Uses for Nlog and Nmap


Uses for Nlog and Nmap

So now you can port scan with Nmap and sort and analyze the results with Nlog. what can you do with these programs? There are, indeed, some interesting applications for port scanners. Here are some examples for you to try on your network:

      1. Scan for the least common services: if you have a service or port number that is only showing up on one or two machines, chances are that it is not something that is standard for your network. It could be a Trojan horse or a banned service (e.g. a file-sharing application). It could also be a misconfigured machine running an FTP server or other type of public server. You can set Nlog to show the number of occurrences of each and sort them by the least often occurring. This will generate a list for you to check. You probably won’t want to include your company’s servers in this scan as the will have lots of one-of-a-kind services running. However, it would not hurt to scan these servers separately either to fine-tune or eliminate extraneous services.
      2. Hunt for illicit/unknown web servers: Chances are that if you run one or more web servers for your company, you will see the HTTP services showing up a few times on your network. However, it is also likely that you will see it on machines where you don’t expect it. Some manufacturers of desktop computers are now loading small web servers by default on their systems for use by their technical support personnel. Unfortunately, these web servers are often barebones programs with security holes in them. You will also find web servers running on printers, routers, firewalls, and even switches and other dedicated hardware. You may need these servers to configure the hardware, but if you aren’t using these servers, you should shut them off. These mini-servers are often configured with no password protection by default and can offer a hacker a foothold onto that machine. They can also offer access to the files on the machines if an intruder knows how to manipulate them. Scan for these hidden web servers, and either turn them off or properly protect them. you should also search for ports other than 80 that are commonly used for HTTP. At the end of this article, there is a table listing some of those ports.
      3. Scan for servers running on desktops: Going a step further with the last exercise, restrict the IP range to only those that are nonserver machines and set a port range from 1 to 1024. This will find desktop machines running services that are normally done by servers, such as mail, web and FTP. Unless there is a good reason for this (e.g. PCAnywhere), your desktop machines should not be running these types of services.
      4. Hunt for Trojan horses: To hunt for Trojan horses on your network, run a scan of your network and translate it into the Nlog database format. Open the Nlog search page, select the ports, and set the range from 30,000 and 65,400. This is the favored range for Trojan horses because it is out of the range of normal services and so they usually will go unnoticed – that is, unless you are port scanning your network. However, just because there are some services running on high-level ports doesn’t always mean you have Trojan horses, but it is worth paying attention to services running on these high port numbers. Once you’ve narrowed it down to the machine and port numbers, you can rule them out by checking the services running on those machines or by SSHing to those port numbers and seeing if you get a service banner.
      5. Check your external network exposure: Put your Nmap box outside your network, either on a dial-up or home broadband connection, and try scanning your company’s public IP addresses. By doing this you will see what services are accessible from the Internet (and thereby to any port scanner-wielding person). This is the most vulnerable part of your network, and you should take extra care to secure any services that are public-facing by using a vulnerability scanner, such as the one described in the next chapter. It will also show if your firewall is properly filtering ports that it is forwarding to internal LAN addresses.
        So you’ve seen all the cool things you can do with a port scanner like Nmap. These programs are useful for finding out what you have running and where your exposures might be. But how do you know if those exposed points might be vulnerable? Or if services that are supposed to be open are safe and secure? That goes beyond the function of a port scanner and into the realm of a vulnerability scanner.

Web Ports

Common Port Number Protocol
81 Alternate web
88 Web
443 HTTPS, secure web
8000-8002 Web
8080 Web
8888 Web

External Links:

Download Nlog at

2003 archive of (the former official site of H.D. Moore, creator of Nlog)

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