Can i conduct nmap scanning from cloud services (i.e AWS)? i am looking to do external scanning for my company and want to set up something that will be quick, efficient, and cheap. I dont want to stand up my own external box on my own.the cloud services would be ideal. I need to have powerful boxes to handle the workload.

  • 3
    I need to have powerful boxes to handle the workload. For NMAP? Are you sure? In any case, it really is up to the terms of service of the provider. Functionally, I can't imagine why a VPS wouldn't be conducive to port scanning. – Jeff Ferland Feb 12 '13 at 17:39

You can do network scans from AWS services, but you need to fill out a request form; otherwise, you will breach their acceptable use policy. You can find more information about the actual request process here https://aws.amazon.com/security/penetration-testing/


NMAP is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, Solaris, and other platforms as well. If the "cloud service" can provide one of these environments, you can use it to run nmap. You will also want your own public IP, not something behind a NAT.

I think AWS is just web hosting, but maybe Amazon offers a service that could be used it this capacity. EDIT: AWS apparently provides a full virtual server, but it is behind a NAT, not conducive to port scanning.

  • 1
    No, AWS gives you a full paravirtualized server, for free for one year even. It's behind a NAT though... – ithisa Feb 12 '13 at 17:25
  • @EricDong Thanks. Yeah, that won't work at all for port scanning, edited. – Cory J Feb 12 '13 at 17:28
  • 1
    Yes, it's behind a NAT, but it's a 1:1 NAT. Should work just fine. – Jeff Ferland Feb 12 '13 at 17:38

A VPS (virtual private server) is probably what you are looking for. This would give you an actual VM to work from in a remote data center for a reasonably cheap price. A VPN could also work (which would allow you to tunnel to an external IP with your own local hardware).


You are probably going to need to ask permission from any cloud provider to do this. They generally ban this for obvious reasons and you need to get a waiver. I'm not sure they'd provide a waiver in this direction of scanning. Usually their customers want to scan the services running in the cloud and the IaaS provider will give them a narrow window to do it in.


u do not need a powerful machine to do portscanning, I do very large networks and use something simple like https://clientarea.ramnode.com/cart.php?gid=1 to do it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.