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Re: multi-threaded Nmap
From: David Fifield <david () bamsoftware com>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 08:16:05 -0700

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 08:30:53PM +0530, Kamal Banga wrote:
I am a second year CSE student. I have seen that many-a-times nmap users
have to do intense scans. I know CUDA and a bit about multithreaded
programming. How about developing multithreaded code for nmap. And after all
it will be a brand image for nmap! as now-a-days softwares use it. Like
Matlab is available in both single and multi threaded applications.

That's an interesting idea. You would have to make a very convincing
case that it would be worth it, though. Not only Nmap but other
high-performance network software is written single-threaded with
asynchronous I/O. Nmap doesn't do very much that is CPU-bound, so a
potential benefit of threads (easily taking advantage of multiple
processors) is lost.

However I don't mean to discourage you. There may be a place for forms
or parallelism that we aren't using now. Maybe simple online hash
cracking for the future dns-nsec3-enum script
(https://secwiki.org/w/Nmap/Script_Ideas#dns-nsec3-enum)? You just have
to justify it in your proposal. I suggest that you read scan_engine.cc
and nsock/src/nsock_core.c to see examples of parallel programming
without threads.

David Fifield
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