Ethical hacking has become a lucrative industry for cyber security professionals and enthusiasts. With the major tasks of an ethical hacker running on command-line tools, learning a scripting language like Python is highly essential. Python has grown in popularity thanks to various applications in multiple sectors while being a relatively easy-to-learn language. Discovering the benefits of Python in ethical hacking helps beginners write their own customized scripts at the time of penetration testing.
Writing clever scripts and automating any structured activity, from modest network scans to wide area network packet sniffing, is a frequent practice among ethical hackers. There are good reasons why Python has gained recognition as the preferred language for these jobs in recent years. In this Python post about ethical hacking, we’ll go through what makes these two such intelligent couples.
Before moving forward with programming languages, let us cover the basics of ethical hacking.
What Is Python?
Python is a script-friendly high-level programming language developed by Guido van Rossum in the latter 1980s. Python programming language (latest Python 3) is utilized in web development, machine learning applications, and cutting-edge software technologies. It is ideal for beginners and experienced programmers who have worked with other programming languages such as C++ and Java.
Python, like the majority of programming languages, collaborates with an interpreter, which runs the finished lines of code. There are many resources accessible to teach yourself Python. It is regarded as one of the simplest coding languages to learn and comprehend because its syntactical foundation is conventional English grammar.
What is Ethical Hacking?
The phrase “hacking” has a lengthy history. To be precise, the Railroad Club at MIT is where the words “hacking” and “hacker” were first used. After approximately 50 years, hacking has developed into a discipline in the modern era. Today, hacking is considered a criminal crime due to the growing awareness of data protection and privacy. Depending on the severity of the injury you did, there is a good probability that you will be prosecuted for a long period if you are found out.
Nonetheless, to protect themselves from hackers of all sorts, the employment of Ethical Hackers has become a common practice amongst organizations. Ethical hackers are given the responsibility of finding and fixing security flaws for a certain organization before black hat hackers find them. Go through our Ethical Hacking Course to explore more about ethical hacking. This course will teach you the most current hacking techniques, tools, and methods that hackers use.
Benefits of Python in Ethical Hacking
- Third-Party Modules: The Python Package Index (PyPI) contains several third-party modules that allow Python to communicate with the majority of other languages and systems.
- Extensive Library Support: Python contains a vast standard library that covers topics such as string operations, internet protocols, web services tools, and OSI interfaces. Many joint programming tasks have already been coded into the standard library, considerably reducing the amount of code that a new developer must write.
- Community Development: Python is open-sourced because of a lack of official technical support, which has driven the establishment of communities that increase the resource bank for the language’s continuing growth and acceptance.
- User-Friendly Data Structures: Python includes built-in data structures such as lists and dictionaries that may be used to create quick runtime data structures. Furthermore, Python has the added benefit of dynamic high-level data typing, decreasing the support code length required.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Python for Hacking?
If you already know how to code, learning Python for hacking may only take a few days, but if you’re new to the field, it may take many months. The approach might be covered in a degree program, online courses, or coding bootcamps. While degree programs might last up to four years, coding bootcamps can be completed in as little as 13 weeks.
You will learn not only the fundamentals of Python but also its advanced features. You should learn Python hacking libraries and other cyber security libraries because they may come in handy in the future. It will take a few months to gain a comprehensive understanding of Python.
How Can I Learn Python for Hacking?
There are a ton of instructional resources accessible for using Python for hacking. It’s best to enroll in an organized Python hacking school or program where you can interact with other hackers and learn by doing. For information on the most effective ways to learn Python, continue reading.
The fact that the Python bootcamps offer a structured curriculum makes them suitable. You gain the experience you need to secure an entry-level position via the practical activities. You will gain knowledge of both the principles of Python and the libraries needed by hackers. You also study prevalent hacking techniques like harmful and black hat hacking.
The general training from bootcamps applies to other areas such as data science and software development. This provides you with a well-rounded foundation for your future career. Bootcamps are also less expensive than traditional learning institutions and provide additional services to assist you in finding work.
Another learning resource is online courses. These courses can take the form of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and some are available for free to the general public. The popular providers include Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, and edX. For a hacking with Python course, you can enroll in a specialization course that includes everything you need to succeed in the field.
These ethical hacking courses are mostly self-paced, which allows you to take your time mastering each concept and subject before moving on. Some ethical hacking Python courses include a certificate of completion to demonstrate that you completed the course. However, you may be required to pay a fee in order to obtain the certificate.
When it comes to Python for hacking, books are also a great resource. You can get paperbacks or ebooks that cover a beginner’s guide to Python from the Internet. This is an excellent way to learn if you are an old-school reader. With Python, you can learn about prebuilt tools for hacking phases, hacking processes, and hacking steps.
