Netcat - The TCP/IP Swiss Army Knife

by Tom Armstrong
Sept. 1, 2017 0 comments SANS Institute tools

Netcat is a tool that every s ecurity profess ional should be aware of and poss ibly have in their ‘s ecurity tool box’. In May/June of 2000, ins conducted a survey of 1200 Nmap users from the Nmap - hackers mailing lis t to determine their favorite security tools . Netcat was the second mos t popular tool, not including Nmap 1 . A quick search on securityportal ( www.s ecurityporta ) found 166 matches of netcat. Most of the matches describe or use netcat in some way. Netcat is a utility that is able to write and read data across TCP and UDP network connections . If you are respons ible for network or s ystem s ecurity it essenti al that you unders tand the capabilities of netcat. Netcat should not be installed unless you have authority to do so. Never install any executable unless you can trust the providor. If poss ible review the source and compile it yourself. To be s afe on ly use netcat in a test environment.