North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Port scanning legal

  • From: Majdi S. Abbas
  • Date: Tue Dec 19 22:23:47 2000

On Tue, Dec 19, 2000 at 06:46:32PM -0800, L. Sassaman wrote:
> I have tcpwrappers set to trigger a portscan after certain actions... and
> I have inadvertently scanned a section of the navy.mil network because of
> this. (They're running raptor... what a surprise.)
> 
> I was not approached by any men in black after this happened. I suspect
> the US Military is well accustomed to having its networks scanned.

	Speaking for myself, I was doing a routine sweep of one of my
(now former) employer's netblocks, and typoed one of the quads in a 
/19 -- inadvertantly nmapping a navy.mil block, which I did not
realize until I looked at the output file created.  I made a note of
it, expecting at the very least an email about it.

	Nothing at all happened.  As Len has noted, this is a fairly
common occurance for anyone on the internet, particularly the US military,
and is not going to raise many eyebrows.

	I think a good part of the reason that portscanning remains
legal is situations like these -- it is very hard (or involves a
large amount of alcohol) to try and open someone else's car or home
door.  It is not very hard to inadvertantly nmap or ping the wrong
address.

	Given that, can we please stop bickering over it?

	--msa