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Scanning of ports on a computer occurs frequently on the Internet. An attacker performs port scans of IP addresses to find vulnerable hosts to compromise. However, it is also useful for system administrators and other network defenders to detect port scans as possible preliminaries to more serious attacks. It is a very difficult task to recognize instances of malicious port scanning. In general, a port scan may be an instance of a scan by attackers or an instance of a scan by network defenders. In this paper, the authors present research and development trends in this area. Their presentation includes a discussion of common port scan attacks.
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