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17 July 2009, 13:22

Version 5.0 of the Nmap network scanner released

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The developers have announced the release of version 5.0 of Nmap, their popular network scanner and mapper. The release features nearly 600 significant changes and the developers consider it to be "the most important Nmap release since 1997". Major improvements to the network scanner include the addition of the Ndiff scan comparison tool and the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE).

Using Ndiff, administrators can automatically scan their networks on a daily basis and obtain a report on any changes, such as software services and systems coming up or going down. NSE allows users to create scripts to automate several common network tasks. The release includes updates to existing scripts and the addition of 32 new scripts. More information about NSE is available in the provided documentation.

Zenmap's new network topology graphing mode.
Zoom Zenmap's new network topology graphing mode.
Nmap now includes a new Ncat tool for data transfer, redirection and debugging. A user guide is provided that details the security test and network administration features. The Zenmap GUI for Nmap has also been updated and now includes a Topology tab that provides "an interactive, animated visualization of the hosts on a network and connections between them". Advanced search functionality has been added to Zenmap, allowing users to find previous scans based on different criteria, such as ports, keywords or OS detection results. Since version 4.85 Beta 7, Nmap can also remotely detect the Conficker worm on infected Windows systems over a network.

More details about version 5.0 can be found in the release notes and change log. Nmap 5.0 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 with clarifications and exceptions.


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