Category Archives: API

Automating Opera browser with Selenium WebDriver and Python

The right way to automate a web application is, certainly, to understand how this application works, by using burp (see “Burp Suite Free Edition and NTLM authentication in ASP.net applications“) for example, retrieve all necessary requests and learn how to use them.

However, this is sometimes so difficult and confusing, especially when the site owners are actively fighting with automation attempts. In this case, you may want to automate somehow the work on the highest level, with the graphical elements of the site. You can view them as some pictures, as SikuliX does (“SikuliX: the last chance for automation“, or as some elements of code, as Selenium IDE does (“Selenium, SikuliX and Facebook posting“).

But it would much better to control the browser itself from the Python scripts. And this can be done with Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium WebDriver, Python and Opera browser

Guys from Guru99 have wrote me a letter about their free course about Selenium.

This course looks pretty good. In the first part you can find a detailed description of Selenium components and the project history. After reading this, I finally decided that the Selenium WebDriver suited me best. Examples of WebDriver usage are written in Java, and I wanted to use Python. But since the calls are the same, lessons of this course are still more than useful.

And despite the fact that Selenium is usually used with Firefox, I tried to use it with Chromium-based Opera. This browser is very popular in Russia because of some unique features. ­čśë

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Sending and receiving emails automatically in Python

There are different situations, when you may want to process email messages automatically. I will give some examples related to Vulnerability Management:

  • Send a message to your colleagues that you are going to start a network ┬ávulnerability ┬áscan or WAS scan. It is much better than investigating performance problems in a hurry.
  • Send the results of vulnerability scanning to colleagues or a responsible employee. Many patch management and configuration issues can be delegated to the end user directly without bothering IT department.
  • Process the response (if any) on your message. If it is not, you can send another message or escalate the problem.
  • Send a report with the current security status in the organization to your colleagues and boss.
  • Some systems you can integrate by email only. They will send messages to some email address and you will process them automatically.
  • Maybe you do not like existing email clients and you want to write your own? ­čśë

Gmail Python IMAP SMTP

In any case, the ability to send e-mails can be very useful. How to do this in python? Let’s assume that your IT team has granted you access to smtp and imap servers.

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SSH, SFTP, public key authentication and python

SFTP is a simple and fairly reliable way to share the information within the organization. Let’s look at the situation when you need to pick up some files from a remote host with authorization by public key. And after that, let’s see how to use it with in python.

ssh sftp python

Moreover, let’s see how to work with SSH using python and execute any commands on the remote host. For example. if we need it to collect versions of installed packages and a version Linux distribution for further vulnerability analysis (see “Vulnerability Assessment without Vulnerability Scanner“). ­čśë

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Burp Suite Free Edition and NTLM authentication in ASP.net applications

As you know, Burp Suit is a scanner for advanced Web Application Security researchers. However, the free version of Burp is more like Firebug analogue, but much more functional.

Let’s see how to install it and use for website analysis. This analysis may be necessary to find vulnerabilities or somehow automate the work with the site. Let’s take, for example, ASP.net applications with NTLM-authorization, which is rather unpleasant to analyze.

Go to the site https://portswigger.net/burp/freedownload and download burp installer as a bash script:

Burp Suite Free Edition

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Automated posting on Vkontakte public pages using VK API and Python

Vk.com (Vkontakte) is the most popular social network Russia and Ex-USSR with 430+ million users. Originally it was a Facebook clone. But now, after 10 years of development, these two services are quite different from each other.

Traditional advantages of vk.com – huge amount of free music and video. The service allows users to upload and share files and for a long time was quite tolerant to piracy. In 2016 Mail.Ru Group, Vkontakte parent company, has solved all problems with major music labels and ┬ánow works closely with the rights holders.

Unlike Facebook, VKontakte has very efficient features for creating communities: public pages (blogs) and groups (open and closed web-forums). In VK communities you can easily share news, photo, audio, video, text files in different formats, create discussions topics and wiki-pages. When I was studying at the University in 2003-2009, to share information in a study group we needed to create our own website and phpBB-based forum. Now practically all students simply use VKontakte groups for this. Unlike Facebook, VKontakte shows all content in groups as is, without hiding and filtering.

With reach automation capabilities, you can do various interesting things based on VK. For a start, I decided to post all annotations from my https://avleonov.com blog to https://vk.com/avleonovcom Vkontakte page. I created this page in web GUI and filled it with content automatically using my own python scripts.

Creating a new application

I want to work with Vkontakte from my Python scripts. So, I will need to create a new Standalone Application for this. You can do it here: https://vk.com/editapp?act=create

vk new application

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