Black Hat Python is a clear winner in the field of books for security professionals. Written for people who want to move into the hacking and penetration testing fields and fully understand what they're doing, this book will challenge readers to quickly come up to speed not just on how hackers work, but how to build their own tools. It contains plenty of examples that show exactly what one needs to do with code that builds on itself as you grow in skill, plus plenty of introductory material. Most chapters also include a "Kicking the Tires" section on putting the new tools to use. If you read this book cover-to-cover, you won't come to the end of it without a deep understanding of how your systems work, why hacking is possible, and how you can build your own hacking and security testing tools with Python and add-on tools.
Just imagine yourself using Python for ...
doing network analysis
writing your own sniffer
infecting virtual machines
going against application-layer targets
writing stealthy trojans
extending the popular Burp (security testing of web applications) Suite
detecting sandboxing and automating keylogging screenshotting
stealing email credentials and password hashes
injecting shellcode into a virtual machines
escalating your privileges on a Windows system
performing ARP poisoning
The book contains enough explanatory material and comments within the code that you will gain tremendous insight into what you can do with everything you will learn and some solid Python scripting know-how. I am definitely surprised at the level of expertise that has been provided in this book's less than 200 pages. Even if you get to the end without building tools of your own, you'll at least understand how others do that. And, if you work hard at following along, you're bound to find that your skills and insight have improved dramatically.
While this is an amazing book with extremely valuable insights, I would not suggest it for anyone who has never programmed/scripted before. It's also not one of those books that you can pick up and read a few pages when you want to find an answer to a troubling issue. Instead, it will take some amount of determined attention. To get the full benefit, you should jump in, set up your Kali Linux system as the book suggests, and follow the examples step by step. Even if you've been working in the information security field for years, you are likely to find that the experience will leave you with a deeper understanding than you ever imagined possible.
The author, Justin Seitz, is a senior security researcher for Immunity, Inc. and obviously knows his stuff. He is also the author of Gray Hat Python (no starch press, 2009).
If you're truly interested in information security, Python is the language to learn and this book should be added to your library. And, by the way, you can download the code samples from the book if you go to the no starch press site www.nostarch.com/blackhatpython.
Here's the Table of Contents in case you're still not convinced you want this book.