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port scanning
Last modified: Thursday, August 26, 2004 

The act of systematically scanning a computer's ports. Since a port is a place where information goes into and out of a computer, port scanning identifies open doors to a computer. Port scanning has legitimate uses in managing networks, but port scanning also can be malicious in nature if someone is looking for a weakened access point to break into your computer.

Types of port scans:

  • vanilla: the scanner attempts to connect to all 65,535 ports
  • strobe: a more focused scan looking only for known services to exploit
  • fragmented packets: the scanner sends packet fragments that get through simple packet filters in a firewall
  • UDP: the scanner looks for open UDP ports
  • sweep: the scanner connects to the same port on more than one machine
  • FTP bounce: the scanner goes through an FTP server in order to disguise the source of the scan
  • stealth scan: the scanner blocks the scanned computer from recording the port scan activities.

Port scanning in and of itself is not a crime. There is no way to stop someone from port scanning your computer while you are on the Internet because accessing an Internet server opens a port, which opens a door to your computer. There are, however, software products that can stop a port scanner from doing any damage to your system.

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For internet.com pages about port scanning . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

eSecurity Planet 
A resource for daily information on e-security targeted to IT managers. The site provides users with information from a variety of sources, including experts at security product and services firms, and the consultants who follow the security industry.

Port Scanning
This lecture introduce the techniques of port scanning that an attacker may use to discover vulnerable services on an Internet host.

Port Scans Legal, Judge Says
Federal court finds that scanning a network doesn't cause damage, or threaten public health and safety.

SecurityTracker.com
Information on the latest security vulnerabilities, free SecurityTracker Alerts, and customized vulnerability notification services.

related categories

Ethics

Ports and Interfaces

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active reconnaissance

application gateway

DoS attack

firewalking

firewall

hacker

honeypot

intrusion detection system

IP address

IP spoofing

packet filtering

port

port knocking

pulsing zombie

router

script kiddie

smurf

spoof

stateful inspection

virtual router

VRRP

zombie


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