13 October 2008 | 13,838 views

p0f – Advanced Passive OS Fingerprinting Tool

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Ah can’t believe I haven’t posted about this one before, one of my favourite tools! It was a big breakthrough to have a passive OS-fingerprinting tool after relying on Nmap and Xprobe2 for the longest time.

OS fingerprinting is a very important part of a pen-test during the information gathering stage.

P0f v2 is a versatile passive OS fingerprinting tool. P0f can identify the operating system on:

  • machines that connect to your box (SYN mode),
  • machines you connect to (SYN+ACK mode),
  • machine you cannot connect to (RST+ mode),
  • machines whose communications you can observe.

P0f can also do many other tricks, and can detect or measure the following:

  • firewall presence, NAT use (useful for policy enforcement),
  • existence of a load balancer setup,
  • the distance to the remote system and its uptime,
  • other guy’s network hookup (DSL, OC3, avian carriers) and his ISP.

All this even when the device in question is behind an overzealous packet firewall, when our favourite active scanner can’t do much. P0f does not generate ANY additional network traffic, direct or indirect. No name lookups, no mysterious probes, no ARIN queries, nothing. How? It’s simple: magic. Find out more here.

P0f is quite useful for gathering all kinds of profiling information about your users, customers or attackers (IDS, honeypot, firewall), tech espionage (laugh…), active or passive policy enforcement (restricting access for certain systems or otherwise handling them differently; or detecting guys with illegal network hookups using masquerade detection), content optimization, pen-testing (especially with SYN+ACK and RST+ACK modes), thru-firewall fingerprinting… plus all the tasks active fingerprinting is suitable for. And, of course, it has a high coolness factor, even if you are not a sysadmin.

P0f v2 is lightweight, secure and fast enough to be run almost anywhere, hands-free for an extended period of time.

You can donwload p0f v2 here:

p0f.tgz
p0f for Windows

Or read more here.



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8 Responses to “p0f – Advanced Passive OS Fingerprinting Tool”

  1. navin 13 October 2008 at 2:04 pm Permalink

    Nice!! esp the agility and size (windows version is only 58 KB in size!!) It’s like Robin when nmap is Batman

  2. elpeor 13 October 2008 at 3:46 pm Permalink

    It is nice, I just run it in eth0 with mldonkey working and I get all OS of all connections..
    It gets 99% of OS guess, just some does not know what OS they use.
    funny!

  3. Lepht 14 October 2008 at 3:36 pm Permalink

    “It’s like Robin when Nmap is Batman”

    absofuckinglutely.

  4. navin 14 October 2008 at 9:41 pm Permalink

    “absofuckinglutely.” -Adding tht to my list of “favoritest” words!!

  5. Pantagruel 25 October 2008 at 9:49 am Permalink

    Indeed funny you never coverd p0f before, it did get mentioned a few times in other posts.

    p0f appears to be more of a tooth pick compared to the swiss army knife Nmap ;)

  6. akito85 27 October 2008 at 11:55 pm Permalink

    i’ve never heard about this tool before im gonna give a try to this new knife :P

    thanks for the info

  7. backbone 28 October 2008 at 1:28 am Permalink

    @Pentagruel:
    swiss army knife – netcat
    nmap – John Rambos knife :)

  8. razta 3 November 2008 at 12:42 am Permalink

    IronGeek made an app for windows which apparetly in most cases cloaks OS fingerprinting. Looks like its quite affective against p0f, and im sure you can edit the TCP/IP in Linux with out the help of any apps. However its quite a cool concept and apparetly works.

    http://www.irongeek.com/i.php?page=security/osfuscate-change-your-windows-os-tcp-ip-fingerprint-to-confuse-p0f-networkminer-ettercap-nmap-and-other-os-detection-tools