How to Use Footprinting in Threat Management

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Virtual Practice Lab
Practice Test
How to Use Footprinting in Threat Management

This section of the course will cover two different targets and the footprinting process for each. We will utilize several different tools and websites in order to gather a large amount of passive information on our targets. Passive information means that it can be gathered publicly from anyone without establishing a relationship with the organization. The targets we will cover include the official EC-Council website and a website called Altoro designed specifically for testing cybersecurity techniques.

EC-Council is considered an example of a secure website for the purposes of this course. Let’s assume you have been hired by EC-Council to perform ethical hacking and find security flaws. Before using any specialized tools, we begin by browsing the website as it is. You can find contact information, system information, and a wealth of other types of data with this
technique alone. Some sites make themselves vulnerable to hackers by providing a wealth of information on members within the organization’s website.

The next step is to gather information on the domain of the target site. We can perform a whois lookup on the site’s domain at online whois lookup services like whois.sc. Paste the domain of the website into a whois lookup for some important information including the registration date, the website’s IP, the location of the website’s hosting, and other identifying information. The registry expire date provides a date of the domain’s expiry, providing an opportunity for an
attacker to buy up the domain and sell it at a cost. This lookup also includes the registration email for the domain. It is unwise to have this information public, and websites can benefit from hiding this information away.

Looking up a defunct website, like ott-summit.com for example, with whois can still provide useful information. A whois search on ott-summit.com provides us with details on when the domain for the website expires. As mentioned before, an attacker could acquire this domain the moment it expires and sell it back to the organization for a profit. The whois lookup also provides the email used for new registrants. This is dangerous as compromising this email can compromise the entire website. Having this domain is very valuable for organizations and companies, and losing it can prove to have disastrous results.

Another site that is useful in the gathering of unique information on organizations is Netcraft. On this site you can look up a website by domain and receive system information on the site without ever contacting the target. This can be dangerous as old and outdated systems can be easily exploited by attackers who discover this information. With footprinting you can gather useful and compromising information without establishing any relationship with the target.

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