Security researcher Gordon "Fyodor" Lyon announced the release of the latest version of the popular network-exploration and security-auditing tool, Nmap, on Thursday, improving performance and adding several new features.
Nmap 5.0 adds two new tools, Ncat and Ndiff, allowing network administrators and security practitioners the ability to transfer and redirect traffic as well as compare differences between periodic Nmap scans. Fyodor and the project's developers have also boosted performance of the program by scanning a large part of the internet and available networks to determine the most common ports that should be scanned.
"Some worry that Nmap is getting too bloated, but I only agree to add things that I'm confident we can maintain well and keep secure," Fyodor said. "Also, the extra tools Ncat, Ndiff, and Zenmap are optional, and you can even choose to compile Nmap without major features such as the Nmap Scripting Engine if you don't need them."
Nmap allows security professionals to scan networks for open ports, which typically indicate that a running application is awaiting data from the network. Unsecured ports are frequently probed by hackers looking to attack the system.
Nmap has become an essential part of security practitioners' toolboxes since it was released in 1997.
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Posted by: Robert Lemos