Python tools for Pentesters

Friday, November 8, 2013

If you are involved in vulnerability research, reverse engineering or penetration testing, I suggest to try out the Python programming language. It has a rich set of useful libraries and programs. This page lists some of them.

Most of the listed tools are written in Python, others are just Python bindings for existing C libraries, i.e. they make those libraries easily usable from Python programs.


  • Scapy: send, sniff and dissect and forge network packets. Usable interactively or as a library
  • pypcap, Pcapy and pylibpcap: several different Python bindings for libpcap
  • libdnet: low-level networking routines, including interface lookup and Ethernet frame transmission
  • dpkt: fast, simple packet creation/parsing, with definitions for the basic TCP/IP protocols
  • Impacket: craft and decode network packets. Includes support for higher-level protocols such as NMB and SMB
  • pynids: libnids wrapper offering sniffing, IP defragmentation, TCP stream reassembly and port scan detection
  • Dirtbags py-pcap: read pcap files without libpcap
  • flowgrep: grep through packet payloads using regular expressions
  • Knock Subdomain Scan, enumerate subdomains on a target domain through a wordlist
  • Mallory, extensible TCP/UDP man-in-the-middle proxy, supports modifying non-standard protocols on the fly
  • Pytbull: flexible IDS/IPS testing framework (shipped with more than 300 tests)

Debugging and reverse engineering

  • Paimei: reverse engineering framework, includes PyDBG, PIDA, pGRAPH
  • Immunity Debugger: scriptable GUI and command line debugger
  • PyCommand for Immunity Debugger that replaces and improves on pvefindaddr
  • IDAPython: IDA Pro plugin that integrates the Python programming language, allowing scripts to run in IDA Pro
  • PyEMU: fully scriptable IA-32 emulator, useful for malware analysis
  • pefile: read and work with Portable Executable (aka PE) files
  • pydasm: Python interface to the libdasm x86 disassembling library
  • PyDbgEng: Python wrapper for the Microsoft Windows Debugging Engine
  • uhooker: intercept calls to API calls inside DLLs, and also arbitrary addresses within the executable file in memory
  • diStorm: disassembler library for AMD64, licensed under the BSD license
  • python-ptrace: debugger using ptrace (Linux, BSD and Darwin system call to trace processes) written in Python
  • vdb / vtrace: vtrace is a cross-platform process debugging API implemented in python, and vdb is a debugger which uses it
  • Androguard: reverse engineering and analysis of Android applications


  • Sulley: fuzzer development and fuzz testing framework consisting of multiple extensible components
  • Peach Fuzzing Platform: extensible fuzzing framework for generation and mutation based fuzzing (v2 was written in Python)
  • antiparser: fuzz testing and fault injection API
  • TAOF, (The Art of Fuzzing) including ProxyFuzz, a man-in-the-middle non-deterministic network fuzzer
  • untidy: general purpose XML fuzzer
  • Powerfuzzer: highly automated and fully customizable web fuzzer (HTTP protocol based application fuzzer)
  • Mistress: probe file formats on the fly and protocols with malformed data, based on pre-defined patterns
  • Fuzzbox: multi-codec media fuzzer
  • Forensic Fuzzing Tools: generate fuzzed files, fuzzed file systems, and file systems containing fuzzed files in order to test the robustness of forensics tools and examination systems
  • Windows IPC Fuzzing Tools: tools used to fuzz applications that use Windows Interprocess Communication mechanisms
  • WSBang: perform automated security testing of SOAP based web services
  • Construct: library for parsing and building of data structures (binary or textual). Define your data structures in a declarative manner
  • (feliam): simple fuzzer by Felipe Andres Manzano
  • Fusil: Python library used to write fuzzing programs


  • Requests: elegant and simple HTTP library, built for human beings
  • HTTPie: human-friendly cURL-like command line HTTP client
  • ProxMon: processes proxy logs and reports discovered issues
  • WSMap: find web service endpoints and discovery files
  • Twill: browse the Web from a command-line interface. Supports automated Web testing
  • webkit web client written in Python
  • Windmill: web testing tool designed to let you painlessly automate and debug your web application
  • FunkLoad: functional and load web tester
  • spynner: Programmatic web browsing module for Python with Javascript/AJAX support
  • python-spidermonkey: bridge to the Mozilla SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine; allows for the evaluation and calling of Javascript scripts and functions
  • mitmproxy: SSL-capable, intercepting HTTP proxy. Console interface allows traffic flows to be inspected and edited on the fly
  • pathod / pathoc: pathological daemon/client for tormenting HTTP clients and servers


  • Volatility: extract digital artifacts from volatile memory (RAM) samples
  • LibForensics: library for developing digital forensics applications
  • TrIDLib, identify file types from their binary signatures. Now includes Python binding
  • aft: Android forensic toolkit

Malware analysis

  • pyew: command line hexadecimal editor and disassembler, mainly to analyze malware
  • Exefilter: filter file formats in e-mails, web pages or files. Detects many common file formats and can remove active content
  • pyClamAV: add virus detection capabilities to your Python software
  • jsunpack-n, generic JavaScript unpacker: emulates browser functionality to detect exploits that target browser and browser plug-in vulnerabilities
  • yara-python: identify and classify malware samples
  • phoneyc: pure Python honeyclient implementation


  • Didier Stevens' PDF tools: analyse, identify and create PDF files (includes PDFiD, pdf-parser and make-pdf and mPDF)
  • Opaf: Open PDF Analysis Framework. Converts PDF to an XML tree that can be analyzed and modified.
  • Origapy: Python wrapper for the Origami Ruby module which sanitizes PDF files
  • pyPDF: pure Python PDF toolkit: extract info, spilt, merge, crop, encrypt, decrypt...
  • PDFMiner: extract text from PDF files
  • python-poppler-qt4: Python binding for the Poppler PDF library, including Qt4 support


  • InlineEgg: toolbox of classes for writing small assembly programs in Python
  • Exomind: framework for building decorated graphs and developing open-source intelligence modules and ideas, centered on social network services, search engines and instant messaging
  • RevHosts: enumerate virtual hosts for a given IP address
  • simplejson: JSON encoder/decoder, e.g. to use Google's AJAX API
  • PyMangle: command line tool and a python library used to create word lists for use with other penetration testing tools
  • Hachoir: view and edit a binary stream field by field
  • py-mangle: command line tool and a python library used to create word lists for use with other penetration testing tools

Other useful libraries and tools

  • IPython: enhanced interactive Python shell with many features for object introspection, system shell access, and its own special command system
  • Beautiful Soup: HTML parser optimized for screen-scraping
  • matplotlib: make 2D plots of arrays
  • Mayavi: 3D scientific data visualization and plotting
  • RTGraph3D: create dynamic graphs in 3D
  • Twisted: event-driven networking engine
  • Suds: lightweight SOAP client for consuming Web Services
  • M2Crypto: most complete OpenSSL wrapper
  • NetworkX: graph library (edges, nodes)
  • Pandas: library providing high-performance, easy-to-use data structures and data analysis tools
  • pyparsing: general parsing module
  • lxml: most feature-rich and easy-to-use library for working with XML and HTML in the Python language
  • Whoosh: fast, featureful full-text indexing and searching library implemented in pure Python
  • Pexpect: control and automate other programs, similar to Don Libes `Expect` system
  • Sikuli, visual technology to search and automate GUIs using screenshots. Scriptable in Jython
  • PyQt and PySide: Python bindings for the Qt application framework and GUI library

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