Network scanning is the process of gathering information about computing systems on a network. It is used mostly for assessing system security and performing maintenance, but can also be used by hackers to attack the network. Network scanning is usually the first step in active reconnaissance, where the attacker seeks to discover potentially vulnerable targets. It can include any of the following activities:

  • Host discovery
  • Port scanning
  • Packet crafting
  • Device enumeration
  • Vulnerability scanning