Research and Development

BannerGrab is a tool that performs connection, trigger-based and basic information collection from network services.

The program has two modes of operation; simple connection banner grabbing and the default mode which makes use of service triggers to enumerate additional information.


BannerGrab requires the GNU C compiler and has been tested on Linux, but should work on other UNIX type systems. It has even been known to run from an iPhone.

BannerGrab has an optional requirement of the OpenSSL library to perform SSL-based grabs. However, SSL support can be disabled.


BannerGrab can be downloaded from the Source Forge project site


BannerGrab includes a Makefile, so it can be built in the usual way:

  • make
  • make install (as root)

However, it can be manually compiled as follows:

gcc -lssl -o bannergrab bannergrab.c

On Mac OS-X systems it can be compiled as follows:

gcc -lssl -lcrypto -o bannergrab bannergrab.c

It can be compiled without OpenSSL support as follows:

gcc -DNOSSL -o bannergrab bannergrab.c


BannerGrab can be run in its simplest form by specifying a host and port as the parameters. For example:

bannergrab 80

More advanced options can be shown using the online help with the following command:

bannergrab --help


BannerGrab is covered by the GPL v3 license with the following exception:

In addition, as a special exception, the copyright holders give
permission to link the code of portions of this program with the
OpenSSL library under certain conditions as described in each
individual source file, and distribute linked combinations
including the two.
You must obey the GNU General Public License in all respects
for all of the code used other than OpenSSL. If you modify
file(s) with this exception, you may extend this exception to your
version of the file(s), but you are not obligated to do so. If you
do not wish to do so, delete this exception statement from your
version. If you delete this exception statement from all source
files in the program, then also delete it here.

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