Monitoring network integrity with Nmap

Monday, 3 November 2003, 4:10 PM EST

The value of a computer's information determines its desirability as a target for hacking -- but only in part. Even valueless machines can serve as jumping-off sites for additional attacks once compromised, or be used to gather information about an ostensibly "private" network in preparation for a later intrusion. And of course, mischief is an endless source of motivation. Knowledge of what the network should look like is worthless unless regularly compared to the way it is. I’m using "network" here to refer to the sum of all networked computers, not to router and switch security, which is a completely different matter. "Securing the network," in this sense, means preventing remote users from gaining access to your machines.

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