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Nmap Network Scanning

Target Specification

Everything on the Nping command line that isn't an option or an option argument is treated as a target host specification. Nping uses the same syntax for target specifications that Nmap does. The simplest case is a single target given by IP address or hostname.

Nping supports CIDR-style addressing. You can append /<numbits> to an IPv4 address or hostname and Nping will send probes to every IP address for which the first <numbits> are the same as for the reference IP or hostname given. For example, 192.168.10.0/24 would send probes to the 256 hosts between 192.168.10.0 (binary: 11000000 10101000 00001010 00000000) and 192.168.10.255 (binary: 11000000 10101000 00001010 11111111), inclusive. 192.168.10.40/24 would ping exactly the same targets. Given that the host scanme.nmap.org is at the IP address 64.13.134.52, the specification scanme.nmap.org/16 would send probes to the 65,536 IP addresses between 64.13.0.0 and 64.13.255.255. The smallest allowed value is /0, which targets the whole Internet. The largest value is /32, which targets just the named host or IP address because all address bits are fixed.

CIDR notation is short but not always flexible enough. For example, you might want to send probes to 192.168.0.0/16 but skip any IPs ending with .0 or .255 because they may be used as subnet network and broadcast addresses. Nping supports this through octet range addressing. Rather than specify a normal IP address, you can specify a comma-separated list of numbers or ranges for each octet. For example, 192.168.0-255.1-254 will skip all addresses in the range that end in .0 or .255, and 192.168.3-5,7.1 will target the four addresses 192.168.3.1, 192.168.4.1, 192.168.5.1, and 192.168.7.1. Either side of a range may be omitted; the default values are 0 on the left and 255 on the right. Using - by itself is the same as 0-255, but remember to use 0- in the first octet so the target specification doesn't look like a command-line option. Ranges need not be limited to the final octets: the specifier 0-.-.13.37 will send probes to all IP addresses on the Internet ending in .13.37. This sort of broad sampling can be useful for Internet surveys and research.

IPv6 addresses can only be specified by their fully qualified IPv6 address or hostname. CIDR and octet ranges aren't supported for IPv6 because they are rarely useful.

Nping accepts multiple host specifications on the command line, and they don't need to be the same type. The command nping scanme.nmap.org 192.168.0.0/8 10.0.0,1,3-7.- does what you would expect.

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