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How to Do a Reverse WHOIS Search If You’re Not an Expert Coder

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By: Jonathan Zhang

September 13, 2019

Coding is a must if you want a career in cybersecurity. But what if you’re starting to learn the ropes and have yet to become a coding expert? Can you still do a reverse WHOIS search then?

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The good news is that you can. There are lots of reverse WHOIS search tools that don’t require the use of any code. The more important thing is to find one that will give you the best search results. I’ve compiled a list of what you should look for in an excellent reverse WHOIS search tool below to guide you:

  • Choose a search tool with the most significant number of WHOIS records, domain names, and TLDs. One that lists down subdomains, apart from just domains, would be a better bet yet. The tool should cover not just ccTLDs, but also the latest addition to TLDs to date, that is, gTLDs. That way, you can crawl as much of the Internet as possible.
  • Make sure the tool you’re eyeing has well-parsed and well-structured data. So you can get the best results when you use any of the unique identifiers (registrar, registrant, name server, etc.) in a WHOIS record.
  • Can the tool do more than just reverse WHOIS searches? A tool that can help you get even historical data on domains is better than one that can’t. Knowing the history of a domain and the changes it has undergone over the years can help you spot anomalies or suspicious activities.
  • If you want complete and accurate search results, then you should find a tool that provides not only historical data, but information on newly registered domains. A useful reverse WHOIS search tool is one that’s regularly updated to reflect the most current information about domains.
  • Last but not least, if you’re planning to work in the cybersecurity industry, you should always keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Cybercriminals make a living out of spoofing companies, domains, and even people. A reverse WHOIS search tool that lets you monitor a domain, brand and registrant changes with just a few additional clicks should work to your advantage.
A cyber-forensic investigator at times can only be as good as the tools he uses. Investigations are even harder to do online than in the real world because the first thing cybercriminals probably learned was how to cover their tracks. These criminals wouldn’t hesitate to lie on WHOIS records even if it means they can get blacklisted. Sometimes they would forget to mask an email address, their aliases, or other information that can lead to their real identities. Many cybercriminals manage to hide their identities while committing a crime but brag about their conquests on forums or even social media. These actions help investigators connect the dots and follow their trail.An example of this would be the 25-year-old Italian hacker 1 behind two attacks against NASA and around 60 more government agency websites in his country. Two more examples 2 would be John Anthony Borell III and Sabu. Borell hacked the Utah Chiefs of Police Association and the SLC Police Department websites and bragged about them on Twitter. “Sabu” who got caught after sharing his dirty deeds in IRC chatrooms. WHOIS information is often used to corroborate other evidence gathered about a crime. While it may not be a silver bullet, it does serve as a great jump-off point to collect invaluable clues, and a means to follow the so-called money trail.For more information, check out this step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly do a reverse WHOIS search3. Try out all the features and see what hidden treasures you can uncover.   References:1.
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