In this article, we’ll discuss passive information gathering. We’ll first look at how we can use Maltego, a common information gathering tool, to perform this form of reconnaissance. Using a hands-on walkthrough of Maltego, we’ll see how you can acquire IP addresses, sub-domains and perform different levels of reconnaissance to inform your information gathering exercise.
What is information gathering?
During penetration testing (the hacking process), you will have to adhere to a methodology that will direct your hacking. Intelligence gathering is usually the first step. It is the process of acquiring intelligence on a target before we can begin attacking it.
There are two main types of information gathering that hackers can employ:
- Passive information gathering: Here, you acquire as much information as you can about the target without establishing any contact between yourself and the target. The chances of getting discovered here are extremely low, since you will be mostly leveraging information that is publicly available. There are numerous tools that can help you do this
- Active information gathering: Here, you acquire as much information as possible, yet establishing contact with the target. The chances of getting discovered here are much higher than when conducting passive information gathering. While using tools here, you need to be careful not to cause too much noise on the network in order to avoid detection by Intrusion Detection Systems and SIEMs
The importance of information gathering is that it informs your attack. You need to have as much information as possible in order to begin attacking your target. This is by far the most time-intensive step when performing penetration testing, as you will want to be aware of all the attack vectors that can be leveraged on before the pentesting can begin.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Lester Obbayi. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/infosecResources/~3/X-_PFEf9isA/