Ping Sweeps and Port Scans - Assignment Example

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Every day is a challenge to face threats and an opportunity to progress. Various computer activities are involved in data transaction processes. Some help us in boosting our organizational work by increasing speed and offering better…
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Ping Sweeps and Port Scans
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Running head: ping sweeps, port scans Computer activities: Ping Sweeps and Port Scans; And their effects on our organization We live in a world of computer technology. Every day is a challenge to face threats and an opportunity to progress. Various computer activities are involved in data transaction processes. Some help us in boosting our organizational work by increasing speed and offering better solutions to existing technology. Some other activities have rather disturbing impacts and hence hamper the smooth functioning at workplace. Amongst various activities are ‘ping sweeps and port scans’. The following paper discusses these two activities and their impacts on organization.
Ping sweeps and port scans: their analysis and impacts on organization
Computer activities fall into broad categories of the ones which enhance proper functioning of other programs running on a computer whereas others which render expected functioning difficult. We must safeguard our computers against the malicious activities. Information about a computer such as the details about its operating system, details about programs running on it, information about various protocols, details about usage of ports and responses to different functions are amongst those targeted by hackers and jammers in a network.
Ping sweep is a very fundamental scanning activity used to primarily determine the range of IP addresses which map to live hosts (TechTarget, 2002). Usually we ping a computer to know the active presence of the desired host. However, ping sweeps do it for a multitude of computers. Ping sweep is also known as ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) sweep (TechTarget, 2002). Ping sweeps can be performed voluntarily by an organization to determine active hosts. Upon determination we use this data to perform data transactions/sharing between desired active hosts. It can also be performed by an outsider with an intention to drag information out of a computer database for wrong purposes. The process of knowing active hosts in ping sweep is similar to an act where a pickpocket identifies his prey in a crowded bus (Murali, 2004). Every sweep is an attempt with hope. We can take stringent security measures to avoid responding to external pings.
Once the computer responds to ping sweep, there begins the next process of port scanning. Port scan is the process of sending messages to a port for determining the type of network services offered by the host (Ireland, S, 2009). Upon receiving messages the ports respond with their status of being in use or being dormant. Depending upon this status information, the tuned port can now be used for hacking useful and often confidential information. The ports represent potential communication channels and thus we can explore networked environment with ease (Fyodor, 1997). The effect of such network exploration can cost our organization its valuable information often considered confidential. We should take all possible measures to avert losses to our company from such hazardous activities.
Ping sweeps and port scans are often dangerous for networks handling sensitive information. As far as our organization is concerned, such activities should be consciously avoided from intruding into our system by taking precautionary measures. Such measures include setting up of firewall; by doing so we can bring large number of attacks to a small number- refer following diagram.
Fig: A probable model with firewall for security purposes
We can also follow a set of rules which allow giving responses only to desired scans. Such as a port should be conditioned to listen only to certain signals and ignore all others. Counter measures for ping sweeps and port scanning also include disabling unnecessary services so that these services do not become trapped in port scanning process (Scrambay, J, McClure, S, p.67).
In a nutshell, although ping sweeps and port scanning techniques are useful for internal data transactions, still they should be taken care of by using above mentioned techniques to safeguard organizational details from unwanted intrusions.
1. TechTarget The technology media ROI experts. (2002, August 30). Ping Sweep. Retrieved on November 16, 2009 from,,sid183_gci802721,00.html
2. Murali, D. The Hindu Business Line. (2004, August 23). System attack starts with a ping sweep. Retrieved on November 16, 2009 from
3. Ireland, S. TechTarget The technology media ROI experts. (2009, March 11). Port Scan. Retrieved on November 16, 2009 from,,sid198_gci214054,00.html
4. Fyodor. (1997) Internet security resource sites. The Art of Port Scanning, Retrieved on November 16, 2009 from
5. Scrambay, J, McClure, S. (year). Hacking Exposed Windows. Tata Mc Graw Hill, p.67, Retrieved on November 16, 2009 from Read More
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