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BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing by Shakeel Ali, Tedi Heriyanto

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OS fingerprinting

After we know that the target machine is live, we can then find out the operating system used by the target machine. This method is commonly known as Operating System (OS) fingerprinting. There are two methods for doing OS fingerprinting: active and passive.

In the active method, the tool sends network packets to the target machine and then it determines the operating system of the target machine based on the analysis done on the response it received. The advantage of this method is that the fingerprinting process is fast. However, the disadvantage is that the target machine may notice our attempt to get its operating system information.

To overcome the active method disadvantage, there exists a passive method for OS fingerprinting. ...

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