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Re: [OT] Recreating nmap
From: Bo Cato <jcato73 () comcast net>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 18:52:48 -0500

In a reduced version. Definitely yes.


NMAP facilitates what the IP stack already lets anyone do. NMAP is
much more than just a scanner because it allows for ip spoofing and os
detection. It is easy for even novice network programers to code a
simple connect scanner. It's also fairly easy to write code to spoof
TCP or UDP traffic. The hardest bit would be to recognize the packet
finger prints of the various os's without the database that's been
compiled by so many. I'm not even sure I'm proficient enough in C to
be considered novice. But I have written simple scanner code as well
as spoofing code that allows for manipulation of various headers such as:
ethernet, ip, tcp, udp, arp, etc. If I can do it with nothing more
than an idea and a keyboard then anyone can. Example of my little
packet generator with source code here: http://pacgen.sourceforge.net/

So yes. And simply because anything that can be made can be unmade..
and made again.

The removal of all networking tools that already provide this
functionality to the "programing challenged" would spur creation
again. Much like burning off a forest.

But there's a problem with this approach. The denial of such tools
would be to people who have justifiable needs as well as those with
malicious intent. In equal portion the needers and the wanters
will still get what they want in the end from free thinkers like
myself. Make it illegal and you simple make it more difficult for
those with need. The people who only 'want' will still have channels
and possibly the people with 'need' will be reduced to using those
same subvert channels. This increases risk to networking professional
by them having to wade through useless tools with no quality assurance
and potentially rife with Trojans. Lead poisoning was at an all time
high during the yeas of prohibition because of outlaw liquor stills
that used lead sealed containers to brew. Humans are creative problem
solvers. Take something away from one and their first reaction is to
treat it like a puzzle that must be solved with the inevitable, "How
can I....". It's very unlikely the mass response will be to give up.

And finally there is the argument whether expunging would even work.

Consider the music industry's battle with peer to peer sharing of
digital music media. Possibly illegal, probably immoral, absolutely


First of, my apologies for joining this list only to start of by posting
an off topic discussion.

I am required to hold a debate as part of my course at university. The
debate I decided to go for is a discussion on the European Union
discussing the banning of such tools as nmap. Though I think such a
legislation would be foolish, hypothetically, assuming not only Europe but
the whole world followed suite my question would be:

Do you, as developers, think you would be able to recreate nmap or a
reduced version of it from memory?

Of course attempting to stop distribution of scanning programs won't be
easy and really it is going to harm system admins more than people who are
going to use it to break into systems, but that's really for my report to

Thanks for any help,


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