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