Tag Archives: scanner

WiFiScanner: Wonderfully geeky

I know this is foolish, but I love tools that have a lot of glitter and dash, even if I haven’t a single clue how to use them.

WiFiScanner is a program that apparently last saw updates way back in 2008, but still compiled for me in Arch, and with a little prodding, worked well:


The trick for me was to use the -C flag to specify the driver for my card, and to make sure the terminal was large enough. WiFiScanner wants plenty of space. 🙄

But I’m willing to coddle it this time, because the results were wonderfully geeky. Lots of flashing numbers, lots of data readouts spinning past in a blaze, little animated graphs, tons of statistics all ticking upward more and more. …

Of course, I haven’t a clue what it all means, but it’s great fun to watch.

I shouldn’t act so naive; I can read enough from the home page to know that WiFiScanner is a tool for … ahem, testing the security of wireless networks, and perhaps if I was more of a security geek, I’d know exactly what to do with all that information.

I can only think of one complaint about WiFiScanner, and that’s because I don’t know enough of how to use it that I might have real suggestions. Here’s my one complaint: The H key shows a help menu, but it’s interspersed with the flow of data in the lower half of the screen. So it zips off the display within seconds. That’s hardly helpful. 😦

If you really want to get your hands dirty with WiFiScanner, poke around in the doc folder of the the source package. There are complete instructions on how to build this in Debian and control it once it’s up and running. Provided you know what you’re doing with it, of course.

As it is, I’m just a babe in the woods, enjoying all the flickering lights and thinking how this would freak out the technophobes in my office, and make them think I was some sort of computer genius. 😀

Either that, or they’d have me arrested on some made-up hacker charge. :\

pnscan: A parallel network scanner

Back to network tools for a bit. We entertained two parallelized compression tools; here’s one that claims to be a parallel network scanner.


pnscan admits it’s not the tool nmap is, but for what little I’ve seen, it does a pretty good job. As you can see above, it did find the only other machine on my network, and the ssh port that’s open there.

As you can see in the help flags, it can also filter out results that don’t match a string, and also send specific information to specific points. The README file has some good examples too.

Networking is still my weakest point though, so while I can see that it works and I have a vague idea of what it’s doing, I can’t imagine how I would use it.

More distressing though, is that I can’t really be sure it’s “parallelized,” mostly because all my tests finished way too fast to check.

On the plus side though, pnscan didn’t seem to care if I was a privileged user or not; it did everything I asked without calling out sudo to check my credentials. Maybe that’s on the minus side, depending on your perspective. 🙄

I’m willing to keep pnscan in mind if I need a fundamental network tool that doesn’t need superuser powers and seems fairly potent.

pnscan is in Debian; I didn’t see it in Arch/AUR. If you decide to try it and you need to compile it yourself, just make crashed for me. make lnx did the trick though. 😉

clamav: The seat belt, without the car

Here’s a program I’ve known about for years now, but never ever used: clamav.


Mostly I’ve never used it because … well, after 2006, I rarely ran a Windows-only machine. And even if I did, it was rarer still that it was connected to a network. And even if it was connected to a network, it was exceedingly rare that I used it for any real surfing or whatnot.

Why? I don’t trust Windows, that’s all.

So in my case, needing clamav made about as much sense as owning a seat belt, but no car. 😐

Just for fun though, I have the screenshot above for you. I hope you appreciate it; I went to great lengths. 🙄

I have always wondered why there was no Linux distro which really only booted to a clamav scanner. Most often, when a computer is gifted/given/dumped on me, I wonder if I ought not scan for viruses, just out of curiosity.

To that end, a one-time boot USB straight to clamav in a live environment would be useful. To the best of my knowledge nobody has that. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Of course, you could just install it live in something like Linux Mint or something. Just as good, I guess.

If you want to steal my idea and start your own antivirus distro, be my guest. I release that idea into the wild, to run free and unfettered. …