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31 January 2011, 11:40

Version 5.50 of the Nmap network scanner released

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Nmap Logo After more than a year of development, the developers have released version 5.50 of Nmap, their popular open source network scanner and mapper. According to the developers, the primary focus of this second stable update since Nmap 5.00 is the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE); this "has allowed Nmap to expand up the protocol stack and take network discovery to the next level".

Nmap 5.50 more than doubles the number of included NSE scripts, bringing the total to 177, and includes 54 NSE libraries – up from 30 in the previous version. NSE allows users to create scripts to automate several common network tasks. The addition of newtargets support allows scripts such as dns-zone-xfer and dns-service-discovery to add discovered hosts to Nmap's scan queue.

Other changes to the NSE engine include the addition of a brute forcing engine, network broadcast script support, as well as two new script scanning phases known as "prerule" and "postrule". Zenmap changes include GUI performance improvements and several new features, such as a script selection interface and printing support. The developers also note that they have added 636 OS fingerprints and 1,037 version detection images since the last stable release, bringing the totals to 2,982 and 7,319 respectively.

Further information about the latest stable version can be found in the official release announcement and in the change log. Nmap 5.50 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and several UNIX platforms from the project web site, and documentation is provided. Nmap is licensed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) with clarifications and exceptions.

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