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Ping -- Know the Target (Ping Pong)!


Ping Pong! No we are not in wrong article. In this article we are going do discuss about the ping tool. Ping is the most famous tool that is used to check whether a particular host is available or not. tool works by sending an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packet to the target host. If the target host is available and the firewall is not blocking the ICMP echo request packet, it will reply with the ICMP echo reply packet.

ping on Kali Linux

From the web hosting point of view, Ping usually used to check if the website is up and sends an alert if the site is down. This can be useful for monitoring the uptime and performance of the website, as well as ensuring that the website is accessible to the visitors.

But a cybersecurity expert never thinks like normal humans. In cybersecurity point of view, website ping can be used as part of a bigger suite of tools to know the security of a website or network. Here are a some examples of how website ping can be used in cybersecurity:

  • Network Mapping: By pinging various IP addresses, security professionals can create a map of the network and identify active hosts. This can help to identify potential targets for attacks, as well as monitor changes to the network over time.
  • Detecting Intruders: By pinging a network regularly, security professionals can detect unauthorized access to the network. For example, if an IP address that was not previously in the network map suddenly starts responding to pings, it may indicate the presence of an intruder.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: By pinging a website continuously and in a coordinated manner from multiple sources, an attacker can cause the website to become unavailable to users. By monitoring the response time of the website, security professionals can detect the onset of a DoS attack and take steps to mitigate it.
  • Vulnerability Scanning: Website ping can be used in conjunction with other tools, such as port scanners and vulnerability scanners, to identify potential weaknesses in a network. For example, a vulnerability scanner might use website ping to check if a web server is responsive, and then use other tools to determine if the web server is vulnerable to attack.

Without wasting any more time with the theories lets jump to the practicals. Although we can't find the ping tool in Kali Linux application menu but in our terminal we can ping -h command to see the help section of the ping tool.

ping -h

In the following screenshot we can see the help of ping.

help of ping on Kali Linux

Now we run the ping with a destination address. For an example we use IP address of Facebook. We use following command:


In the following screenshot we can see the output of the above command.

ping facebook ip from Kali Linux
By default, ping will run continuously until we press Ctrl + C and stop it.

We also can use a domain name to ping. Ping will automatically fetch the IP, if the target not behind a firewall.


In the following screenshot we can see that ping is started and it's automatically find facebook's IP address.

ping from Kali Linux

This was the basic example, ping toll has lot of options inside it, but few of them are widely used. Those are following:

  • -c count: This is the number of echo request packets to be sent.
  • -I interface address: This is the network interface of the source address. The argument may be a numeric IP address (such as or the name of the device (like eth0, wlan0). This option is required if we want to ping the IPv6 link-local address.
  • -s packet size: This specifies the number of data bytes to be sent. The default is 56 bytes, which translates into 64 ICMP data bytes when combined with the 8 bytes of the ICMP header data.

We will discuss about these with example.

Assume that we are starting with internal penetration testing work. The customer gave us access to their network using a LAN cable. And, they also gave us the list of target servers' IP addresses.

The first thing we would want to do before launching a full penetration testing arsenal is to check whether these servers are accessible from our machine. We can use ping for this task.

Our target server is located at, while our machine has an IP address of To check the target server availability, we can give the following command:

ping -c 1

In the following screenshot is the result of the preceding ping command:

ping on local target

From the above screenshot, we know that there is one ICMP echo request packet sent to the destination (IP address: Also, the sending host (IP address: received one ICMP echo reply packet. The round-trip time required is 2.208 ms (millisecond), and there is no packet loss during the process.

Let's see the network packets that are transmitted and received by our machine. We are going to use Wireshark, a network protocol analyzer, on our machine to capture these packets, as shown in the following screenshot:

ping network packets capturing on wireshark
From the above screenshot, we can see that our host ( sent one ICMP echo request packet to the destination host ( Since the destination is alive and allows the ICMP echo request packet, it will send the ICMP echo reply packet back to our machine.

If our target is using an IPv6 address, such as fe80::e82a:e363:100d:9b02, we can use the ping6 tool to check its availability. We need to give the -I option for the command to work against the link-local address:

ping6 -c 1 fe80::e82a:e363:100d:9b02 -I wlan0

The following screenshot shows the packets sent to complete the ping6 request:

ping6 for IPV6
Here ping6 is using the ICMPv6 request and reply.

To block the ping request, our firewall can be configured to only allow the ICMP echo request packet from a specific host and drop the packets sent from other hosts. This is how we can use ping and know things about our host. This is the primary thing for penetration testers.

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