Chapter 4. Vulnerability Scanning

A vulnerability scanner is an automated program designed to look for weaknesses in computers, computer systems, networks, and applications. The program probes a system by sending data to it over a network and analyzing the responses received, in an effort to enumerate any vulnerabilities present on the target by using its vulnerability database as reference.

Various operating systems tend to respond differently when sent particular network probes because of the different networking implementations in use. These unique responses serve as a fingerprint that the vulnerability scanner uses to determine the operating system version and even its patch level. A vulnerability scanner can also use a given set of user credentials ...

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