How to operate Nmap with a proxy

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Nmap is a tool that allows you to scan ports and perform many other network operations. The main uses of Nmap include:

  • Determining the connection security level;
  • Analysis of services running on the node;
  • Definition of operating systems and applications;
  • Determining the type of firewall used on the scanned host.

Using a proxy server in conjunction with this tool allows you to hide the real IP address of the scanner, which significantly increases anonymity when performing port scanning. This is especially important when performing penetration testing or security research to avoid detection. Additionally, if the scanner's IP address is blocked by the target system or firewalls, using a proxy can bypass these restrictions by providing an alternative IP address to access the target host.

Integrating a proxy server in Nmap

Integration of a proxy into the Nmap tool is facilitated using the ProxyChains program through specific commands. To set up this combination, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Install ProxyChains using a package manager with the command:
  2. “sudo apt-get install proxychains”

  3. Open the ProxyChains settings file for configuration, usually located at “/etc/proxychains.conf”. Open this file in a text editor with the command:
  4. “sudo nano /etc/proxychains.conf”

  5. In the opened file, enable the “strict_chain” line by removing the “#” character before it. This setup routes the traffic specifically through the proxies listed.


  6. Locate the line “proxy_dns” and remove the “#” before this line to ensure DNS requests are routed through the proxy, thus preventing the end server from seeing the user's DNS.


  7. Scroll down to find an example of how to enter proxy server data. Replace or add your proxy details at the bottom of the file using the provided templates. Save the changes with “CTRL+S”.



  8. To run Nmap through ProxyChains, prepend the Nmap command with proxychains. For example:
  9. “proxychains nmap -sT -p 80”

With these settings, the proxy setup is complete. This configuration will help hide your real IP address and circumvent any network restrictions of the target resource. It is advisable to use only private proxies to ensure a high level of connection anonymization.