The first step to ethical hacking is Footprinting. Footprinting is the collection of every possible information regarding the target and target network. This collection of information helps in identifying different possible ways to enter into the target network. This collection of information may have gathered through publicly- available personal information and sensitive information from any secret source. Typically, footprinting & reconnaissance is performing social engineering attacks, system or network attacks, or through any other technique. Active and passive methods of reconnaissance are also popular for gaining information about target directly or indirectly. The overall purpose of this phase is to keep interacting with the target to gain information without any detection or alerting.
Pseudonymous Footprinting Pseudonymous footprinting includes footprinting through online sources. In Pseudonymous footprinting, information about a target is shared by posting with an assumed name. This type information is shared with the real credential to avoid trace to an actual source of information.
Internet Footprinting Internet Footprinting includes the Footprinting and reconnaissance methods for gaining information through the internet. In Internet Footprinting, processes such as Google Hacking, Google Search, Google Application including search engines other than Google as well.
Objectives of Footprinting The major objectives of Footprinting are: -
- To know security posture
- To reduce focus area
- Identify vulnerabilities
- Draw network map