Port Authority Edition – Internet Vulnerability Profiling
by Steve Gibson,  Gibson Research Corporation.





Goto Port 78
Probe Port 79
Enter Port: 0-65535
Goto Port 80



Port Authority Database

Port 79

Name: 
finger

Purpose: 
Finger - User Information Protocol

Description: 
Finger servers provide information about the users of their computers by opening and listening for incoming TCP connections on port 79. Remote users wishing to obtain information about the user of a specific computer could do so by querying their machine's finger server listening on port 79. This information typically included the user's full name, address, telephone number, title, job name, office location, telephone extension, and so on.

Related Ports: 
-




Background and Additional Information:

This was obviously an application and protocol born during a very different age of the Internet . . . back when the Internet's seventeen users were rather desperate to be known to each other. Such is not the case today.

People who intentionally have finger servers running on their machines are generally not party animals, despite their desire to be invited to a party, any party — thus the reason for their finger servers, eagerly providing more personal information than anyone else would care to have. Enough said.

I know that YOU probably don't have a finger server running in your machine, unless it's because you just installed a full-featured server suite and forgot to turn it off.

Do so now.

The Finger RFC

There is, of course, an RFC document for "Finger" . . . and not just one, but a succession of four, each obsoleting the previous. This is what kept those first seventeen Internet users busy back in the good old "chicken and egg" days while they were waiting for all of the rest of us to get a clue and dump our money into this really nifty 110-baud teletype text network they had created. Lotsa RFC's back then, not much heat.

The original Finger RFC 742:

  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc742.txt

  http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc742.html

 . . . obsoleted by RFC 1194:

  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1194.txt

  http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1194.html

 . . . obsoleted the next month by RFC 1196:

  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1196.txt

  http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1196.html

 . . . obsoleted a year later by RFC 1288:

  http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1288.txt

  http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1288.html

And, believe it or not, Finger even managed to collect a few Trojans.
Good for it . . .

Trojan Sightings: CDK, Firehotcker

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