The biggest drawback of books is that they may occasionally need to be updated. Because hacking and IT are fields that are continually evolving, the resources must be updated with fresh data. If you already own the book, getting an update can be challenging. Otherwise, reading books is a great method to learn.
Top Python for Hacking Libraries
Python comes with minimal syntax and many libraries to make the hacking process easier. Libraries are available for different domains, such as the PI touch intensive loop for artificial intelligence, ScaPy for hacking, pandas, and matplotlib for data science. Some of the most important Python hacking libraries are listed below.
These libraries are some of the most common, and there are many different ways to use them. For example, Requests makes HTTP requests to be more user-friendly and has hundreds of thousands of downloads per day. As well, Pylibnet is used for constructing and injecting network packets.
Cryptography is also a library that many ethical hackers use to streamline the process with message digests, symmetric ciphers, and key derivation functions. There are several other libraries out there, such as RawSocketPy that eases communication with MAC addresses.
The requests library enables one to enable more user-friendly HTTP requests. The responsive objects it returns contain information on status, encoding, and content. It is a very user-friendly module with capabilities like supplying parameters in the URL and custom headers. It can be used to send any types of HTTP requests. As stated on the official documentation page, it is a user-friendly HTTP library. With more than 400,000 downloads daily, it is one of the most popular Python libraries. Python requests are so well-liked because developers can utilize them without manually adding the queries to the URLs and form-encoding post data.
Cryptography is a library that helps with encryption as well as the description of sets of data. The library includes primitives supported by Python 3.3+, Python 2.6-2.7. Cryptography involves the amalgamation of two layers that is, namely safe cryptographic recipes that require minimum configuration choices. While another one is low-level cryptography which is most dangerous and can be used incorrectly. This python library helps to secure information with the help of effectively developed codes. Cryptography includes the generation of random numbers, digital signatures, hashing, stream ciphers, and hashing.
Nmap is a typical network scanner tool using IP packets for the identification of devices on a network and information regarding operating systems. With the use of the Nmap port scanner, this library helps the system administrators automate the task of scanning reports supporting the Nmap script outputs. Nmap helps to identify and discover hosts on networks and detects the version number, and application name functioning on any remote devices.
The library is made up of Python scripts that help with network protocol development and ensure low-level programming access to other packets and protocol implementation. Raw data may be converted into packets, and deep hierarchical protocols can operate well because to the API. Impacket aims to simplify programming duties for programmers so they may operate within a framework and adhere to specific conventions.
The tool to manipulate network packets, helping with discovering networks, probing, tracing, routing, and scanning. Scapy includes diverse functionalities apart from packet sniffing and can be customized as peruse. It can be run on Linux, Mac OS, and windows. It presents decoded packets with the interpretation depending on the user. Scapy works to bring semblance between high leveled protocols and low-level network programming.
A layer 2 python library that encourages communication with MAC addresses. One can create custom-made WiFi communication using rawsocketpy. A non-simultaneous server with an uptight capability with no encryption needs an MTU of 1500. Rawsocketpy does not involve transmission control protocol or user datagram protocol.
A libnet packet injection library makes sure that sending packets, displaying libcap traces, and providing a python API for libnet packets are all functioning. These are a few Python libraries that are effective in terms of ethical hacking. Tech businesses choose Python because of its adaptability and safe algorithms. Python has become very popular in recent years. Due to its simple, all-purpose syntax that can be used in a wide range of programming fields, it has been adopted by many developers and hackers of huge corporations. Although there are innumerable Python libraries on the internet, the ones mentioned above are the most appropriate for ethical hacking.
How to Learn Python for Hacking: A Step-by-Step Guide
Python is easy to learn for most people. Before you start learning, you need to define your goals to give you the motivation to keep going even when you’re exhausted. It can be overwhelming, but creating a plan and setting goals can help keep you on track. Below are some pointers to help you learn Python for hacking as smoothly as possible.
Start with the Basics
It is essential to start with basic concepts of programming in Python before moving on to advanced concepts. This is why learning with a structured curriculum is preferable. It covers all of the topics you need to know before diving in. Python programming skills will help you prepare for more advanced skills and digital assets.
Work on Projects
You’ll need to figure out a means to get some practical experience after learning the fundamentals and some more complicated courses. Making your own projects is a fantastic method to learn and practice your new abilities. In addition to stretching your abilities, projects can aid in learning new things. Similar to this, structured tasks will give you material for your portfolio in the future.
Consider Pair Programming
If you still need some guidance while working on projects, pair programming could help. It involves working with another experienced hacker to write and review code. Both partners in the pair are responsible for checking and correcting errors. This is one of the best ways to learn ethical hacking from scratch as well as programming basics.
