practical and hands-on. Although it is targeted at beginning or advanced Python programmers, some programming experience in other languages is at least handy if one is a newcomer to Python. People will not learn much Python from this book, but that is not the purpose of it, anyway.

            The information in the book is quite useful. Only using off the shelf software is too limited, using a programming language like Python to be able to write glue in order to be able to automate more and do more efficient and effective pentesting, forensics and defensive work does make sense. Very simple pentest and forensics software can also be written from scratch, which is demonstrated in the book. At times, that can be useful as well. E.g. analysis of network traffic as a defense against DDoS attacks, wireless security, web reconnaissance and antivirus related topics are also described in this book. Automating social engineering with the help of python sounds like a cool concept, and being able to automatically anonymize the web client is useful, too.

            Too bad for TJ O'Connor that no one has done good proof reading/peer reviewing of the book before it was published. I shall give feedback on dozens of mistakes, I am afraid. Hopefully, a next print will contain less errors and less information that is prone to get outdated very soon. Credits to the maker of Scapy, Philippe Biondi, would be in place as the book makes extensive use of that. Why do we need so few lines of Python to do very powerful things? Because others have written the code that made that possible!

            The anecdotes in the book make it a very interesting read. The wrapup of chapter 5 is a good laugh. The fact that the quote for the final chapter is from a jujutsuka is cool. Techniques from those anecdotes that sound very sophisticated and complicated are implemented with just a bit of Python code and illustrated in a very clear way, which is the strength of this book. Personally, I would say the techniques are actually sophisticated but the book shows the Python is violent enough to deal with them.

            The Python is violent indeed.

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