Network Penetration Testing detects network vulnerabilities by identifying open ports, troubleshooting live networks, infrastructure and application banners.

Testing enables the administrator to close unused ports, additional services, hide and/or customize banners, troubleshooting services and to calibrate the rules on the firewall.

Let’s see how we conduct network penetration tests step by step using some popular network scanners.


The first and significant step is footprinting, where one collects information about its target system.

DNS footprinting helps to list data for the target domain such as (A, MX, NS, SRV, PTR, SOA, CNAME).

  • A – A record is used to point the domain name such as to the IP address of it’s hosting server.
  •  MX – Records responsible for Email exchange.
  • NS – NS records are to identify DNS servers responsible for the domain.
  • SRV – Records to distinguish the service hosted on specific servers.
  • PTR – Reverse DNS lookup, with the help of IP you can get domain’s associated with it.
  • SOA – Start of record, it is nothing but the information in the DNS system about DNS Zone and other DNS records.
  • CNAME – Cname record maps a domain name to another domain name.

The use of network devices such as Advanced IP Scanner, NMAP, HPING3, NESSUS to identify live hosts in the target network.

Ping&Ping Sweep:

root@kali:~# nmap -sn

root@kali:~# nmap -sn To ScanRange of IP

root@kali:~# nmap -sn 192.168.169.* Wildcard

root@kali:~# nmap -sn Entire Subnet

Who is Information 

To obtain Whois information and name server of a webiste

root@kali:~# whois



Network Diagonastic tool that displays route path and transit delay in packets

root@kali:~# traceroute

Online Tools



Do port scanning with software like Nmap, Hping3, Netscan tools, Network Monitor. Such tools allow us to test a server or host for open ports on the target network.

Open ports are the key to malicious backdoor applications by hackers.

root@kali:~# nmap -p 80 Specific Port

root@kali:~# nmap -p 80-200 Range of ports

root@kali:~# nmap -p “*” To scan all ports

Online Tools


3.Banner Grabbing/OS Fingerprinting

Banner Recording / OS fingerprinting such as Telnet, IDServe, NMAP assess the target host operating system and operating system.

If you know the version and the operating system of the target, we have to find the vulnerabilities and take advantage of it.

root@kali:~# nmap -A

root@kali:~# nmap -v -A with high verbosity level

IDserve another good tool for Banner Grabbing.

Online Tools


4.Scan for Vulnerabilities

Scan the network using GIFLanguard, Nessus, Ratina CS, SAINT, Vulnerability.

These tools help to identify vulnerabilities in the target system and operating systems. You can find loopholes in the target network system by using these steps.


It serves as security consultant and offers patch management, vulnerability analysis and audit services for networks.


Nessus is a vulnerability scanner tool that checks software bug and finds a specific way to compromise software security.

  • Data collection.
  • Identification of the host.
  • Scan port.
  • Selection of plug-in.
  • Data recording.

5.Draw Network Diagrams

Draw a organization network diagram that helps you understand the logical path to the network host.

LANmanager, LANstate, Friendly Pinger, Network View will draw the network diagram.

6.Prepare Proxies

Proxies intermediate two networking phones. A proxy can protect the local network against external access.

We can anonymize web browsing with proxy servers and filter undesirable contents like ads and many others.

To cover yourself, proxies include Proxifier, SSL Proxy, Proxy Finder, etc.

6.Document all Findings

The final and very important step is to report all the Penetration Test Findings.

This document will help you identify potential network vulnerabilities. Once the vulnerabilities have been determined, you can prepare counteractions accordingly.

You can access rules and scope worksheets here — regulations and scope sheets Moreover, penetration testing helps to assess the network before it is in real trouble that can lead to serious valuable and financial loss.

Important Network Pentesting Tools


Kali Linux, Backtrack5 R3, Security Onion


Smartwhois, MxToolbox, CentralOps, dnsstuff, nslookup, DIG, netcraft


Angry IP scanner, Colasoft ping tool, nmap, Maltego, NetResident,LanSurveyor, OpManager

Port Scanning

Nmap, Megaping, Hping3, Netscan tools pro, Advanced port scannerService Fingerprinting Xprobe, nmap, zenmap


Superscan, Netbios enumerator, Snmpcheck, onesixtyone, Jxplorer, Hyena,DumpSec, WinFingerprint, Ps Tools, NsAuditor, Enum4Linux, nslookup, Netscan


Nessus, GFI Languard, Retina,SAINT, Nexpose

Password Cracking

Ncrack, Cain & Abel, LC5, Ophcrack, pwdump7, fgdump, John The Ripper,Rainbow Crack


Wireshark, Ettercap, Capsa Network Analyzer

MiTM Attacks

Cain & Abel, Ettercap


Metasploit, Core Impact

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