Nmap Technical Manual

By now, most infosec pros have heard of Nmap, and most would agree that even though the popular freeware tool is invaluable, installing, configuring and running it in the enterprise is no easy task. With that in mind, SearchSecurity.com, in collaboration with security expert Michael Cobb, has produced an Nmap Tutorial, detailing how this free tool can help make your organization more secure.

Nmap is a well-known open source tool that has found a home in the hearts of hackers, both white and black alike. Though it was first created in the late 1990s, it leapt into the pop culture consciousness in 2003 when, in the motion picture The Matrix Reloaded, the character Trinity made use of Nmap to disable an electrical plant's security measures, taking down the local power grid.

In real life, it's most often used to locate available hosts and services on a network, determine the operating systems and versions utilized by machines on a network and pinpoint a network's open ports. While it's a valuable tool used by security pros for performing a network inventory or a vulnerability assessment, some fear that a Matrix-like scenario is not as far fetched as it seems, as it is also a tool in some malicious hackers' arsenals, used to help find open ports running services vulnerable to attack.

In collaboration with security expert Michael Cobb, SearchSecurity.com has produced this Nmap manual, offering up all the guidance information security professionals need to learn how to install, configure, run and evaluate Nmap in the enterprise, both on Windows and Linux platforms. Browse through the technical tips below and learn how this free tool can help make your organization more secure.

Nmap technical manual

About the author:
Michael Cobb, CISSP-ISSAP, is a renowned security author with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He has a passion for making IT security best practices easier to understand and achievable. His website http://www.hairyitdog.com offers free security posters to raise employee awareness of the importance of safeguarding company and client data and of following good practices. He co-authored the book IIS Security and has written many technical articles for leading IT publications. Mike has also been a Microsoft Certified Database Manager and registered consultant with the CESG Listed Advisor Scheme (CLAS).

Next Steps

Learn how to create an inventory with Nmap network scanning

Is there a more comprehensive tool than Nmap for asset management systems?

Join the discussion: Nmap: How to scan ports and services

This was first published in October 2006

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