nmapto assist in port scanning and network analysis. He published the original source code in Phrack Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 51, Article 11, and now maintains the tool at Insecure.org. Security experts all over the world use
nmapfor simple network checks, detecting open ports and service versions; the NSA keeps a list of security tools and current versions—including
nmap, Snort, and Nessus—up on the big board.
nmapdoes not only detect open ports; it detects services and operating system versions as well. You can use
nmapto scan a default range of ports, or a specific subset; it can scan a single host, a range, or a set; and it can find out if hosts are up or down.
nmapcan become a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled user, for good or for evil.
nmapnetwork scanning tool supplies a diverse set of options to control its behavior. It can scan multiple hosts and host ranges; utilize various scanning techniques; identify operating systems and service versions; and even perform stealth scanning to avoid triggering certain IDS and IPS utilities.
 Basic useFirst, let's cover some basic use of
nmap. You should at the very least know how to scan hosts and check for specific ports; these fundamentals will show you what's open on the target network.
 Scanning hostsBasic use of
nmapjust involves scanning a target IP address or domain name. For example:
bluefox@ice-ldap:~$ nmap webserv1 Starting Nmap 4.10 ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ ) at 2007-04-01 15:52 EDT Interesting ports on webserv1 (192.168.30.11): Not shown: 1644 closed ports, 28 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 21/tcp open ftp 22/tcp open ssh 80/tcp open http 111/tcp open rpcbind 199/tcp open smux 443/tcp open https 1008/tcp open ufsd Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 15.142 secondsIn this mode of operation,
nmapshows the open ports and the common service carried on that port.
nmapwill not show services moved to other ports accurately; http on port 21 will read as ftp, for example.
You can specify multiple hosts on
nmap's command line as well:
bluefox@ice-ldap:~$ nmap dbserv1 webserv1 Starting Nmap 4.10 ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ ) at 2007-04-01 15:56 EDT Interesting ports on 192.168.40.11: Not shown: 1667 closed ports PORT STATE SERVICE 22/tcp open ssh 135/tcp filtered msrpc 136/tcp filtered profile 137/tcp filtered netbios-ns 138/tcp filtered netbios-dgm 139/tcp filtered netbios-ssn 199/tcp open smux 445/tcp filtered microsoft-ds 1720/tcp filtered H.323/Q.931 3306/tcp open mysql 3389/tcp filtered ms-term-serv 5631/tcp filtered pcanywheredata Interesting ports on webserv1 (192.168.30.11): Not shown: 1644 closed ports, 28 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 21/tcp open ftp 22/tcp open ssh 80/tcp open http 111/tcp open rpcbind 199/tcp open smux 443/tcp open https 1008/tcp open ufsd Nmap finished: 2 IP addresses (2 hosts up) scanned in 17.001 secondsAs you can see, my Web server exposes too many ports and my MySQL server has a weak firewall; I ran this scan from a DMZ, which has to go through the firewall to enter my network. Here we can see the power of
nmap: I know I should switch my firewall to default deny and allow only the services needed through explicitly.
nmapidentifies filtered ports by a lack of response; closed ports send a TCP packet with a RST flag when you try to open them, indicating the server received the packet and would have allowed you to connect to any service listening on that port.
 Advanced target specification
nmapallows you to use IP address targets for various sets and ranges based on a simple syntax.
x-y- Specify from x-y.
nmap 192.168.0-1.1-2will scan 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, 192.168.0.2, and 192.168.1.2
*- Replaced with
0-255. Your shell will probably emit a bunch of file names, so just use
nmap 192.168.0.1,2,4will scan 192.168.0.1, 192.168.0.2, and 192.168.1.4. Further,
nmap 192.168.0.1-2,4will scan the same set of hosts.
/n- Scan CIDR notated subnets.
nmap 192.168.0.0/16operates as
nmap 192.168.0-255.0-255for example.
nmap 192.168.0,16,64,96.0/4. Usually you will not want to do anything this drastic, and can stick to a single host; however, if you need it, you should know how to do it. Remember,
nmapmaps networks, not just hosts.
 Scanning ports
~$ nmap -p21-22,25,80,443 webserv1
-sV -p80), whether a server runs MS SQL Server or MySQL (
-sV -p1433,3306), if the server runs ssh, etc.
