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PC configuration, preparations & precautions when running nmap pen test

Posted on 2016-07-21
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Last Modified: 2016-07-28
If I'm running a pen test using nmap via public Internet to 12 IPs at a time

a) what's the PC configuration recommended?  
    64bit CPU ?  Is Thinkpad X201 good enough?
    How much RAM?
    Good to have SSD for faster scan?

b) For nmap Ver 7.25, can Win XP  SP3  or  Windows 7 Professional (32 or 64bit)
     be used?

c) do we need to pre-install with WinPCcap & MS C++ before installing nmap?
    which of the two to install 1st?

d) do we need to disable AV (I have McAfee), antimalware ( the other PC on
      Malwarebytes) , "data loss prevention" (Code Green) & Windows Firewall
      to stop any possible 'blocks' by these tools?

e) if we were to stop any AV or antimalware indicated in item d above, is
     there a risk of the laptop getting infected during the scan & possibly
     this infection move on to the target IPs being scanned?  If so, do we
     still leave the AV/AM alone (ie running) on the laptop?   Is it crucial
     that the Windows laptop is patched to the latest in case it get
     attacked during the scan or I just have to take precaution not to
     browse any website nor run any other software (other than the
     scanner) during the scan & I should be quite safe even without
     up-to-date patches on the laptop?

f) attached is a list of scripts that comes with the nmap 7.25 installer.
    Are they complete & up-to-date so much so that I could run
    "--script all" (& certainly with -T4 so as not to affect production service)?
nmscr.txt
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Question by:sunhux
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by:sunhux
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One more thing: I guess the laptop must not go into standby/hibernate during
the scan.  So should not use 'power-saving' mode?

Should the laptop connect to the fibre broadband router (supposedly
1Gbps fibre but in some tests, I've seen download speed is only
50-62Mbits/sec & upload speed of about 23-25 Mbits/sec : I guess
upload is the crucial one as nmap sends traffic out, right?) by a cable
or Wifi is good enough & won't get disconnected?
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jessbruffett earned 500 total points
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A)      NO!!!!!! that machine is old and not nearly powerful enough to run a legitimate pen test with. You want a quad-core w/ hyperthreading so an i7 or better even a Xeon based system or the AMD equivalent. Also you will want 16gb ram at a minimum. Yes ssd is better.
B)      Neither! use Linux, BSD or OSX, but you could run them on a virtual machine on Windows 7. I use a MacBook Pro and run all my pen test software either natively on OSX or in a VM. I cant imagine running a legit pen test in a Windows environment.
C)      Addressed with my above answer.
D)      Again you shouldn’t be using Windows, leave your firewall and safety measures on and run them from a VM.
E)      Answered above.

Nmap is not the end all pen testing tool, it’s only the tip of the iceberg for a test. You can’t use it to actually exploit anything and verify that a vulnerability is a legit vulnerability. Even the best vulnerability scanners produce false positives and need to be manually checked. My honest advice is if this pen test is mission critical, for insurance or compliance reasons seek an outside company that specializes in pen testing, cyber security, information assurance, etc.
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