FN SECURE: Active Stack Fingerprinting: This technique is called OS fingerprinting

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Active Stack Fingerprinting: This technique is called OS fingerprinting


    * Fingerprinting is done to determine the remote OS
    * Allows attacker to leave smaller footprint and have greater chance to succeed
    * Based on the fact that various OS vendors implement the TCP stack differently
    * Specially crafted packets sent to remote OS and response is noted. This is compared with a database to determine the OS

Concept  The term OS fingerprinting defines any method used to determine what operating system is running on a remote computer. OS fingerprinting is an essential part of network reconnaissance, because the attacker has a greater probability of succeeding in his attack if he can formulate his attack strategy based on operating systems specific vulnerabilities.

Note  Remote OS fingerprinting is carried out by noting the way the remote system responds to specifically crafted TCP packets. These can range from examining the default TCP window size in a packet, to measuring the amount of data in ICMP packets, and even gauging TCP initial sequence numbers. Similar to port scanning, there are several methods to successfully fingerprint an OS. Querying the services running on a target machine is often the simplest means for OS fingerprinting.

 Note  Active stack fingerprinting is based on the principle that an operating system's IP stack has its own unique way of responding to specially crafted TCP packets. This arises due to the different interpretations that vendors abide with while implementing the TCP/IP stack on the particular OS. In active fingerprinting, a variety of malformed packets are sent to the remote host, and the responses compared to a database.

For instance, in N map, the OS fingerprint is done through eight tests. Each of these tests is described below.

The first test is named T1 for test 1. In this test a TCP packet with the SYN, and ECN-Echo flags enabled is sent to an open TCP port.

The second test is named T2 for test 2. It involves sending a TCP packet with no flags enabled to an open TCP port. This type of packet is known as a NULL packet.

The third test is named T3 for test 3. It involves sending a TCP packet with the URG, PSH, SYN, and FIN flags enabled to an open TCP port.

The fourth test is named T4 for test 4. It involves sending a TCP packet with the ACK flag enabled to an open TCP port.

The fifth test is named T5 for test 5. It involves sending a TCP packet with the SYN flag enabled to a closed TCP port.

The sixth test is named T6 for test 6. It involves sending a TCP packet with the ACK flag enabled to a closed TCP port.

The seventh test is named T7 for test 7. It involves sending a TCP packet with the URG, PSH, and FIN flags enabled to a closed TCP port.

The eighth test is named PU for port unreachable test. It involves sending a UDP packet to a closed UDP port. The objective is to extract an ICMP port unreachable message back from the target machine.

But this is not all. The last test that Nmap performs is named TSeq for TCP sequenceability test. The test tries to determine the sequence generation patterns of the TCP initial sequence numbers also known as TCP ISN sampling, the IP identification numbers also known as IPID sampling, and the TCP timestamp numbers. The test is performed by sending six TCP packets with the SYN flag enabled to an open TCP port.

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