One Month of Network Scanning

Welcome to Our Project

Welcome to the official blog of the Automated Network Scanning % Team. Our team includes three interns from the Senator Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation. Liam Barry is a computer networking and cyber security major who wants to learn more about networks and strengthen his skills in python. Alexander Zimmerman is also a computer networking and cyber security major who wishes to strengthen his skills in programming and teamwork. Nathan DiMauro is a computer science and innovation major who hopes to learn more about computer networking throughout his work on the project. Our long term goal is to create an automated network scanner using Raspberry Pi 2’s. The purpose of this blog is to document our progress so far.


For a majority of our time this month, we researched goals of our project. None of us had ever made a network scanner before, so we were all completely new to this. The first thing we began researching was Nmap.

Nmap is the go to open source project for network scanners. We looked into how it works and how we can use it in our own network scanner. We came up with a list of scans that Nmap offers that we intend on using in our script. They range from basic port scanning, to version detection on an operating system. With the power of Nmap behind us, we were ready to look into scripting.


Once we had learned about the ins and outs of Nmap, it was time to move on to script writing. Our project supervisors gave us the opportunity to choose between Bash and Python. Because the entire team had worked in python before, we choose to go with that. We started out making some basic scripts to re-familiarize ourselves with the language. From there we set up a GitHub so that we could collaborate on code. We also found a premade python library that allowed us to call Nmap commands directly from a python script. We all read though the source code of the library and started planning on how we could use it. With the majority of our software figured out, it was time to look into our hardware.


Now that our plan for scripting was complete, we needed to write up a list our devices. Our supervisors provided us with a box of supplies that we would use The box contained 3 raspberry pi model 2’s, an 8GB micro SD card, a micro SD to SD card adapter, a USB WiFi adapter, and a power supply unit. We all were familiar with most of the contents of the box. The only real research we had to do was on installing an OS onto our raspberry pi’s. We decided to go with Raspbian because it seemed the simplest to learn.

In the Next Month

September was a great month for the team. We got a lot of research done and are now very familiar with our tools. Throughout October we will start to actually create our scanner. Step one will be to get our script working. From there the plan is to put that script onto the raspberry pi and automate it. Be sure to come back next month to see our progress on the network scanner!


To learn more about this and other blogs of the LCDI visit us here: LCDI Blog.

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