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War Tools! -- continued

    What really saddens me is how many people ask me for good host names they can use. It is so easy to find them yourself!

    If you want to be primitive about it, you can scan for IP addresses by hand. Find a tempting domain name while surfing the web, running traceroute or tracert, or in the headers of email. Then try the techniques of the "Port Surf's Up!" chapter to see if there is anything interesting there. This is a good way to start, because you know exactly what you are doing and can get a gut feel for the process. Also, it's quite a rush to discover something rare like the Internet backbone VAX/VMS in the port surfing chapter -- and discover that it is advertising the status of its huge network to you from port 15!

    There also are programs that will find live Internet host computers for you automatically. Many of these tools will also map which ports are open. They won't always give you all the goodies you can get when you port surf by hand, but they find out the basics for you fast.

   You can get punched in the nose warning: The downside of the IP scanner and port scanner tools of this chapter is that when you use them on other people's computers without permission, this practically shouts "I am a criminal hacker." Presumably this isn't true, but way too many sysadmins have discovered that a port scan is soon followed by a break-in attempt.

    If you do insist on scanning without permission, it helps to scan Internet hosts owned by other hackers. If people who are obviously hackers complain, the sysadmins at your ISP or company LAN may not have much sympathy for them. Hey, they are hackers, they can take care of themselves. However, if you do this without the hackers' permission, you just might incite a hacker war against you, which may nevertheless lead to losing your Internet access.

So we're ready to scan for Internet hosts and their ports. Let's start with how newbies can do it.  You can get a Windows 95/98 program that scans IP addresses and ports, What's Up Gold, from http://www.ipswitch.com. It's free for a one month trial. It's a simple point and click program that does an excellent job.

    Here's what I get when I scan IP addresses from 198.987.999.1 through 198.987.999.254 looking for any open ports in the range of 1 through 600. This scan is set to check each port by waiting only 100 milliseconds for a response from each one:

198.987.999.036 80

More War Tools! -->

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