Scannerl : The Modular Distributed Fingerprinting Engine

Scannerl is a modular distributed fingerprinting engine implemented by Kudelski Security. It can fingerprint thousands of targets on a single host, but can just as easily be distributed across multiple hosts. It is to fingerprinting what zmap is to port scanning.

Scannerl works on Debian/Ubuntu/Arch (but will probably work on other distributions as well). It uses a master/slave architecture where the master node will distribute the work (host(s) to fingerprint) to its slaves (local or remote). The entire deployment is transparent to the user.

Why Scannerl?

When using conventional fingerprinting tools for large-scale analysis, security researchers will often hit two limitations: first, these tools are typically built for scanning comparatively few hosts at a time and are inappropriate for large ranges of IP addresses.

Second, if large range of IP addresses protected by IPS devices are being fingerprinted, the probability of being blacklisted is higher what could lead to an incomplete set of information.

It is designed to circumvent these limitations, not only by providing the ability to fingerprint multiple hosts simultaneously, but also by distributing the load across an arbitrary number of hosts.

It also makes the distribution of these tasks completely transparent, which makes setup and maintenance of large-scale fingerprinting projects trivial; this allows to focus on the analyses rather than the herculean task of managing and distributing fingerprinting processes by hand.

In addition to the speed factor, it has been designed to allow to easily set up specific fingerprinting analyses in a few lines of code. Not only is the creation of a fingerprinting cluster easy to set up, but it can be tweaked by adding fine-tuned scans to your fingerprinting campaigns.

It is the fastest tool to perform large scale fingerprinting campaigns.

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To install from source, first install Erlang (at least v.18) by choosing the right packaging for your platform: Erlang downloads

Install the required packages:

# on debian
$ sudo apt install erlang erlang-src rebar

# on arch
$ sudo pacman -S erlang-nox rebar

Then build scannerl:

$ git clone
$ cd scannerl
$ ./

Get the usage by running

$ ./scannerl -h

Scannerl is available on aur for arch linux users


$ ./scannerl -h
   ____   ____    _    _   _ _   _ _____ ____  _
  / ___| / ___|  / \  | \ | | \ | | ____|  _ \| |
  \___ \| |     / _ \ |  \| |  \| |  _| | |_) | |
   ___) | |___ / ___ \| |\  | |\  | |___|  _ <| |___
  |____/ \____/_/   \_\_| \_|_| \_|_____|_| \_\_____|


    -m <mod> --module <mod>
      mod: the fingerprinting module to use.
           arguments are separated with a colon.

    -f <target> --target <target>
      target: a list of target separated by a comma.
    -F <path> --target-file <path>
      path: the path of the file containing one target per line.
    -d <domain> --domain <domain>
      domain: a list of domains separated by a comma.
    -D <path> --domain-file <path>
      path: the path of the file containing one domain per line.

    -s <node> --slave <node>
      node: a list of node (hostnames not IPs) separated by a comma.
    -S <path> --slave-file <path>
      path: the path of the file containing one node per line.
            a node can also be supplied with a multiplier (<node>*<nb>).

    -o <mod> --output <mod>     comma separated list of output module(s) to use.
    -p <port> --port <port>     the port to fingerprint.
    -t <sec> --timeout <sec>    the fingerprinting process timeout.
    -T <sec> --stimeout <sec>   slave connection timeout (default: 10).
    -j <nb> --max-pkt <nb>      max pkt to receive (int or "infinity").
    -r <nb> --retry <nb>        retry counter (default: 0).
    -c <cidr> --prefix <cidr>   sub-divide range with prefix > cidr (default: 24).
    -M <port> --message <port>  port to listen for message (default: 57005).
    -P <nb> --process <nb>      max simultaneous process per node (default: 28232).
    -Q <nb> --queue <nb>        max nb unprocessed results in queue (default: infinity).
    -C <path> --config <path>   read arguments from file, one per line.
    -O <mode> --outmode <mode>  0: on Master, 1: on slave, >1: on broker (default: 0).
    -v <val> --verbose <val>    be verbose (0 <= int <= 255).
    -K <opt> --socket <opt>     comma separated socket option (key[:value]).
    -l --list-modules           list available fp/out modules.
    -V --list-debug             list available debug options.
    -A --print-args             Output the args record.
    -X --priv-ports             use only source port between 1 and 1024.
    -N --nosafe                 keep going even if some slaves fail to start.
    -w --www                    DNS will try for www.<domain>.
    -b --progress               show progress.
    -x --dryrun                 dry run.

