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Published on April 15th, 2016 📆 | 3956 Views ⚑


pwntools — CTF Framework

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pwntools is a CTF framework and exploit development library. Written in Python, it is designed for rapid prototyping and development, and intended to make exploit writing as simple as possible. Whether you’re using it to write exploits, or as part of another software project will dictate how you use it.  Historically pwntools was used as a sort of exploit-writing DSL. Simply doing from pwn import * in a previous version of pwntools would bring all sorts of nice side-effects. When redesigning pwntools for 2.0 two different modules were desined. pwnlib, a  nice, clean Python module, and pwn which is to be used during CTFs.

CTF Framework: pwntools pwntools


pwn — Toolbox optimized for CTFs

The purpose of this module lies in its ability to get a lot of side-effects by default. It does the following:

  • Imports everything from the toplevel pwnlib along with functions from a lot of submodules. This means that if you doimport pwn or from pwn import *, you will get access to everything you need to write an exploit.
  • Calls pwnlib.term.init() to put your terminal in raw mode and implementing functionality to make it look like it is not.
  • Setting the pwnlib.context.log_level to “info”.
  • Tries to parse some of the values in sys.argv and every value it succeeds in parsing it removes.


pwnlib — Normal python library

This module represents “clean” python-code. As a rule, importing pwnlib or any of the submodules shouldn’t have any significant side-effects (besides e.g. caching). For the most part, you will also only get the bits you import. You for instance will not get access to pwnlib.util.packing simply by doing import pwnlib.util. Though there are a few exceptions (such as pwnlib.shellcraft), that does not quite fit the goals of being simple and clean, but they can still be imported without implicit side-effects.

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CTF Framework: pwntools documentation



pwntools is best supported on Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04, but most functionality should work on any Posix-like distribution (Debian, Arch, FreeBSD, OSX, etc.).


CTF Framework Prerequisites:

In order to get the most out of pwntools, you should have the following system libraries installed.


Released Version

Pwntools is available as a pip package.

$ apt-get install python2.7 python2.7-dev python-pip
$ pip install pwntools


Source && Download

CTF Framework: pwntools download

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