Introduction to Netstat TutorialIntroduction to Netstat Tutorial by: LearnSecurityOnline, 05/25/2005 What is netstat? Netstat is a versatile tool catered for the windows platform by means of the MS-DOS (now a days referred to as “Command Prompt”) command line. Netstat is also used in other platforms and operating systems apart from Windows such as Unix and Linux. In the following thesis I will demonstrate the security-oriented uses for this basic DOS and bash command designed for the newbie. Note: To access Command Prompt on Windows platforms simply left click the start icon, click run, type “command” or “cmd” (without quotations) in the text box and select open. How does netstat associate with security? The main use of this command is for the quick overview of active ports on your machine and their status, i.e. listening and connected ports, types of ports, and on UNIX, any open streams and a lot of other useful

information. This helps the user by notifying he/she which ports are open, which are closed and/or listening for incoming connections which can give you an accurate assumption of how vulnerable your PC is to attacks on the respective ports. For example common attacks that can be avoided if treated proactively include basic vulnerabilities tied to ports such as 139 which a hacker, or novice user, can exploit effectively by using a successive amount of standard Windows commands which primarily include “net”, or port 21 (ftp), 23 (telnet) in which a user can connect and obtain a banner of your system detailing your operating system or even, if they guess your password correctly, connect to your system obtaining complete control. Netstat examines both basic TCP and UDP connections and has the ability to filter between both or a selection of differing protocols (including IP, ICMP, TCPv6 and UDPv6, etc.). The ability to complete the aforementioned filters relies on one of the basic traits of almost all fairly analytical commands, this being, command switches. The switches relating to netstat are described further on in this tutorial in both sections 3 and 4 (Operation of netstat in Windows/Linux). Operation of netstat in Windows…

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