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Computer ports serve as the main docking point for information moving from software or the Internet to a device or another computer in the network and vice versa. A port scan is a method used to detect open ports on a network or a device. Attackers often use port scanning to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited to gain unauthorized access to a system. Port scanning can also be used by security professionals to identify potential security weaknesses in a network or system.
Port protection involves implementing security measures to prevent unauthorized access to open ports. This can include configuring firewalls to block access to unused ports, limiting access to open ports to specific IP addresses, and using intrusion detection systems to alert administrators of suspicious activity.
Ping scans: Ping scans are internet control message protocol (ICMP) that is used to send a ping request to a computer and wait for a response. It helps to identify whether a network data packet can reach an IP address without any issues. Cybersecurity companies frequently use ping scans to identify gaps in a firewall's coverage and then try to fix them.
XMAS scans: An XMAS scan will send a FIN packet from the server to terminate a connection after a successful transfer of data. If the port is closed, you will receive a response “no more data is available from the sender”. And if no response is received it will indicate that the port is still live and which can be used by the attacker to target these systems. Since FIN packets are rarely observed, it is quite challenging to manually detect them.
Half-open or SYN(short for synchronize) scans: It is a technique used by malicious attackers to determine the status of the port without actually establishing a full connection. In this attacker does not create a connection between the system instead it sends an SYN message, leaving the target hanging which helps them to identify the ports which are currently open on your system.
A Port scan is one of the most popular methods used by the attacker to identify vulnerable servers. Your network system will be susceptible to port scans as long as you have a server that is open to the public. However, there are a number of things you may do to reduce your vulnerabilities:
It is important to regularly scan for open ports and implement port protection measures to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data.
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