Name TCP Connect Scan
Summary An adversary uses full TCP connection attempts to determine if a port is open on the target system. The scanning process involves completing a 'three-way handshake' with a remote port, and reports the port as closed if the full handshake cannot be established. An advantage of TCP connect scanning is that it works against any TCP/IP stack. RFC 793 defines how TCP connections are established and torn down. TCP connect scanning commonly involves establishing a full connection, and then subsequently tearing it down, and therefore involves sending a significant number of packets to each port that is scanned. Compared to other types of scans, a TCP Connect scan is slow and methodical. This type of scanning causes considerable noise in system logs and can be spotted by IDS/IPS systems. TCP Connect scanning can detect when a port is open by completing the three-way handshake, but it cannot distinguish a port that is unfiltered with no service running on it from a port that is filtered by a firewall but contains an active service. Due to the significant volume of packets exchanged per port, TCP connect scanning can become very time consuming (performing a full TCP connect scan against a host can take multiple days). Generally, it is not used as a method for performing a comprehensive port scan, but is reserved for checking a short list of common ports.
Prerequisites The adversary requires logical access to the target network. The TCP connect Scan requires the ability to connect to an available port and complete a 'three-way-handshake' This scanning technique does not require any special privileges in order to perform. This type of scan works against all TCP/IP stack implementations.
Solutions Employ a robust network defense posture that includes an IDS/IPS system.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-200 Exposure of Sensitive Information to an Unauthorized Actor
Back to Top