I have to present a paper and make a presentation about the principal types of attacks by port scanning. What literature do you recommend to cover enough information about: types of attacks, port security, vulnerability of ports, protection against attack, etc.
What is your knowledge level, and who is your audience?
For the basics, the nmap doc will start you off if you are new to the topic, and introduces you to one of the best tools available.
Firewalls are the backbone in port protection. They are the primary defense for ports. Snort is the de facto standard in network protection, and will help you understand how to detect things like port scans. SANS Reading Room also has good articles.
Protection is usually centered around a single source sending traffic to multiple ports in a certain time frame. It is difficult to detect if the scanner scans slowly (1 port every 5 minutes?).
Port security is simple: close ports you don't use, and limit the IPs that can connect to a port (whitelisting ports). Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it can be quite complex or impossible to effectively protect.
As for port vulnerabilities, the real issue is not the ports, those are just numbers, but rather the issue is the services that are listening on those ports. Sometimes the operating system is vulnerable to certain activity on ports (DoS, for example), but it's usually the services themselves that are vulnerable.
Hope that helps.
As far as resources go, i suggest you check out the nmap page: http://nmap.org/book/man.html
nmap is the most highly regarded port scanner as far as i know, and the doc page covers a lot of port scanning techniques.
This video is interesting to watch as well.
If you're speaking to non professionals, I suggest you start the presentation by explaining what a port is, because it is an abstraction that confuses a lot of beginners.
If not, then I would suggest this approach :
1- Introduction (General hello, covering how vulnerable our daily computer activities are.)
2- What is port scanning?
3- What are the most used App/Methods for port scanning?
4- Why port Scanning is dangerous
5- The best and most popular applications and methods used to exploit the findings of a port scanner
6- How to avoid and protect your Computer/Organization against port scanning (e.g. detect scan under-way and block source)
7- Case study (it can be a story from a security book or you can state a complete scenario that starts from the scanning and ends by exploiting)
8- Small conclusion (Cover how useful Firewall programs are, quickly note their limitations and that people must be aware of what are ports and check their computers for vulnerable ports on regular basis)