I was extremely disappointed in this book. I had been waiting almost a year for the book to be released and in that time had spent time looking at the different applications that were currently written in Python that could possible be included. With the time spent in writing this book and bringing it into publication the poor quality of the book does not compare to the higher standards that most No Starch Press books have achieved.
While there were a few merits in the book the majority of the book was a futile attempt to put outdated or useless information to paper. Many of my coworkers were very interested in the publication, but having read it and having spoken with my collegues that have read it we can all agree that it falls well short of anticipation.
The first five chapters were about Immunity Debugger. While reading them it seemed as if it were a sales pitch and then after reading that the author was employed by the same company that produces Immunity it was plainly obvious that he was influenced.
The author spent a chapter on hooking(6), DLL and code injection(7), fuzzing(8), Sulley(9), Fuzzing Windows Drivers(10), IDAPython(11), PyEMU(12) and obviously the Immunity Debugger chapters that were 1 through 5. But where was the rest? It was obviously lacking in many areas. There was very little mentioned on networks, packet reassembly or capture (pynids). No mention was made of Scapy, Pcapy, Impacket, Inguma, Volatility and so many more. Libraries that would be extremely helpful were never even brushed. IronPython, Win32, CryptoPy,
The examples given were poor to say the least. The author never mentioned which versions of python that the examples worked with and they were built using the older releases. The author goes through the installation of Python 2.5, but that version had issues with a few of the examples that I managed to get to work on 2.4. No mention was made for the the Python 3 version and version 2.6 had issues with most of the examples.
At 188 pages with 80+ pages used for debuggers that book was sorely lacking in any amount of substance. Most of my notes have more content then this book. To think that a book written regarding security minded use of python could only yield this little bit of information is absured.
I had preordered the book well in advance of publication. Each time the book was delayed for a few months I was extremely disappointed, but continued to hold onto the preorder. Once I received the book the writing and content were so poor that I spent much of my time reading a few pages only to put it down to find something of more interest or better content.
As I had said previously, No Starch Press is known for their quality products and excellent material, but this book falls well short of expectations. If someone would ask if I recommend this book I would whole heartedly tell them they are better off buying seperate books and piecing together that with internet content.
With all the uses Python has in security today I feel the community needs a better resource for Python tools in pentesting, forensics, incident response, intrusion detection, and so on. The potential content could fill volumes. A book about Python and Security would benefit the community greatly if it was a quality product, but this is not it.