 Service Scans
nmaphas the ability to do service scans and RPC grinding; in other words, it can tell you what high level protocol, application, version, version of libssl if the service supplies an SSL connection, etc., listens on a port instead of matching the port number to the common service.
nmapalso uses an RPC grinder, which makes RPC connections to ports running an RPC service; typically a single RPC portmapper port tells you which ports run RPC, but if the firewall blocks that then
nmapwill find it itself.
Let's take a look first at a scan against the server behind me. This server provides a profoundly good example because I've configured it to let me poke holes in my college's firewall, and thus it looks really strange. A typical
nmapscan comes out well enough:
bluefox@icebox:/home/shared/qemu$ nmap 192.168.1.40 Starting Nmap 4.20 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2007-04-03 20:58 EDT Interesting ports on 192.168.1.40: Not shown: 1688 closed ports PORT STATE SERVICE 21/tcp open ftp 22/tcp open ssh 53/tcp open domain 80/tcp open http 81/tcp open hosts2-ns 139/tcp open netbios-ssn 389/tcp open ldap 443/tcp open https 445/tcp open microsoft-ds Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.971 secondsThe above shows FTP, DNS, hosts2-ns, HTTP/SSL, and Microsoft Directory Services (Active Directory). We can take a closer look with an
nmapservice scan using
-sV. The below output gives us something quite different.
bluefox@icebox:/home/shared/qemu$ nmap -sV 192.168.1.40 Starting Nmap 4.20 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2007-04-03 21:01 EDT Interesting ports on 192.168.1.40: Not shown: 1688 closed ports PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 21/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 4.3p2 Debian 5ubuntu1 (protocol 2.0) 22/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 4.3p2 Debian 5ubuntu1 (protocol 2.0) 53/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 4.3p2 Debian 5ubuntu1 (protocol 2.0) 80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.0.55 ((Ubuntu) PHP/5.1.6) 81/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.0.55 ((Ubuntu) PHP/5.1.6) 139/tcp open netbios-ssn Samba smbd 3.X (workgroup: MSHOME) 389/tcp open ldap OpenLDAP 2.2.X 443/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 4.3p2 Debian 5ubuntu1 (protocol 2.0) 445/tcp open netbios-ssn Samba smbd 3.X (workgroup: MSHOME) Service Info: OS: Linux Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at http://insecure.org/nmap/submit/ . Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 13.747 secondsSo it seems this server really has Apache serving http on two ports; OpenSSH serving over the FTP, DNS, and HTTPS ports; and Samba providing SMB connections. Further, we can see that the server uses SSH 2.0 protocol on OpenSSH 4.3p2 Debian 5ubuntu1, a native Ubuntu .deb rather than a custom build. We can guess with relative accuracy that this server runs Ubuntu, even without an OS scan; either that or the administrator really doesn't have a clue what he's doing, or has managed to change banners with a rewrite proxy to fool us.
Worth note, the
-Aswitch activates service scanning as well.
 Advanced Port ScansYou can run many types of advanced port scans with
nmap. Aside from the standard
nmaprequires root access to perform these advanced scans because it needs to create raw sockets and construct raw TCP/IP packets.
 Using nmap with rootThe
nmapprogram obtains different information with and without root access. With root access,
nmapcan perform advanced TCP/IP scans; operating system detection; and MAC address identification.
First let's check out a normal user utilizing
nmap -Aactivates operating system and service scanning, in the same way as
nmap -O -sV. Operating system detection requires root access, so OS detection won't work at all. I've performed the below scan against a Linksys WRT54G wireless router.
bluefox@icebox:~$ nmap -A -p80,1 192.168.1.1 Starting Nmap 4.20 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2007-04-04 12:18 EDT Interesting ports on 192.168.1.1: PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 1/tcp closed tcpmux 80/tcp open http Linksys wireless-G WAP http config (Name Icelink) Service Info: Device: WAP Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at http://insecure.org/nmap/submit/ . Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 6.199 secondsAs you can see,
nmapsimply skips the OS detection phase. When we put
nmapinto operation as root, however, we see that it can also look up a lot more information. Below, we see it discovered the MAC address and identified the vendor owning that MAC space; the operating system and details about the OS; the uptime; and the network distance. It also gave us a device type;
nmapsees a Linux OS used for desktops, wireless routers, or network storage, and thus classifies the device as either general purpose, WAP, or storage.
