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Hack I.T.: Security Through Penetration Testing by Ajay Gupta, Scott Laliberte, T. J. Klevinsky

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Chapter 13. Port Scanners

After gathering preliminary information about the target and identifying potential systems that are alive, you need to determine what services the targets are running. One way to identify services is to scan the hosts with a port scanner. The port scanner looks for open service ports on the target. Each port is associated with a service that may be exploitable or contain vulnerabilities. Port scanners can be used “surgically” to scan for specific ports or they can be used to scan every port on each host. The more surgical you can be in your scans, the better your chances of avoiding detection. However, a complete port scan should be performed toward the end of the engagement to identify ports that may have been missed. ...

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