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What is Footprinting and Reconnaissance?

What is Footprinting and Reconnaissance?

Footprinting (also known as reconnaissance) is the technique used for gathering information about computer systems and the entities they belong to. To get this information, a hacker might use various tools and technologies. This information is very useful to a hacker who is trying to crack a whole system.

When used in the computer security lexicon, “Footprinting” generally refers to one of the pre-attack phases; tasks performed before doing the actual attack. Some of the tools used for Footprinting are Sam Spade, nslookup, traceroute, Nmap and neotrace.

Footprinting helps to:

Know Security Posture – The data gathered will help us to get an overview of the security posture of the company such as details about the presence of a firewall, security configurations of applications etc.

Reduce Attack Area – Can identify a specific range of systems and concentrate on particular targets only. This will greatly reduce the number of systems we are focussing on.

Identify vulnerabilities – we can build an information database containing the vulnerabilities, threats, loopholes available in the system of the target organization.

Draw Network map – helps to draw a network map of the networks in the target organization covering topology, trusted routers, presence of server and other information.