bluefox@icebox:~$ sudo nmap -A -p80,1 192.168.1.1 Starting Nmap 4.20 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2007-04-04 12:18 EDT Interesting ports on 192.168.1.1: PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 1/tcp closed tcpmux 80/tcp open http Linksys wireless-G WAP http config (Name Icelink) MAC Address: 00:13:10:7D:06:C6 (Cisco-Linksys) Device type: general purpose|WAP|storage-misc Running: Linux 2.4.X, Linksys Linux 2.4.X, Asus Linux 2.4.X, Maxtor Linux 2.4.X OS details: Linux 2.4.20 - 2.4.32, Linux-based embedded device (Linksys WRT54GL WAP, Buffalo AirStation WLA-G54 WAP, Maxtor Shared Storage Drive, or Asus Wireless Storage Router) Uptime: 29.285 days (since Tue Mar 6 04:28:28 2007) Network Distance: 1 hop Service Info: Device: WAP OS and Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at http://insecure.org/nmap/submit/ . Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 7.833 seconds
nmapbecomes much more powerful with root access; however, for security reasons you should not haphazardly give
nmapthe SUID permission. You can allow users to run
sudo, but be aware that anything that allows a user to gain root access—SUID bits,
sudo, etc—represents a security risk.
 Operating system detection
nmapoperating system detection. OS detection attempts to use characteristics of the target's TCP/IP stack to fingerprint the remote operating system; usually it can identify Linux, Windows, and BSD, and find a general range of versions and families like Windows NT/XP or 95/98/ME. A typical OS Detection scan looks like the below.
bluefox@ice-ldap:~$ sudo nmap -O 192.168.1.105 -P0 Starting Nmap 4.10 ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ ) at 2007-04-05 18:43 EDT Warning: OS detection will be MUCH less reliable because we did not find at least 1 open and 1 closed TCP port Interesting ports on 192.168.1.105: Not shown: 1677 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 139/tcp open netbios-ssn 445/tcp open microsoft-ds MAC Address: 00:0C:76:96:A5:DC (Micro-star International CO.) Device type: general purpose Running: Microsoft Windows NT/2K/XP OS details: Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 32.272 seconds
 TCP connect() Scan
nmapallows a TCP connect() scan in all cases, administrative access or not; when you specify other scan types without root access,
nmapautomatically substitutes this scan type.
In this scanning mode,
nmapopens a connection to the port in the same way a Web browser or FTP client does and checks to see how the TCP/IP stack responds. The following results arise from this scan:
nmapwas able to complete a connection, and then closed the port.
nmaptried to connect and got an error informing it that the port was closed (the OS got a RST packet).
nmaptried to connect and the OS gave it some other error, like host or port unreachable or connection time-out.
 TCP SYN Scan
nmapTCP SYN scan uses a simple SYN packet to connect to a port to determine its status.
nmapuses this by default whenever it has raw socket privileges.
The TCP SYN scan sends a SYN packet as if opening a connection, and checks the result. The following statuses come from this test:
nmapgot a SYN/ACK from the host on that port.
nmapdoes not have to take further action; the OS has no record of the connection, and responds to the SYN/ACK with a RST, tearing down the connection on the target.
nmapgot a RST from the host on that port.
nmapgot something else, or nothing.
 Scanning FirewallsYou can use
nmapto penetrate firewalls as well.
nmapcan perform scans useful for determining whether a firewall uses stateful filtering or not; and which ports a firewall allows through. You can scan targets behind the firewall with this and discover the firewall rules, allowing more targeted scans and possibly evading firewall logging.
 TCP ACK Scan
 Stealth ScansUnfortunately, if you scan through certain IPS or IDS machines, you get loads of fluff from proxy ports. This presents a minor annoyance. I had to trim below output, as it contained thousands of lines of text. I've obscured the host I scanned below; I had chosen a live machine on the Internet to scan for this, because I don't have the IPS hardware they use.
