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Nmap 5 improves open source network security auditing

nmap_small1.gif

From the 'what's running on your network?' files

When it comes to network scanning, Nmap is a critical open source tool that many (myself included) have relied on for years. This week the biggest update since 1997 is out in the form of Nmap 5.0.

Nmap is a great first step in trying to enumerate a network and see what it's running as well as which ports might be open (or closed). Nmap is also a key tool in the fight against Conficker and can be used to detect an infected node on a network.

The new release is supposed to be faster than prior versions, and in the day that I've been trying it out so far, it sure seems to be a whole lot faster to me than the 4.x release I had been using.

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

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

Extensibility is a key theme of the release with the The Nmap Scripting
Engine (NSE)
which gets a big boost in version 5.

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