Violent Python Chapter #1

I’ll try to post a some excerpts about the book Violent Python here.

This posts references the first part of chapter #1.

In chapter one you work on three mini projects:

  • Vulnerability Scanner
  • The Cuckoo’s egg
  • Zip file Cracker

The first exercise aims to build a vulnerability scanner. You are supposed to read full of vulnerable program definitions and compare it against services running in a remote server.

    # Violent Python Chapter #1
    # Vuln Scanner
    # By: Marin Alcaraz

    import sys
    import os
    import socket

    def retBanner(ip, port):
            s = socket.socket()
            s.connect((ip, port))
            banner = s.recv(1024)
            return banner
        except Exception, e:
           return  str(e)

    def checkFile(filename):
            if not os.path.isfile(filename):
                raise Exception("File doesn't exist")
                return -1
            if not os.access(filename, os.R_OK):
                raise Exception("Permission Denied")
            f = open(filename, 'r')
            return f
        except Exception, e:
            print str(e)
            return -1

    def checkVulns(banner, filename):
        print "[+] Reading Vulnerable Banner list from: " + filename
        f = checkFile(filename)
        for line in f.readlines():
            print "[+] Checking for banner: " + line.strip('\n')
            if line.strip('\n') in banner:
                print "[+] Server is Vulnerable: " + banner.strip('\n')
                print '[-] FTP Server is not vulnerable'

    def main():
        portList = [21, 22, 25, 80, 110, 443]
        if (len(sys.argv) == 2):
            filename = sys.argv[1]
            filename = "vuln_banners.txt"
        for x in range(1, 255):
            ip = '192.168.95.' + str(x)
            for port in portList:
                banner = retBanner(ip, port)
                if banner:
                    print '[+] ' + ip + ': ' + banner
                    if (checkVulns(banner, filename) == -1):

    if __name__ == '__main__':


  • Python reserves memory space for variables when programmer declares them. Python interpreter decides the type of the variable. You can get the type of a variable via type() function.
  • The Python dictionary provides a hash table that can store any number of Python objects. It follows the classic key->value method. You can get the available keys via the .keys() function, you are also able to verify the existence of one key with has_key() or see the whole list with items(). Direct access to the elements is provided via data[‘key’] scheme.
  • The socket module provides a library for making network connections using Python.
  • Python provides exception handling capability with try and except.
  • The keyword def() begins a function, the variables between () are passed by reference meaning that any changes to these variables inside the function will affect their value from the calling function.
  • Python provides an easy way to interact with files through the open() and readlines functions. Full i/o API is of course available at Python’s website.
  • The built in sys modules provides access to objects used or maintained by the Python interpreter. Ex: argv.
  • OS module allows Python to communicate with local OS library.