Port Scanning

The act of systematically scanning a computer’s ports. Since a port is a place where information goes into and out of a computer, port scanning identifies open doors to a computer. Port scanning has legitimate uses in managing networks, but port scanning also can be malicious in nature if someone is looking for a weakened access point to break into your computer.

Types of port scans

  • vanilla: the scanner attempts to connect to all 65,535 ports
  • strobe: a more focused scan looking only for known services to exploit
  • fragmented packets: the scanner sends packet fragments that get through simple packet filters in a firewall
  • UDP: the scanner looks for open UDP ports
  • sweep: the scanner connects to the same port on more than one machine
  • FTP bounce: the scanner goes through an FTP server in order to disguise the source of the scan
  • stealth scan: the scanner blocks the scanned computer from recording the port scan activities.

Port scanning in and of itself is not a crime. There is no way to stop someone from port scanning your computer while you are on the Internet because accessing an Internet server opens a port, which opens a door to your computer. There are, however, software products that can stop a port scanner from doing any damage to your system.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

SAP Software

SAP is an end-to-end enterprise solution provider specializing in enterprise resource...

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The chief operating officer (COO) is a member of a company's senior executive...

Kanban

Kanban is a workflow management method intended to define, manage, and improve services...