Starting Nmap 4.10 ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ ) at 2007-04-01 16:14 EDT Stats: 0:00:02 elapsed; 0 hosts completed (1 up), 1 undergoing Connect() Scan Connect() Scan Timing: About 20.95% done; ETC: 16:14 (0:00:09 remaining) Interesting ports on %%% (%%%): Not shown: 861 closed ports PORT STATE SERVICE 2/tcp open compressnet 3/tcp open compressnet 7/tcp open echo 10/tcp open unknown 12/tcp open unknown 14/tcp open unknown 15/tcp open netstat 18/tcp open msp 19/tcp open chargen 20/tcp open ftp-data 21/tcp open ftp 25/tcp open smtp 27/tcp open nsw-fe 28/tcp open unknown 29/tcp open msg-icp 30/tcp open unknown 31/tcp open msg-auth 32/tcp open unknown 33/tcp open dsp 34/tcp open unknown 35/tcp open priv-print 38/tcp open rap 39/tcp open rlp 40/tcp open unknown 41/tcp open graphics 43/tcp open whois 47/tcp open ni-ftp 56/tcp open xns-auth 58/tcp open xns-mail 59/tcp open priv-file 60/tcp open unknown 64/tcp open covia 66/tcp open sql*net ..... 134/tcp open ingres-net 135/tcp filtered msrpc 136/tcp filtered profile 137/tcp filtered netbios-ns 138/tcp filtered netbios-dgm 139/tcp filtered netbios-ssn 141/tcp open emfis-cntl 143/tcp open imap 145/tcp open uaac 147/tcp open iso-ip 148/tcp open cronus 149/tcp open aed-512 150/tcp open sql-net 155/tcp open netsc-dev ..... 27001/tcp open flexlm1 27002/tcp open flexlm2 27005/tcp open flexlm5 27007/tcp open flexlm7 27008/tcp open flexlm8 27009/tcp open flexlm9 27010/tcp open flexlm10 27374/tcp open subseven 27665/tcp open Trinoo_Master 31337/tcp filtered Elite 32775/tcp open sometimes-rpc13 32777/tcp open sometimes-rpc17 32779/tcp open sometimes-rpc21 32787/tcp open sometimes-rpc27 38037/tcp open landesk-cba 43188/tcp open reachout 47557/tcp open dbbrowse 50000/tcp open iiimsf 54320/tcp open bo2k 61441/tcp open netprowler-sensor 65301/tcp open pcanywhere Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 23.251 secondsFortunately, you can perform a stealth scan to evade this; unfortunately, stealth scans take an order of magnitude longer. Usually a polite scan will do the trick, it causes only 150 packets/minute.
~$ nmap -T polite %%%
-Toption takes one of five arguments, given by name or number. These are:
paranoid(0) - No parallel scanning. 5 minutes between sending packets.
sneaky(1) - No parallel scanning. 15 seconds between sending packets.
polite(2) - No parallel scanning. 0.4 seconds between sending packets.
normal(3) - Default scanning. Tries to be very fast without overloading the network.
aggressive(4) - Faster than normal, but loads the network.
insane(5) - Parallel scans, times out hosts in 15 minutes, won't wait more than 0.3 seconds for an individual probe. Loses a lot of information.
nmapalso provides options to control scan time-outs. Combining these with the above provides more fine-tuned scans, for example a scan doing 100 packets per minute:
~$ nmap -T sneaky --scan_delay 600
bluefox@icebox:~$ nmap -T polite Starting Nmap 4.20 ( http://insecure.org ) at 2007-04-02 19:52 EDT Interesting ports on %%% (%%%): Not shown: 1658 closed ports, 26 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 21/tcp open ftp 25/tcp open smtp 80/tcp open http 110/tcp open pop3 143/tcp open imap 389/tcp open ldap 443/tcp open https 1026/tcp open LSA-or-nterm 1027/tcp open IIS 1433/tcp open ms-sql-s 3389/tcp open ms-term-serv 8000/tcp open http-alt 9999/tcp open abyss Nmap finished: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 693.146 secondsAs we can see, this scan takes 693 seconds instead of 23, 30 times longer.