Branch: master
Clone or download


README for hmap 0.1 


   - What is hmap?
   - How to install
   - How to run
   - How to interpret results
   - How it works   
   - Contact and thanks

- What is hmap?

   "hmap" is a tool for fingerprinting web servers.  Basically, it collects
   a number of characteristics (see: "How it works" below) and compares
   them with known profiles to find a closest match.  The closest match is
   its best guess for the identity of the server.

   This tool will be of interest to system administrators who are trying
   to hide the identity of their server for security reasons.  hmap will
   will help indicate if, after they have applied their hiding techniques,
   it can still be identified.
   This tool will also be of interest to Intrusion Detection System
   developers.  The hmap tool shows the types of tests that can be used to
   fingerprint a web server and therefore what sorts of features to look
   for in server logs and in network traffic to identify web server
   fingerprinting activies.

   Finally it is of interests to those who are curious about fingerprinting
   and web servers or just want to see some strange games you can play with
   web servers.

   NOTE: DO NOT run this tool against someone's web server without
         permission.  The legality of doing so is not clear to me, so to be
         safe (and polite) please play fair.


- How to install 

   Create a directory (e.g. ~username/hmap/).  Copy the hmap.tgz file
   here.  Uncompress and untar and you are ready to go!
   NOTE: hmap was developed under Python 2.2.  If you want to make it
         work on earlier versions of Python try substituting the 
         keyword 'file' with 'open'

   If you want to run hmap under *nix then make sure the #! path makes
   sense for your system and "chmod a+x" the file.

      - : the tool
      - known.servers : a directory with the known server profiles
        for comparison
      - README : this file
      - FAQ : questions about this tool
      - HIDING.TIPS : some methods for hiding the identity of your
        web server
      - License


- How to run

   try: python -h

   example 1:

      python -v -c 10

         - the -v option (verbose) says to show information as it processes

         - the -c option (count) says to show this many of the top matches

         - the :80 is redundant but it shows how you could add a port
           number to a URL if the target web server is not at the
           traditional location

         - a file called will be created that
           stores all the characteristics discovered in a python
           dictionary structure

         - a list of candidate matches will be displayed with the
           best matches at the top

         - NOTE: a data file representing the target server will be
           created in the current directory.

   example 2:

      python -p

         - uses a previously fetched profile instead of querying 
           the target server again

   example 3:

      python -g

         - gathers the profile from a server without doing a 
           comparison with known profiles.


- How to interpret results

  Here are the first few lines of an example output

					   matches : mismatches : unknowns
      Apache/1.3.22 (Win32)                      116 :   0 :   7
      Apache/1.3.12 (Win32)                      113 :   3 :   7
      Apache/1.3.14 (Win32)                      113 :   3 :   7
      Apache/1.3.17 (Win32)                      113 :   3 :   7
      Apache/1.3.9 (Win32)                       112 :   3 :   8

  The first column is server/version/OS info.  Each of these is followed by
  three numbers separated by ':'s.  These numbers are: 

  matches : mismatches : unknowns

  So for Apache/1.3.22 the target server had 16 matching characteristics, 0
  mismatched characteristics and 7 characteristics that were not discovered
  and so couldn't be processed.  Therefore the most likely match for the
  target server is: Apache/1.3.22 (Win32).  

  Note: You can get a false positive if several web servers have very
        similar fingerprint profiles.  You can get false negatives if a web
        server has had hiding techniques applied to it.

  Note: It is not a good idea to score unknowns better than mismatches
        since we can't assume unknowns are likely matches.

  Note: The OS is given as well since I have found that the same
        server seems to behave differently on different OSes.


- How it works

   This tool is based on my masters thesis
   ( and related paper

   In this first incarnation hmap is not concerned with stealth or
   conciseness.  At some point hmap will be adapted to use only a minimal
   subset of queries, but at this stage I'm still gathering complete
   profiles on different servers and want to stay open minded as to which
   characteristics are the most important.

   Ideally to identify a server we would: 1) do a test to gather each
   characteristic that we can get from a server and compare these with
   known profiles and find the best match.

   The problem with this is that we don't know what tests to run since
   different servers behave differently for the same test. The simplest
   solution is simply to run all the tests you know about and then sort it
   out afterwards.  This is the current strategy.  See KNOWN_TESTS for an
   idea of the types of tests that can be used in probing.

   It is also difficult to do a straight forward matching of target server
   characteristics with known profiles since the target server's identity
   might be partially hidden already (see HIDING_GUIDE).  The simple
   solution to this is to compare all known characteristics and count the
   number of matches.


Contact and thanks.

   You can reach me with questions, suggestions, kudos and threats at:

   I'd like to thank my thesis advisor (Karl Levitt) and additionally my
   co-authors (Jeff Rowe and Calvin Ko) for their help, funding and
   patience.  Any errors or bugs in this or the bundled documents/code are
   solely my own.

   I'd also like to thank all the people who have volunteered to let me do
   strange things to their web servers.  Hopefully its for a good cause.
   [watch this space for names of volunteers....]

   And finally I'd like to thank my wife Jodi who has proof read and
   offered many valuable writing suggestions and has endured way too much
   geeky ramblings on this topic.