Book Image

Python for Secret Agents - Volume II - Second Edition

By : Steven F. Lott, Steven F. Lott
Book Image

Python for Secret Agents - Volume II - Second Edition

By: Steven F. Lott, Steven F. Lott

Overview of this book

Python is easy to learn and extensible programming language that allows any manner of secret agent to work with a variety of data. Agents from beginners to seasoned veterans will benefit from Python's simplicity and sophistication. The standard library provides numerous packages that move beyond simple beginner missions. The Python ecosystem of related packages and libraries supports deep information processing. This book will guide you through the process of upgrading your Python-based toolset for intelligence gathering, analysis, and communication. You'll explore the ways Python is used to analyze web logs to discover the trails of activities that can be found in web and database servers. We'll also look at how we can use Python to discover details of the social network by looking at the data available from social networking websites. Finally, you'll see how to extract history from PDF files, which opens up new sources of data, and you’ll learn about the ways you can gather data using an Arduino-based sensor device.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)
Python for Secret Agents Volume II
About the Author
About the Reviewer

Chapter 3. Following the Social Network

Intelligence gathering is really networking. It's networking with an avowed purpose of learning something new. It's an essentially social game. Most agents have connections; the more successful agents seem to have the most connections. When you read historical accounts of the British MI5/SIS agent code-named Garbo, you'll see how a vast and sophisticated social network is essential to espionage.

We'll leverage Twitter to gather pictures and text. We'll explore the Twitter Application Program Interface (API) to see what people are doing. The Twitter API uses Representational State Transfer (REST) as its protocol. We'll use Python's http.client to connect with RESTful web services like Twitter.

We can use the Twitter APIs to discover the extent of a social network. We'll try to discern the interactions one person has. We can use this to find the active connections among people. It requires some statistical care, but we can make steps toward discerning...