Information Gathering – Information gathering is a process of collecting information from various sources. There are various types of information gathering tools and methods which are involved in the process. These information-gathering tools and methods (Techniques) can be applied by the use of OS such as Kali Linux, Arch Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Types of Information Gathering.
There are two types of information gathering.
- Active Information Gathering
- Passive Information Gathering
Active Information Gathering
Active information gathering involves social or virtual contact between the pentester and the actual target.
The toughest part of the information gathering is to maintain your anonymity.
Pentester uses tools such as Nmap, Wireshark, Metasploit, etc.
Passive Information Gathering
In the passive information gathering process, there is no active contact between the pentester and the actual target.
This the easiest and the safest way to collect information about your target.
Tools such as Netcraft, Harvester, Maltego, etc.
Information Gathering Tools And Methods
Information Gathering Methods
The process of information gathering requires many tools and techniques in order to collect the required information about the target, some of these techniques are as follows
Social engineering is an art of manipulating people to do something which helps a hacker to obtain confidential information about the target.
The social engineering process may include phishing, baiting, vishing, fake messages, pretesting, etc.
Whois lookup is a very traditional way that is still in trend to gather information about your targets such as a website, organization, government agency or individual people.
Alexa.com is one of the most popular platforms used by digital marketers, pen-testers, cybersecurity firms as it provides a very detailed report about a website.
This kind of information is needed by a hacker to know the level of the actual target.
Once level of target is analysed we can use data analysis to
These kinds of targets are generally top websites serving their service over the internet.
The search engine is one of the most promising ways to fetch a piece of particular information about the target such as domain names, social history, services, people, etc.
Archive.org is an online source which consist digital library of websites listed over surface web (Internet).
Best thing about this website is that you can also gather information of the websites which are no more available on the internet.
Website is widely used by researchers, historians, scholars and data analysts to gather information.
The social network is one of the most popular and effective ways to gather information as most of the people around the world are connected over social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.
These social networking sites help a hacker to collect personal and private data about an individual, organization or industry.
Information Gathering Tools
Different information-gathering tools have different requirement some may even require a different operating system
Kali Linux comes with a lot of preinstalled information-gathering tools that can be used to gather information about the actual target.
Some of the most popular tools used to gather information are as follows-
Most popular and reliable network mapper and scanner used to gather information about open ports, services and DNS Enumuratiom.
Used to fetch related information about the domain and IP.
Best and top subdomain enumeration tool, used to create a subdomain map of a domain name in just seconds.
Devploit is used to extract DNS and domain-related data, this data may contain information such as DNS lookup, Whois Lookup, Reverse IP Information, etc.
Bettercap (swiss army knife) is an information-gathering tool used to recon a network such as Bluetooth, Wifi, and Ethernet.
It can come very handy when we need to take a look for security flaws in a network.
Hping3 is nearly similar to ping tools but is more advanced, as it can bypass the firewall filter and use TCP, UDP, ICMP and RAW-IP protocols. It has a traceroute mode and the ability to send files between a covered channel.
Information gathering the first and most important aspect in the field of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, it requires proper knowledge and skills which can blend with technology to get desired results.
Information gathering is both art and science, art as it requires proper skills and science as it requires the proper use of technology.
Good practice of social engineering and flexible hand on information-gathering tools can help a hacker to compromise the security of top-notch firms.