Nmap (“Network Mapper”)
Nmap is a security scanner . It is used to discover hosts and services on a computer network, thus creating a “map” of the network. To accomplish its goal, Nmap sends specially crafted packets to the target host and then analyzes the responses.
The software provides a number of features for probing computer networks, including host discovery and service and operating system detection. These features are extensible by scripts that provide more advanced service detection, vulnerability detection and other features. Nmap is also capable of adapting to network conditions including latency and congestion during a scan. Nmap is under constant development and refinement by its user community.
Nmap was originally a Linux-only utility, but it was ported to Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, BSD variants (including OS X), AmigaOS, and IRIX. Linux is the most popular platform, followed closely by Windows.
• Flexible: Supports dozens of advanced techniques for mapping out networks filled with IP filters, firewalls, routers, and other obstacles. This includes many port scanning mechanisms (both TCP & UDP), OS detection, version detection, ping sweeps, and more.
• Powerful: Nmap has been used to scan huge networks of literally hundreds of thousands of machines.
• Portable: Most operating systems are supported, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, IRIX, Mac OS X, HP-UX, NetBSD, Sun OS, Amiga, and more.
• Easy: While Nmap offers a rich set of advanced features for power users, you can start out as simply as “nmap -v -A targethost“. Both traditional command line and graphical (GUI) versions are available to suit your preference. Binaries are available for those who do not wish to compile Nmap from source.
• Free: The primary goals of the Nmap Project is to help make the Internet a little more secure and to provide administrators/auditors/hackers with an advanced tool for exploring their networks. Nmap is available for free download, and also comes with full source code that you may modify and redistribute under the terms of the license.