Foot-printing is the most important and very essential for ethical hacking process of gathering information about the target and its environment, because it is a first stage or pre-attack stage and maximum efforts are deployed to ensure that the operations conducted are executed under stealth and target can’t trace back you. Foot-printing is a first and the important step because after this a penetration tester knows how the hacker sees this network.
Types of information gathering
Basically it’s a two type
Active information gathering
In active information gathering, we interact directly with a system to learn more about it. We might, for example, conduct port scans for open ports on the target or conduct scans to determine what services are running. Each system or running service that we discover gives us another opportunity for exploitation. But beware: If you get careless while active information gathering, you might be nabbed by an IDS or intrusion prevention system (IPS)—not a good outcome for the covert penetration tester.
Passive information gathering
Passive information gathering is a technique in which the attacker never makes contact with the targeted system’s. Even-though downside to the active method for an attacker is that many companies may log contact between an attacker and the target system. ex – Using Social media, visiting on target website etc.
- Registration details of the website, contact details.
- Email harvesting,
- Finding out the target IP address and determine network range
- Identify active machine, DNS record , subdomains.
- Operating system fingerprinting.
- Finding login pages, sensitive directory
- Find out any known vulnerability for that particular version.