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Port 42 Details

known port assignments and vulnerabilities
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Port(s) Protocol Service Details Source
42 tcp,udp WINS Port used by WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service). Worms can exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability within WINS using this port. See: MSKB 890710

The WINS service (wins.exe) on Microsoft Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows Server 2003 allows remote attackers to write to arbitrary memory locations and possibly execute arbitrary code via a modified memory pointer in a WINS replication packet to TCP port 42, aka the "Association Context Vulnerability."
References: [CVE-2004-1080] [BID-11763] [OSVDB-12378] [SECUNIA-13328]

W32.Dasher.D [Symantec-2005-121915-1543-99] (2005.12.19) - a worm that exploits the following MS vulnerabilities: [MS05-051] (on port 53/tcp) and [MS04-045] (on port 42/tcp). Listens for remote commands on port 53/tcp. Connects to an FTP server on port 21211/tcp. Scans for systems vulnerable to the [MS05-051] exploit on port 1025/tcp. / Remote Stack Buffer Overflow - the malware listens on TCP port 42, sending a single HTTP GET request with a packet size of 10140 bytes, will trigger the buffer overflow overwriting both EIP and structured exception handler (SEH)
References: [MVID-2021-0026]

City of Heroes also uses this port (TCP).

Port was originally assigned to the obsolete ARPA Host name server protocol (pre-DNS).
42 tcp,udp nameserver, ARPA Host Name Server Protocol (official) Wikipedia
42 tcp,udp WINS (unofficial) Wikipedia
42 tcp threat W32.Dasher Bekkoame
42 tcp,udp name Host Name Server IANA
42 tcp,udp nameserver Host Name Server IANA
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Related ports: 53  106  421  699  1025  21211  

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External Resources
SANS Internet Storm Center: port 42

Port numbers in computer networking represent communication endpoints. Ports are unsigned 16-bit integers (0-65535) that identify a specific process, or network service. IANA is responsible for internet protocol resources, including the registration of commonly used port numbers for well-known internet services.
Well Known Ports: 0 through 1023.
Registered Ports: 1024 through 49151.
Dynamic/Private : 49152 through 65535.

TCP ports use the Transmission Control Protocol, the most commonly used protocol on the Internet and any TCP/IP network. TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange streams of data. TCP guarantees delivery of data and that packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent. Guaranteed communication/delivery is the key difference between TCP and UDP.

UDP ports use the Datagram Protocol. Like TCP, UDP is used in combination with IP (the Internet Protocol) and facilitates the transmission of datagrams from one computer to applications on another computer, but unlike TCP, UDP is connectionless and does not guarantee reliable communication; it's up to the application that received the message to process any errors and verify correct delivery. UDP is often used with time-sensitive applications, such as audio/video streaming and realtime gaming, where dropping some packets is preferable to waiting for delayed data.

When troubleshooting unknown open ports, it is useful to find exactly what services/processes are listening to them. This can be accomplished in both Windows command prompt and Linux variants using the "netstat -aon" command. We also recommend runnig multiple anti-virus/anti-malware scans to rule out the possibility of active malicious software. For more detailed and personalized help please use our forums.

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