Network enumeration is a computing activity in which usernames and info on groups, shares, and services of networked computers are retrieved. It should not be confused with network mapping, which only retrieves information about which servers are connected to a specific network and what operating system runs on them.
Network enumeration is a process that involves gathering information about a network such as the hosts, connected devices, along with usernames, group information and related data. Using protocols like ICMP and SNMP, network enumeration offers a better view of the network for either protection or hacking purposes.
Network enumeration tools scan ports to gather information. They may also fingerprint the operating system. All of these are done for the purpose of looking more closely at how a network is set up and how data traffic is handled.
The idea is that, with network enumeration, vulnerabilities can be discovered, which can then be used by network or system administrators to fix the system or by hackers to attack the same.
Some vulnerability scanners may perform network enumeration to try to protect a computer system.
A network enumerator or network scanner is a computer program used to retrieve usernames and info on groups, shares, and services of networked computers. This type of program scans networks for vulnerabilities in the security of that network. If there is vulnerability with the security of the network, it will send a report back to a hacker who may use this info to exploit that network glitch to gain entry to the network or for other malicious activities. Ethical hackers often also use the information to remove the glitches and strengthen their network.