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A list of the various tests used are provided in the mmap documentation at http://nmap.org/book/osdetect-methods.html#osdetect-probes-seq. For more specific details you'll have to read the source code. Essentially various different probe packets are sent and the results analysed. Slight differences between TCP/IP software mean there are sometimes slight ...


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Heuristically. nmap observes the behaviour of the system during probes, develops a "fingerprint", which analagous to a real fingerprint test, looks mainly for the minutiae: out of specification behaviour and extra-specification or undefined behaviour retransmission times response to fragmentation and various ICMP probes patterns in TCP sequence numbers, IP ...


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This is a fundamental problem with using a system you don't control. You don't control it and cannot force it to behave. You hinted at one solution in your question. Send a single request to multiple remote systems and compare the results. If they are different, one of them is wrong. It doesn't matter if it's compromised or buggy. As long as you have ...


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To complete the answer given by Mark, the same is true for Windows systems: you can find a lot of information about the hardware on the hard drive... you just have to look in the registry files: You can even find a list of all the external drives ever mounted on the machine: Even on a data-only NTFS formatted disk, where no OS files are present, you ...


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For Linux-based operating systems, very much so. The kernel prints out a detailed hardware summary during the startup process, which typically gets written to the system log. For example, some excerpts from my computer's log: Memory: 32877348k/34603008k available (3933k kernel code, 1126392k absent, 599268k reserved, 1997k data, 576k init) ... CPU0: ...


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On software encryption vs hardware encryption, read this comparison on Kingston's website, and your choice may be easy, but this is marketing language. I'm quite sure that Open Source software encryption like GPG is more secure. See this question: Is hardware based disk encryption more secure that software based?. The basic question is: from who do you ...



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