net use

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In Microsoft operating-systems like DOS and Windows, the net use command (a sub-command of the net command) has several network-related functions allowing configuration from the command-line.

Drive mapping[edit]

net use can control drive mapping: mounting ("mapping" in Microsoft terminology) drive shares in a network environment. This command makes use of the SMB (server message block) and the Netbios protocol on port 139 or 445. The basic Windows XP configuration enables this functionality by default. Thus users can connect to and disconnect from shared resources such as computers, printers and drives.

net use can display a list of network-connection information on shared resources.

Null session connections[edit]

net use also connects to the IPC$ (interprocess communication share). This is the so-called null session connection, which allows unauthenticated users. The basic syntax for connecting anonymously is:

net use \\IP address\IPC$ "" /u:""

For example, typing at the command prompt:

net use \\\IPC$ "" /u:""

attempts to connect to the share IPC$ of the network as an anonymous user with blank password. If successfully connected to the target machine, a lot of information can be gathered such as shares, users, groups, registry keys and more. This would provide a hacker with a lot of information about a remote user.


For more information about net use for connecting and disconnecting from network shares, refer to: