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7/16/2009
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Insecure.Org Unveils Nmap Security Scanner Version 5.00

Improvements include whole users' guide detailing security testing and network administration tasks, Ndiff scan comparison tool

July 16, 2009 -- Insecure.Org is pleased to announce the immediate, free availability of the Nmap Security Scanner version 5.00 from http://nmap.org/. This is the first stable release since 4.76 (last September), and the first major release since the 4.50 release in 2007. Dozens of development releases led up to this.

Considering all the changes, we consider this the most important Nmap release since 1997, and we recommend that all current users upgrade.

Here are the top 5 improvements in Nmap 5:

1. The new Ncat tool aims to be your Swiss Army Knife for data transfer, redirection, and debugging. We released a whole users' guide detailing security testing and network administration tasks made easy with Ncat.

2. The addition of the Ndiff scan comparison tool completes Nmap's growth into a whole suite of applications which work together to serve network administrators and security practitioners. Ndiff makes it easy to automatically scan your network daily and report on any changes (systems coming up or going down or changes to the software services they are running). The other two tools now packaged with Nmap itself are Ncat and the much improved Zenmap GUI and results viewer.

3. Nmap performance has improved dramatically. We spent last summer scanning much of the Internet and merging that data with internal enterprise scan logs to determine the most commonly open ports. This allows Nmap to scan fewer ports by default while finding more open ports. We also added a fixed-rate scan engine so you can bypass Nmap's congestion control algorithms and scan at exactly the rate (packets per second) you specify.

4. We released Nmap Network Scanning, the official Nmap guide to network discovery and security scanning. From explaining port scanning basics for novices to detailing low-level packet crafting methods used by advanced hackers, this book suits all levels of security and networking professionals. A 42-page reference guide documents every Nmap feature and option, while the rest of the book demonstrates how to apply those features to quickly solve real-world tasks. More than half the book is available in the free online edition.

5. The Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) is one of Nmap's most powerful and flexible features. It allows users to write (and share) simple scripts to automate a wide variety of networking tasks. Those scripts are then executed in parallel with the speed and efficiency you expect from Nmap. All existing scripts have been improved, and 32 new ones added. New scripts include a whole bunch of MSRPC/NetBIOS attacks, queries, and vulnerability probes; open proxy detection; whois and AS number lookup queries; brute force attack scripts against the SNMP and POP3 protocols; and many more. All NSE scripts and modules are described in the new NSE documentation portal.

The full list of changes you can find in our CHANGELOG.

About Nmap Nmap ("Network Mapper") is a free and open source (license) utility for network exploration or security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, but works fine against single hosts. Nmap runs on all major computer operating systems, and official binary packages are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. In addition to the classic command-line Nmap executable, the Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer (Zenmap), a flexible data transfer, redirection, and debugging tool (Ncat), and a utility for comparing scan results (Ndiff).

Nmap was named "Security Product of the Year" by Linux Journal, Info World, LinuxQuestions.Org, and Codetalker Digest. It was even featured in eight movies, including The Matrix Reloaded, Die Hard 4, and The Bourne Ultimatum.

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