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Re: Some NMAP GUI ideas
From: Adam Jones <ajones1 () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 12:34:07 -0500

On 6/6/05, kan () sugus eii us es <kan () sugus eii us es> wrote:
Hi all,
I want to talk about some ideas I have for NMAPFE++:
1. When user wants to do a scan, instead you have all options in the same
panel, I think it's better to have a Wizard in which you could choose the
method to scan and the options for the selected method. It'd be easy and
intuitive. Also, it always shows a textbox with the nmap command.

I have been envisioning something along the lines of the options
dialog in firefox. Each scan would be broken down into subcomponents
that are illustrated on the left hand panel, with configuration
options displayed for each on the right. An advanced tab on each one
would probably be a good idea, although at that point an "always
display advanced settings" option would become a good idea too.

2. In this Wizard, when you choose the method to scan, you can choose
predefined options, like 'Scan SSH servers'. Again, it always shows a
textbox with the nmap command for the predefined options.

I think being able to store custom scan settings would be a good idea as well.

3. Profiles: you choose a name and a rule, via wizard, to scan a network.
Then, you can repeat this scan and save the results in its profile (binary
data or XML data), so you could compare the different results between
them. I think there is no need to use MySQL or similar, because with a
simple structure based on directories is enough for this feature. Anyway,
after summer, we could code this feature but you shall remember that
'Google Summer of Code' must be finished on 1st September.
There would be a lot of files for a profile, so I think it's not necessary
to load and process all of them when the GUI starts. The user have to
activate the profile he needs and then process its files.
For example, you can create a profile named 'DMZ - My company', which I
choose TCP SYN method to scan all my DMZ and it runs every weeks. So, I
have a lot of info to compare, sort, search ,etc :)

It looks like a lot of people are interested in logging their scans to
a database. I think the best GUI client would attempt to abstract data
handling to the point where you can save it as xml, or plain text, or
to a database without any one being more difficult than is necessary.

I agree that saveable configurations would be an important feature in
this, and also think that it should be handled through config files.
Keeping the GUI from needing a database present makes the whole
configuration process less complicated.

4. To visualize the info of a scan, I think it's a good idea a panel with
two columns:
  A) First column with icons of computers. These icons represent computers:
    + Without info: maybe the computer is off?
    + With info: the computer is on and I have info about it. Also, the
icon (maybe 48x48 pixels) could show:
        - Operating System
        - Number of open ports
    The goal: a first look about the computer
  B) Second column with detailed info in a tree o table container, but it
uses little icons, so we have a nice info.

I think that a clear icon should be used for host unreachable status.
At least in the windows world you are sometimes not certain that a
plus next to an icon means it really does have something in it. An
explicit icon would be better to illustrate this point.

I think that instead of using another column a full page should be
displayed next to a system. This could have either tree navigation on
the icon side, or tabs on the display page side, where a user can
select between the various types of information, or get an overview of
the scan info.

This is my main idea for NmapFE++. Obviously, every points could be
described more and more, but I want to know your opinion :)

Thanks and cheers!

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