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How to Write a Program to Port Scanner in C

Hello, I'm here to guide you through the process of creating a simple port scanner in C. Port scanning is a crucial skill in the world of networking and cybersecurity, and understanding how it works can be invaluable for anyone in these fields. In this guide, I'll take you through the steps of writing a basic port scanner in C, explaining each part along the way, so you can gain a practical understanding of this essential networking technique.

Building a Port Scanner in C

Explore our comprehensive guide on how to write a port scanner in C, delving into essential C programming concepts and gaining valuable insights into network security practices. Whether you're a beginner or looking for advanced tips, our step-by-step guide is here to help with your C assignment, ensuring you master both the fundamentals of C and the intricacies of network scanning.


Before we dive in, here are a few things you'll need:

  1. A C Compiler: Make sure you have a C compiler installed on your system. GCC is a popular choice.
  2. Basic C Knowledge: You don't need to be an expert, but some familiarity with C programming will be helpful.

Understanding the Port Scanning Process

Our port scanner will work by attempting to establish connections to a range of ports on a target system. If a connection is successful, the port is considered open; otherwise, it's closed.

Here are the key steps we'll follow in our C program:

  1. Parsing Command Line Arguments: We'll parse command line arguments to specify the target IP address and the range of ports to scan.
  2. Creating a Socket: We'll create a socket, a fundamental networking concept that allows us to communicate over the network.
  3. Iterating Through Ports: Our program will loop through the specified range of ports, checking each one.
  4. Attempting Connections: We'll try to connect to each port to determine whether it's open or closed.
  5. Reporting Results: Finally, we'll report the status of each port.

The C Code

Below, you'll find the C code for our basic port scanner, along with explanations for each section. We'll guide you through the code so you can understand how it works and modify it as needed for your projects.

#include #include #include #include #include #include #include int main(int argc, char *argv[]) { // Check for correct number of command line arguments if (argc != 4) { printf("Usage: %s \n", argv[0]); return 1; } // Parse command line arguments char *target_ip = argv[1]; int start_port = atoi(argv[2]); int end_port = atoi(argv[3]); // Loop through the specified range of ports for (int port = start_port; port <= end_port; port++) { // Create a socket int sockfd = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0); if (sockfd < 0) { perror("socket"); return 1; } // Set up the sockaddr_in structure struct sockaddr_in target_addr; target_addr.sin_family = AF_INET; target_addr.sin_port = htons(port); inet_pton(AF_INET, target_ip, &target_addr.sin_addr); // Attempt to connect to the port if (connect(sockfd, (struct sockaddr *)&target_addr, sizeof(target_addr)) == 0) { printf("Port %d is open.\n", port); } else { // Port is closed // perror("connect"); // Uncomment this line for debugging } // Close the socket close(sockfd); } return 0; }


To use our port scanner, simply compile the code using your C compiler and execute it from the command line with the following syntax:

``` ./port_scanner ```

Replace ` ` with the IP address of your target system, and specify the range of ports you want to scan with ` ` and ` ` .


Writing a basic port scanner in C is a great way to learn about network programming. However, please remember to use this tool responsibly and only on systems for which you have proper authorization. Unauthorized port scanning can be illegal and unethical. It's essential to adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain the necessary permissions when conducting any form of network exploration or security testing.