Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community Resource for Identifying and Understanding Attacks
An attacker engages in activity to detect the operating system or firmware version of a remote target by interrogating a device, server, or platform with a probe designed to solicit behavior that will reveal information about the operating systems or firmware in the environment. Operating System detection is possible because implementations of common protocols (Such as IP or TCP) differ in distinct ways. While the implementation differences are not sufficient to 'break' compatibility with the protocol the differences are detectable because the target will respond in unique ways to specific probing activity that breaks the semantic or logical rules of packet construction for a protocol. Different operating systems will have a unique response to the anomalous input, providing the basis to fingerprint the OS behavior. This type of OS fingerprinting can distinguish between operating system types and versions.
Target Attack Surface Description
Targeted OSI Layers: Network Layer
Target Attack Surface Localities
Target Attack Surface Types: Host
Target Functional Services
Any type of active probing that involves non-standard packet headers requires the use of raw sockets, which is not available on particular operating systems (Microsoft Windows XP SP 2, for example). Raw socket manipulation on Unix/Linux requires root privileges. Installing a listener on the network requires access to at least one host, and the privileges to interface with the network interface card.
[R.312.1] [REF-20] Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray and George Kurtz. "Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions". Chapter 2: Scanning, pg. 56. 6th Edition. McGraw Hill. 2009.
[R.312.2] [REF-21] Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Information Processing Techniques Office and Information Sciences Institute University of Southern California. "RFC793 - Transmission Control Protocol". Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). September 1981. <http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc793.html>.
[R.312.3] [REF-22] Gordon "Fyodor" Lyon. "Nmap Network Scanning: The Official Nmap Project Guide to Network Discovery and Security Scanning". Chapter 8. Remote OS Detection. 3rd "Zero Day" Edition,. Insecure.com LLC. 2008.
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