Teaching other newbies can also help you retain what you have learned. You can either teach local hackers or contribute to open-source projects. Platforms like GitHub allow you to contribute to projects so you can pitch in and edit codes for review. It will allow you to meet other hackers and developers in the community while also allowing you to build a strong network.
Start working on some hacking projects with python
After learning the basics and some more advanced subjects, you’ll need to find a way to gain some hands-on experience. Creating your own projects is a great way to learn and put your new skills into practice. Projects also help you learn new things by pushing your capabilities. Similarly, structured projects will provide you with content for your portfolio later on.
Get More Practice
Python hacking requires continual practice, which is the only way to master it. You learn more as you put your skills into practice. You can go beyond simply contributing to open source projects by participating in hackathons to put your abilities to the test. If at all possible, try working as a field volunteer while learning Python hacking.
Best online courses for ethical hacking with Python
Here’s our list of the best hacking with Python online courses for ethical hackers:
StationX offers a bundle of three courses designed to help complete Python beginners become advanced users with extensive cybersecurity knowledge. It includes 36 hours of on-demand video lectures.
Courses strike the perfect balance between the theoretical and practical components of hacking with Python. What’s more, they stick to the point, so you don’t get bogged down in unnecessary details that could be overwhelming, especially for beginners.
You’ll learn by example, writing your own hacking and security programs, modeling problems, and designing and implementing the corresponding solutions.
The courses included in the bundle are:
- Learn Python and Ethical Hacking From Scratch
- Python for Beginners: Learn Python Programming (Python 3)
- Cyber Security – Python and Web Applications
If you’re looking to start a career in cybersecurity or simply want to learn more about hacking with Python, this bundle could be a great fit. What’s more, StationX has a ton of other great courses and bundles available. You can even take advantage of its VIP Membership and get access to all courses for a low annual fee.
If you’re a high-level learner who just wants to learn the bare minimum, this one might be for you. Instructor Joe Perry keeps things simple in this course that’s geared toward non-coders. In it, you’ll learn the “must-know” aspects of Python rather than delving into its specifics.
Intro to Python contains around 10 hours of material covering basic concepts up to advanced scripts. Designed to prepare people who are considering a career in penetration testing and cybersecurity, it focuses on teaching the commands and functions most critical to the industry.
This course includes two modules:
- Just the Basics
- Data Types and Logic
After you’re done, Cybrary has a ton more courses to pick from, many of which are free, if you want to increase your knowledge. To access any of the courses, you must first register an account. After enrolling, you will be presented with the Insider Pro package. This provides you access to more courses, a career route guide, and a mentor for $99 per month (or $83 per month if invoiced annually). A seven-day free trial is included.
See also:Best ethical hacking courses
The course “Developing Ethical Hacking Tools with Python” is another well-liked offering on Cybrary. This course is short to finish but is jam-packed with essential knowledge because it has just over an hour’s worth of videos. It teaches you, for instance, how to integrate several Python packages and automate data collection. Even writing a keylogger and a ZIP password bruteforcer will be covered.
Here are the modules included in this course:
- Automating Information Gathering
- Writing a Keylogger in Python
- ZIP Password Bruteforcing in Python
- Going Forward
This is considered an intermediate-level course so some background knowledge in Python is needed. It might be a good idea to take the Intro to Python course followed by this one.
Ethical Hacking with Python is a comprehensive course containing just under eight hours of video tutorials. During this program, you’ll learn Python fundamentals including simple coding using variables, statements, and dictionaries.
You’ll also have access to ethical hacking tutorials such as “Buffer overflow and exploit writing with Python” and “Syn Flood attack with Scapy.” The curriculum includes 23 lessons ranging from three to 36 minutes in length. Here are a few lesson examples:
- Python File Handling
- Ping Sweep with Scapy
- Object-Oriented Programming in Python
- Forensics Investigation with Python
The course is suitable for complete beginners, but it does become fairly complex and could teach experienced programmers a thing or two. Each lesson includes an exam, enabling you to identify gaps in your knowledge.
CyberTraining 365 offers a free five-day trial, so if you’re quick, you might be able to take this course for free. Once your trial is up, you’ll pay $9 for the first month and $59 per month after that. You can get discounts if you sign up for a six-month or annual term. If you’re only interested in this course, it’s also available on Udemy for $19.99.
Udemy’s popular Python 3 For Offensive PenTest course is for more advanced users. It covers in-depth topics related to ethical hacking and penetration testing but includes some real-world examples to help you see things from a practical perspective.
The cost of this course is $99.99. The total length of all videos is around five hours; this includes 58 lectures split into seven modules:
- Quick Intro
- Python 3 / Windows 10 / Kali 2: Gaining Access – Your First Persistent Shell
- Python 3 / Windows 10 / Kali 2: Advanced Scriptable Shell
- Python 3 / Windows 10 / Kali 2: Catch Me If You Can!