Standalone usage

It can be used on the local host without any other host. However, it will still create a slave node on the same host it is run from. Therefore, the requirements described in setup must also be met.

A quick way to do this is to make sure your host is able to resolve itself with

grep -q "\s*`hostname`" /etc/hosts || echo " `hostname`" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

and create an SSH key (if not yet present) and add it to the authorized_keys (you need an SSH server running):

cat $HOME/.ssh/ >> $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys

The following example runs an HTTP banner grabing on from localhost

./scannerl -m httpbg -d

Distributed usage

In order to perform a distributed scan, one need to pre-setup the hosts that will be used by scannerl to distribute the work. See setup for more information.

Scannerl expects a list of slaves to use (provided by the -s or -S switches).

./scannerl -m httpbg -d -s host1,host2,host3

List Available Modules

Scannerl will list the available modules (output modules as well as fingerprinting modules) with the -l switch:

$ ./scannerl -l

Fingerprinting modules available

bacnet             UDP/47808: Bacnet identification
chargen            UDP/19: Chargen amplification factor identification
fox                TCP/1911: FOX identification
httpbg             TCP/80: HTTP Server header identification
                     - Arg1: [true|false] follow redirection [Default:false]
httpsbg            SSL/443: HTTPS Server header identification
https_certif       SSL/443: HTTPS certificate graber
imap_certif        TCP/143: IMAP STARTTLS certificate graber
modbus             TCP/502: Modbus identification
mqtt               TCP/1883: MQTT identification
mqtts              TCP/8883: MQTT over SSL identification
mysql_greeting     TCP/3306: Mysql version identification
pop3_certif        TCP/110: POP3 STARTTLS certificate graber
smtp_certif        TCP/25: SMTP STARTTLS certificate graber
ssh_host_key       TCP/22: SSH host key graber

Output modules available

csv                output to csv
                     - Arg1: [true|false] save everything [Default:true]
csvfile            output to csv file
                     - Arg1: [true|false] save everything [Default:false]
                     - Arg2: File path
file               output to file
                     - Arg1: File path
file_ip            output to stdout (only ip)
                     - Arg1: File path
file_mini          output to file (only ip and result)
                     - Arg1: File path
file_resultonly    output to file (only result)
                     - Arg1: File path
stdout             output to stdout
stdout_ip          output to stdout (only IP)
stdout_mini        output to stdout (only ip and result)

Modules Arguments

Arguments can be provided to modules with a colon. For example for the file output module:

./scannerl -m httpbg -d -o file:/tmp/result

Result Format

The result returned by scannerl to the output modules has the following form:

{module, target, port, result}


  • module: the module used (Erlang atom)
  • target: IP or hostname (string or IPv4 address)
  • port: the port (integer)
  • result: see below

The result part is of the form:

{{status, type},Value}

Where {status, type} is one of the following tuples:

  • {ok, result}: fingerprinting the target succeeded
  • {error, up}: fingerprinting didn’t succeed but the target responded
  • {error, unknown}: fingerprinting failed

Value is the returned value – it is either an atom or a list of element

Extending Scannerl

Scannerl has been designed and implemented with modularity in mind. It is easy to add new modules to it:

  • Fingerprinting module: to query a specific protocol or service. As an example, the fp_httpbg.erl module allows to retrieve the server entry in the HTTP response.
  • Output module: to output to a specific database/filesystem or output the result in a specific format. For example, the out_file.erl and out_stdout.erl modules allow respectively to output to a file or to stdout (default behavior if not specified).

To create new modules, simply follow the behavior (fp_module.erl for fingerprinting modules and out_behavior.erl for output module) and implement your modules.

New modules can either be added at compile time or dynamically as an external file.

Credit: Kudelski Security