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Mastering the Nmap Scripting Engine by Paulino Calderón Pale

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Appendix A. Scan Phases

Scans performed with Nmap are divided into phases, and some of them may be skipped using different Nmap options. The scan phases of Nmap are:

  • Script pre-scanning: The pre-scanning phase is executed only when you use the -sC or --script options; it attempts to retrieve additional host information via a collection of NSE scripts.
  • Target enumeration: In this phase, Nmap parses the target (or targets) and resolves them into IP addresses.
  • Host discovery: This is the phase where Nmap determines whether the target (or targets) is online and in the network by performing the specified host discovery technique (or techniques). The -Pn option can be used to skip this phase.
  • Reverse DNS resolution: In this phase, Nmap performs a reverse ...

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