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.
Before moving forward with programming languages, let us cover the basics of ethical hacking.
What Is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking is the process in which a professional hacker attempts to breach an organization's systems and devices lawfully and purposefully. Ethical hackers can test the organization's defenses in this approach, identifying any weaknesses in their systems and networks.
Ethical hackers may use the same tactics and tools as criminal hackers, but only with the official's authorization, to improve security and protect systems against harmful attacks. Ethical hackers are supposed to report any vulnerabilities or weaknesses discovered throughout the process to management.
Now that you know about ethical hacking in general, cover the following topic in this tutorial on Python in ethical hacking, which is an introduction to Python.
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.
Like most programming languages, Python works in conjunction with an interpreter, which executes the finished lines of code. There are several resources available to learn the Python coding language. With its syntactical foundation being standard English grammar, it is recognized as one of the easiest coding languages to learn and read.
In the next section, go over some of the benefits offered by Python in ethical hacking and as a programming language in general.
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.
In this tutorial on Python in ethical hacking, the next topic will show learners how passwords can be cracked using python programming language and a few lines of optimizations.
Demonstration - Password Cracker
You will cover two different variants of how passwords can be guessed using Python. The first is a standard brute-force attack, and the second is a dictionary attack.
- You need to first provide the character set that can be used to generate a password, which is entirely customizable.
- You must use the pyautogui module to ask the user for a password.
- The number of characters in the password will determine the length of brute-forced combinations.
- The brute force function will run through random combinations of a definite length, eventually finding the password after multiple attempts.
- The final code-block for the entire program is:
- The user enters an md5 hash of a password.
- The user also has to provide the location of a wordlist, a collection of passwords from which you run a dictionary attack.
- The program decodes the md5 hash and runs the decoded string with all the passwords in the wordlist.
- Once a password matches the decoded string, that can be shown as the user-input password.
- The final code-block for the entire program is:
In this tutorial on Python in ethical hacking, you learned the basics of ethical hacking and the Python programming language. You also cover some distinct advantages of Python compared to industry counterparts and design a password cracker from scratch using two different approaches. However, this is a singular aspect of ethical hacking, encompassing many other topics and techniques.
Simplilearn offers a Advanced Executive Program in Cybersecurity that covers all of the areas required for novice and experienced ethical hackers to become proficient. To prepare students for interviews and prospective corporate positions, topics such as network sniffing, enumeration, and risk assessment are taught in a fully detailed approach. Because the information technology industry needs skilled cybersecurity professionals, now is the perfect time to learn about ethical hacking.
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