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Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 20:58:01 +0100
From: Djalal Harouni <>
Subject: Re: Nmap 5.51

On 2011-05-04 02:11:54 +0400, Solar Designer wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm sorry for the delayed response.  Please see below:
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 02:21:34AM +0100, Djalal Harouni wrote:
> > I was reviewing the Owl Nmap patch [1] to drop privileges, and I've
> > noticed that the Script Pre-scanning phase will run before dropping
> > privileges, actually there are two issues.
> > 
> > Some background:
> > The Script Pre-scanning phase is a new NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine)
> > scan phase which occurs before Nmap starts classic scanning. Scripts in
> > this phase can do host/network discovery stuff (broadcast ...) and add
> > the discovered targets to the Nmap scanning queue. There is even a new
> > committed script 'target-sniffer.nse' to push sniffed targets into the
> > Nmap queue. Currently in the nmap-trunk more than 10 scripts will run
> > during this script scan phase.
> > 
> > 
> > 1) I think that privileges should be dropped before any scan. 
> Yes.  I was not aware of this pre-scanning phase.  I thought we were
> merely parsing the scripts before dropping privileges.

> > 2) some (perhaps all) Pre-scanning scripts will not work with this patch
> > since they need some info (network interfaces ...) which are not
> > available at that time. The pre-scanning phase should not be moved, but
> > you can move the open_nse() call if you want to initialize NSE before
> > drop_priv().
> > 
> > 
> > I want to contribute to Owl, so let me know if you want me to adjust the
> > patch, or if you have some other suggestions.
> It'd be great if you adjust and submit a patch for our review and likely
> inclusion in Owl.
I'll send a first patch in the next days based on the Owl patch.

> As a possible next step, maybe you could revise the patch such that it
> would be acceptable upstream (perhaps introduce a configure option)?
Yes the patch needs more work, bacause as it is it doesn't take into
account a lot of Nmap features. And yes I'll try to push it upstream.



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