What is Banner Grabbing? Tools and Techniques

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What is Banner Grabbing?
Updated on 08th May, 23 3.9 K Views

Let’s get started to know about Banner Grabbing, its tools, and its technique to have a better understanding of the concept.

Banner Grabbing

In advance of an attack, banner grabbing is the process of manually or automatically utilizing an open-source program to get the application names and versions of a target firm.

All linked systems and devices frequently leak private information, also referred to as “banner data,” including the names of the OSs and the applications they run as well as their versions.

We shall examine various complex facets of banner grabbing in this tutorial, including:

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What is Banner Grabbing?

What is Banner Grabbing?

Hackers and security teams use the method of “banner grabbing” to discover details about a computer system connected to a network and the services running on its open ports. A banner is a text that a host server displays that contains information about the software version and type that is currently running on a system or server. The welcome displays give hackers a head start when attacking the network by disclosing software version numbers and other system details on network hosts.

Getting information from a software banner, such as the name and version, is known as banner grabbing. Banner snatching can be carried out by hackers either manually or automatically using an OSINT tool. One of the crucial stages in both offensive and defensive penetration testing scenarios is grabbing a banner.

A banner-grabbing attack needs to follow three steps. The attacker starts by selecting the service that should be attacked. Then, he or she sends a request to the system or program that is the target. He or she examines the response from the software or device when it responds to decide which exploit to utilize for the attack.

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Why Banner Grabbing is Required?

Using a banner-grabbing technique, you can gather information about a wide range of services, protocols, and banner types. For the discovery process, you can create a variety of strategies and instruments.

The names, versions, and operating systems of popular services including FTP servers, web servers, SSH servers, and other system daemons are made public. As a result, hackers can use a banner-grabbing attack against several protocols to identify weak apps that can be exploited and compromised.

In general, banner snatching enables an attacker to identify OS systems, running services, and network hosts with their versions on open ports. A hacker or pen-tester can hunt for known and exploitable vulnerabilities in that version fast with the program type and version information.

Enumeration of a host running Microsoft Windows 7 that Eternal Blue can exploit is an example of banner grabbing (CVE-107-0143). The SMB service with a vulnerable version

operating over it or not can be seen by the attacker by grabbing a service banner that shows this. If the Microsoft server is up and functioning, a hacker can easily use the Eternal Blue attack to directly exploit it.

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Types of Banner Grabbing Attacks

The terms  passive and active banner snatching are explained in greater depth below:

Types of Banner Grabbing Attacks

Active Banner Grabbing

A user sends a packet to a distant host in this kind of banner grabbing and waits for a response. The data is subsequently analyzed by him or her.

A Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or comparable connection must be established between a local computer and a remote system in order for the procedure to work. The fact that the link logs into the distant machine make it active. As a result, sophisticated intrusion detection systems (IDSs) or other solutions that particularly keep an eye out for unauthorized connections frequently pick up on an active banner-snatching attempt.

Passive Banner Grabbing

Users can obtain the same information while avoiding exposure by passively capturing banners. Different intermediate programs and platforms can act as gateways in assaults that employ the approach to prevent connecting directly to the target machine. In this manner, the connection is concealed while the attacker obtains the required data.

Passive banner-snatching attacks frequently involve networks, tools, or services provided by third parties, such as traffic sniffers or search engines.

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Features of Banner Grabbing

  • Before executing an attack, banner grabbing is used in ethical hacking to gather data on a target system.
  • The hacker must decide on a website that shows banners from affiliate sites and then navigate from the banner to the site that the affiliate website serves in order to obtain this information.
  • Banner grabbing can be done manually or automatically with the aid of programs like web crawlers, which search websites and collect all of the content they contain, including banners and files.
  • It helps to process gathering data from banners, which are customizable text-based welcome displays displayed by network hosts and typically contain system information.

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Banner Grabbing Tools and Techniques

Hackers do banner grabbing using a variety of methods. These tools are used by them to connect to a target web server and then send HTTP requests. During the process, the attacker receives a response with details about the service being used by the host. Tools for grabbing banners include, for instance:

Banner Grabbing Tools and Techniques

Banner Grabbing Telnet

Hackers and pen-testers can interface with distant services for banner grabbing using this traditional cross-platform client. To find pertinent information, pen-testers and attackers can telnet to hosts using the standard telnet port (TCP port 23). Other widely used ports including SMTP, HTTP, and POP3 are vulnerable to attack via telnet.


By revealing server information such as the IP address, version, webpage title, and active operating system, the program identifies websites and assists hackers and security experts in grabbing the web applications banner.

Nmap Banner Grab

This simple Nmap banner grabber connects to an open TCP port and prints out details sent by the listening service within a few seconds.


The maximum amount of host information can be gathered using the Deepmagic Information Gathering Tool. Dmitry gives attackers access to a remote host’s whole data set, including open ports, subdomain mapping, DNS enumeration, and much more.

Wget Banner Grab

The banner-grabbing tool can direct viewers to the banner of distant or nearby servers. Wget uses a straightforward script to suppress the anticipated output and print the HTTP server headers.


We hope this blog is insightful as one of the most popular methods utilized during the reconnaissance stage of any penetration test or actual attack scenario is banner snatching.

If you’re new to the field of penetration testing, you’ll discover that these tools and approaches are a wonderful place to start with your red team activities. From the perspective of the blue team, these are helpful tips to find exposed important data regarding software that is operating on your server. In the end, you’ll be prepared to stop cybersecurity mishaps.

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