What is Reconnaissance?

It is the first step of hacking in which the attacker or pentester collects every possible sensitive information regarding the target and target network. This collection of information helps in identifying different possible ways to enter into the target network.

Footprinting is a part of reconnaissance, it also helps to identify the vulnerabilities within a system, which exploits, to gain access.

How does hackers footprint the victims?

Hackers get the Information of target systems through various methods few and most popular among them are,

1. Footprinting through Search Engines

Search engines extract the information about an entity you have searched for from internet. You can open a web browser and through any search engine like Google or Bing, search for any organization. The result collects every available information on the internet.

Example: If u type about any person or organisation then you can get few basic data about them. Here i typed Anil Ambani (An industrialist from India) i got some info about his family, business,..


2. Footprinting through Advance search engine Hacking Techniques

Hackers can get some minute details like your location using some advanced search engine techniques like using maps and other location services like

  1. Google Earth
  2. Google Map
  3. Bing Map
  4. Wikimapia
  5. Yahoo Map
  6. Other Map and Location services

3. Footprinting using People Database Search Engines

Using some services like private eye the hackers can get some sensitive informations about the victims



4. Footprinting through Social Networking Sites

Social Networking is one of the best information sources among other sources. Different popular and most widely used social networking site has made quite easy to find someone, get to know about someone, including its basic personal information as well as some sensitive information as well. Advanced features on these social networking sites also provide up-to-date information.

An Example of footprinting through social networking sites can be finding someone on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and much more.

What Users Do


What attacker gets

People maintain their profile

  1. Photo of the target Contact numbers Email
  2. Addresses Date of birth Location
  3. Work details
  1. Personal Information about a target including personal information, photo, etc.
  2. Social engineering

People updates their status

  1. Most recent personal information Most recent location Family & Friends information Activities & Interest Technology related information Upcoming events information
  1. Platform & Technology related information.
  2. Target Location.
  3. List of Employees / Friends / Family.
  4. Nature of business


To be continued. Read Reconnaissance Part 2


Reconnaissance Part 1

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