Nmap 5.00

For years, I have used the Nmap port scanning tool. The biggest update since 1997 is out in the form of Nmap 5.0.

As part of a penetration test, Nmap is one of the first tools I use to try to enumerate a network and see what it’s running as well as which ports might be open (or closed).

The new release is supposedly to be faster than prior versions. So far, my testing confirms this.

Aside from speed there are the new tools like Ncat that make Nmap 5 a major release.

According to the insecure.org website:

“The new Ncat tool aims to be your Swiss Army Knife for data transfer, redirection, and debugging,” the Nmap 5.0 release announcement states.

In addition, extensibility is a big part of the release. For example, the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) adds quite a bit to Nmap in terms of flexiblity and programability.

NSE is all about automating network scanning task with scripts. According to the release announcement:

“Those scripts are then executed in parallel with the speed and efficiency you expect from Nmap. All existing scripts have been improved, and 32 new ones added. New scripts include a whole bunch of MSRPC/NetBIOS attacks, queries, and vulnerability probes; open proxy detection; whois and AS number lookup queries; brute force attack scripts against the SNMP and POP3 protocols; and many more.”

One of the first steps of any network security assessment is scanning  to identify available and exposed network resources. I have no doubts that Nmap 5 will continue to be a valuable tool for network administrators, security nerds, and penetration testers alike.

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