Footprinting and Reconnaissance


If you are just starting to learn about ethical hacking, this footprinting and reconnaissance tutorial will give you foundational knowledge about this first step in the ethical hacking methodology. Ken Underhill walks you through how to use the tools for this information-gathering step and provides a hands-on opportunity to try it yourself.

2 hours 37 minutes
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Course Description

Footprinting and reconnaisance is commonly known as information gathering. If you think about it, all of us do some form of information gathering on a daily basis, from researching new restaurants to locating people on social media. In this course, we will use Microsoft as a target in many of the labs, since most students around the world will recognize their name. Disclaimer: I want to stress that we will not be attacking any systems in this course and will only be looking at publicly available information to practice the tools. Performing an actual penetration test, without permission, may be a crime in your jurisdiction, so please remember to "play it safe" and don't do the hands-on component of this course if it is illegal in your jurisdiction.

In the Footprinting in Ethical Hacking training course, students will learn the basics of footprinting and reconnaissance, the first step in the ethical hacking methodology, and the tools that are commonly used in this information gathering task.

What is Footprinting in Ethical Hacking?

Footprinting is a part of the reconnaissance process of ethical hacking. It’s the information gather step in which the hacker collects all the information possible about the target network or computer system. The data that is gathered during this process is used to help determine where there are weaknesses that will allow intrusion into the target system, or at least which types of cyberattacks will be the most useful for exploiting the target.

There is much information that can be obtained during the footprinting phase of ethical hacking, including:

  • Operating system of the computer or device being targeted
  • IP address
  • Firewall
  • Network map
  • Server configuration
  • Security configurations
  • Email ID and password
  • URLs
  • VPN

Why is Footprinting Important?

Cybersecurity, as a whole, is essential to all types of businesses and organizations, because cyberattacks are happening every. That’s why keeping hardware, software, and digital information secure is more crucial than ever. Cybersecurity involves protecting the digital data, computer systems and networks, and other sensitive information of organizations. More specifically, it involves protecting those assets from cyber attackers. These criminals do far more than simply stealing identities and committing credit card fraud. They are responsible for sabotaging business processes, extorting money from users, and accessing, stealing, or destroying sensitive data. Cybersecurity professionals have to be able to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in their systems, which is where ethical hacking comes in.

Ethical hacking allows IT professionals to look at an organization’s systems and networks as if they were criminal hackers, using the same types of tools and methods, so they can find weaknesses and fix them. Footprinting and reconnaissance are essential parts of ethical hacking. Without the information that is gathered during this phase of the ethical hacking process, professionals wouldn’t know important information about the system or application, which makes determining vulnerabilities very difficult.

Cybrary’s Footprinting in Ethical Hacking training is a beginner level course that helps introduce students to cybersecurity and ethical hacking career path. It’s one of the first steps that students should take to learn ethical hacking.

What is Involved in this Footprinting in Ethical Hacking Course?

In our Footprinting in Ethical Hacking course, students will learn the fundamentals of footprinting and reconnaissance, which is commonly known as information gathering. It’s the first step in the ethical hacking process. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with tools that are used for footprinting. These tools include nslookup, whois, Shodan, Maltego, HTTrack, theHarvester, Recon-ng, and social engineering.

While this course involves some hands-on labs, students will be using Microsoft as a target. Students will not be attacking any systems in this course and will only practice using the tools on publicly available information.

The total clock hours for this class is 2 hours 37 minutes. Students will earn 3 CEU/CPE and receive a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the class.

What Are the Different Types of Footprinting in Ethical Hacking?

Footprinting in ethical hacking is divided into two different types, active and passive.

  • Active footprinting is gathering information about an application or system by directly interacting with the system. In this type of footprinting, the target for which information is being gathered will likely be able to determine the IP address of the computer being used to hack.
  • Passive footprinting is gathering information without interacting with the target application or system. Information is gathered through public records or search engines. There is no way for the target system to obtain the hackers IP address.

In the Footprinting in Ethical Hacking course, students will learn much more about the two types and how they are best used in ethical hacking.

Why Take the Footprinting and Reconnaissance tutorial?

The cybersecurity field, and the IT industry overall, is currently experiencing a shortage in the number of professionals to fill information security roles. That means that there is no better time to begin a career in cybersecurity than right now. There are various career paths available in the cybersecurity industry, but no matter which path is taken, it’s important to know and understand what footprinting and reconnaissance is in ethical hacking. This course is essential for anyone who wants to be a penetration tester in cybersecurity, as well as many other roles.

If you want to learn more about footprinting and reconnaissance in ethical hacking, this course is a great place to start. Registering for the course is simple, just click on the Register button in the upper right corner of this screen.