How To Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into A Network Scanning Device?

Those who own the Raspberry Pi might have used Raspberry Pi in several small and big size projects. Raspberry Pi gives the freedom of using it into pretty much anything. You can turn your Raspberry Pi into anything you imagine. We have brought another small but powerful application of Raspberry Pi. We will show you how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a network scanning device in this post. Nmap is the tool that converts Raspberry Pi into a tiny portable and powerful network scanning machine. Let’s see how to install Nmap on Raspberry Pi and make the Pi a powerful network scanning device.

What Is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) that comes in the size of a credit card. It was developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based educational charity. The main goal of this foundation is to produce a low-cost computer for students. To say more about this tiny computer, despite its size, it is powerful. It can plug into a monitor, mouse, keyboard and can be used as a lightweight desktop computer. What’s more, Raspberry Pi 4 Mod B is loaded with a quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU, Gigabit Ethernet, OpenGL ES 3.0 GPU, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi ac, and Bluetooth 5.0, which make it more powerful and use this as a small server.

Increase in computing demand with compact size and low cost, SBCs are gaining more popularity these days. These are serving as perfect tools for many engineering works, mostly in the automation landscape. In the coming sections, we are going to share more information about Raspberry Pi, which will give you a chance to better understand and explore it for your needs.

Before you directly jump into its applications. We would like to give you a nice background about this. As we said earlier, this was developed by a UK-based educational charity. Raspberry Pi Foundation shipped its first product in the year 2012. They have released many products as time passed by. In the upcoming sections, we are going to explain How to turn your Raspberry Pi into a network scanning device.

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What Is Nmap?

Nmap, or Network Mapper, is an open-source network security scanner. Nmap works by using IP packets in a variety of ways to scan networks for hosts, open ports, and vulnerabilities. Nmap can also use the information it receives to determine the services operating on those ports, applications running on the device, and even the device’s operating system.

Nmap was created in 1997, and it still continues to expand its capability more than 20 years later. Nmap is a very versatile tool that can be used to test network security controls in place on a system. Nmap primarily tests security controls by conducting port scans, which display the open ports on a device. These ports sometimes show vulnerabilities on a system. Examples of vulnerabilities are outdated services, applications, and protocols in use on network devices. Open ports and older services can be used by hackers to exploit these devices.

Other useful features of Nmap enable network administrators and information security personnel to conduct an inventory of devices that are online. The operating system detection feature can also be used to detect rogue or unauthorized devices that are placed on the network. Examples of these devices are unauthorized Wi-Fi access points or network hubs that need to be removed. As you can see more than 20 years later, Nmap is still a versatile and capable tool that can be leveraged quickly in a variety of ways.

Prerequisites for turning a Raspberry Pi into a network scanning device using Nmap:

  • Have a Raspberry Pi device and necessary peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, SD card, etc.)

  • Have the Raspberry Pi set up with a Linux-based operating system like Raspbian

  • Have the Raspberry Pi connected to the network you want to scan, either via Ethernet or WiFi

  • Have an SSH client installed on the computer you want to access the Raspberry Pi from (if accessing remotely)

  • Have a basic familiarity with using the Linux command line interface

  • Have administrative/root access configured on the Raspberry Pi

  • Make sure the Raspberry Pi is updated fully before installing any new software

  • Have enough space on the Raspberry Pi SD card to install Nmap and run scans

  • Know the IP addresses or address ranges you want to scan or inventory on the network

  • Understand basic network terminology like IP addresses, hosts, ports, network mapping, etc.

  • Be authorized/permitted to scan the network by the owner or administrator

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The main prerequisites are having a working Raspberry Pi on the target network and a basic Linux skill set to access, update, and install software on it. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

Why Should You Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into A Network Scanning Device?

Nmap is a small but powerful tool to use. You can use your Raspberry Pi as a network scanning device for these reasons:

  1. You can use your Raspberry Pi in finding the open ports on the servers or appliances on the network.

  2. Raspberry Pi as a host scan device that allows finding the live hosts on the network.

  3. You can also do version scan using Raspberry Pi that allows identifying the installed application and its version on the servers on the network.

  4. Raspberry Pi can also help identify the operating system.

  5. Raspberry Pi can be used as a vulnerability scanner to identify the vulnerabilities or flaws in the network.

  6. Raspberry Pi can be used to test security controls.

  7. It can also be used in internal security auditing.

  8. It can help you in troubleshooting various network issues.

How To Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into A Network Scanning Device?

To turn your Raspberry Pi into a network scanning device, you just need running a Raspberry Pi. If you are using the Raspberry Pi for the first time, please see the post “how to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time”. We are going to begin this procedure assuming you have a running Raspberry Pi with you. Let’s get started.

To turn your Raspberry Pi into a network scanning device, you just need a running Raspberry Pi. If you are using the Raspberry Pi for the first time, please see the post “how to set up a Raspberry Pi for the first time”

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Step 1. Login to Raspberry Pi using SSH

Well, it is not mandatory to use SSH to log in to Raspberry Pi. You can do direct local log in, RDP using xrdp service, VNC, or you can also use any third-party applications to log in. We are logging in through SSH from the Ubuntu machine.

$ ssh arunkl@192.168.0.105

Replace ‘arunkl’ with your Pi log in account and 192.168.0.105 with your Pi’s IP address.

Login To Raspberry Pi Using Ssh
Step 2. Update repositories on the Raspberry Pi

Run this command to update the repositories on the Pi.

$ sudo apt update

Update Repositories On The Raspberry Pi
Step 3. Install Nmap on Raspberry Pi

Install Nmap on your Raspberry Pi. Since it is a small utility. It doesn’t take more than a minute to install. Run this command to install Nmap from apt repositories.

$ sudo apt install nmap

Install Nmap On Raspberry Pi
Step 4. Check the Nmap version on Raspberry Pi

Check the Nmap version to ensure your installation is successful. Use –version flag to check the version as shone here.

$ nmap –version

Nmap Version On Raspberry Pi

Now you can start scanning your network to find open ports, live hosts, vulnerabilities, and test security controllers on your network.

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