- Python 3: How Malware Abuse Cryptography? Python Answers
- Python 3 / Windows 10 / Kali 2: Passwords Hacking
- Windows 7 & 10 Privilege Escalation – Weak Service Permission
This course stands out because it is frequently updated, ensuring that courses cover the most recent data and software versions. Additionally, Hussam Khrais, the course instructor, is swift in responding to student questions and will even update the course upon request. Courses on Udemy include a certificate of completion.
As mentioned, this isn’t considered a beginner’s program and prerequisites include beginner-level Python (or another scripting language) and intermediate-level knowledge of ethical hacking and penetration testing.
Another beginner-focused course on Udemy, this one a little more expensive. Even though the course is new to the platform, it has already drawn thousands of students and received positive feedback. It moves slowly and covers all the information you require to set up your environment and begin using Python 3.
You’ll also learn about the basics of networking, including internet architecture and Python TCP connections. Practical lessons include setting up more than 15 Python 3 code application tools and networking applications, creating a man-in-the-middle Python 3 tool, and building a data scraping tool.
The course consists of 26 lectures (about six hours of videos) split into four modules:
- Introduction To This Python 3 Course
- Setting Up Your Environment
- Getting Started With Python 3 Networking
- Python 3 Network Hacking
It’s fairly pricey at $199.99 but Udemy does offer regular discounts so watch out for those.
Udemy offers many other cybersecurity-related courses, including more on the topic of hacking with Python. Here are a couple of others you may want to check out:
- Introduction To Python For Ethical Hacking
- Offensive Python | Mastering Ethical Hacking Using Python
- Cyber Security – Python and Web Applications
This free offering from MindsMapped is a two-part program. The course instructor is the founder of HackerSploit, a cybersecurity consultancy firm.
The two main modules are titled:
- Python for Ethical Hacking (13 lectures)
- Python for Ethical Hacking (Advanced) (3 lectures)
The first is geared for newcomers and begins with a Python introduction before moving on to the development of a brute force password checker. The course’s second section moves on to more complicated subjects like building TCP servers and understanding sockets.
The whole program can be completed in around three hours. After that, if you’re eager for more, Mindsmapped offers several other ethical hacking courses including:
- Penetration Testing with Kali Linux
- Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) Training
- Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security
Why get into ethical hacking?
When you hear the word “hacking,” you probably picture a thief hiding behind a computer, wreaking havoc online. Not all hackers, or “black hat” hackers, are evil. The ethical (white hat) hacker community is important to cybersecurity. Before nefarious parties have a chance to take advantage of security holes, they identify and remedy them.
With cybercrime becoming an increasingly prominent issue, it follows that the cybersecurity industry is growing. As such, there is a high demand for ethical hackers with the know-how and savvy to beat criminals to the punch. Some of the responsibilities of ethical hackers entail:
- Scan an organization’s systems looking for ports open to attack
- Patch installations so they are up to date
- Test intrusion detection and prevention systems
- Scour every part of a company network looking for vulnerabilities
- Help deal with situations involving online employee fraud or theft of digital assets
- Check for things like hijacked web servers and applications and sniffing networks
An ethical hacking career starts with a solid understanding of how to code followed by training in the specific areas you want to go into. You may wish to pursue a recognized accreditation in the field, for example, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification.
Why use Python for ethical hacking?
Python is the programming language of choice for scores of ethical hackers. Indeed, a good handle of Python is considered essential for advancement in a cybersecurity career. One of the main draws is that you get a powerful language in a very easy-to-use package.
Python is readable, straightforward, and both flexible and functional. It’s perfect for creating quick programs, which is a key aspect of what ethical hackers do. Additionally, when you begin using Python, you join a sizable network of ardent supporters. This indicates that you have access to a wealth of resources, including manuals and forums, should you require any pointers or advice or encounter problems.
Aside from cybersecurity, Python can be an invaluable language as part of a knowledge foundation in other careers too. Those interested in web development and testing, big data, game development, artificial intelligence, or smart device development can all benefit from a knowledge of Python.
Start Learning Python for Hacking Today
Python can help you save time as a hacker or cyber security analyst by eliminating the need to create hacking tools and codes from scratch. Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages and the best languages for penetration testing and ethical hacking. According to PayScale, the average salary for people with Python skills is $93,000.
Python is a flexible programming language that is simple to learn, and if you run into any issues, there is a sizable community to support you. Your first step in learning more advanced techniques is to develop your programming skills. If you’re not sure what all the commotion is about with hackers, learning Python for academic purposes will make sense to you.