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What is Footprinting

What-is-Footprinting

Footprinting is the first and most advantageous way that hackers use to assemble data about PC frameworks and the organizations they belong to. The reason to learn as much as you can know about a framework, it's remote access capabilities, its ports and services, and the aspects of its security. It is essentially the initial step where hacker gathers as much data as possible to find ways to intrude into a target system or at least decide what kind of attacks will be more suitable for the target. It could be both passive and active. Reviewing a company’s website is an example of passive information gathering, whereas attempting to gain access to sensitive data through social engineering is an example of active information gathering.

Types OF Footprinting  

 #1 Active Footprinting

  • Mirroring Websites
  • Downloads all available contents for offline analysis:-
  • Telepart pro
  • Imiser
  • HTTtrack website copier
  • Email Tracing:-
  • Examine E-mail processing path.
  • Email Tracker Pro
  • MSGTAG
  • Polite Mail
  • Zendio

Server Verification

  • Determine server are reachable
  • Enumerate network path from attacker to target
  • Identifies connectivity with the target
  • Ping
  • Tracert
  • Visual Traceroute
  • Sam Spade
  • TCR trade route
  • Google searching
  • HTTrack website copier
  • Email tracer pro
  • Ping
  • Tracert 

#2 Passive Footprinting

Passive footprinting is a method in which the attacker never makes any contact with the target system.

  • Google search- inurl: site .filetype
  • whois queries
  • DNS lookup:
  • Social networking site

Technique used for footprinting 

 Objectives of Footprinting

Network Footprinting - This is the process of collecting information related to a target network. Information like Domain name, subdomains, network blocks, IP addresses of reachable systems, IDSes running, Rouge websites/private websites, TCP & UDP services running, VPN points, networking protocols, ACL's, etc are collected.

Collect System Information - The information related to the target system like user and group names, system banners, routing tables, SNMP information, system names etc are collected using various methods.

Collect Organization's information – The information related to employee details, organization website, Location details, security policies implemented, the background of the organization may serve as an important piece of information for compromising the security of the target using direct or social engineering attacks.

Information Collected Using Footprinting


  • IP Addresses
  • Employee information
  • E-mails
  • Domain name
  • Employee information
  • Phone number
  • Discover open ports
  • Locate the network range
  • Map the network
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