Footprinting Basics

Footprinting is a process of gathering information about computer systems for the intent to intrude on it. It is the very first phase of the hacking process.

what is footprinting?

Footprinting is the technique of gathering information about computer systems and the entities they belong to. This is done by employing various computer security techniques, such as:

  • DNS queries
  • Network enumeration
  • Network queries
  • Operating system identification
    • Organizational queries
      • Ping sweeps
  • Point of contact queries
  • Port Scanning
  • Registrar queries (WHOIS queries)
  • SNMP queries
  • World Wide Web spidering


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this is the footprint

Footprinting Methodology:

Footprinting Methodologies are based on the following things which include collecting the following information:

Collecting Network Information such as domain name(Internal Domain Name), Network Blocks, IP Address of the reachable system, Rogue Website/Private Websites associated with it, TCP and UDP Services Running on it, Networking Protocol information, VPN Points associated with the host, ACLs, IDSes Running, Analog/Digital Tel. Numbers, Authentication mechanisms, Collect System Information such as their Users and Groups names, System Banners, Routing Banners, SNMP Information about the host, System architecture, Remote System Type, System Names and Passwords, Collect Organization’s Information, Employee Details, Organization’s Website, Company Directory Addresses and Phone Numbers

Types of footprinting

Their are two tipes of footprinting active footprinting and passive footprinting. active footprinting include gathering information using footprinting tools which we will get to know in upcoming lines.

But, which includes: gathering info from online www(world wide web).

Which include everything menssioned in footprinting methadology passive footprinting includes gathering info from the people associated with such organisations such as their usernames, passwords and much more using non technical hacking(social engineering).

Why footprinting is important?

footprinting in hacking or, footprinting in ethical hacking plays an important part because hear.

We are gathering as much information as we can and, in hacking also we are doing the same for more details on footprinting and reconnaissance.

I am going to provide you now, one pdf (footprinting and reconnaissance pdf) you can find it from hear:

footprinting and reconnaissance pdf

Reconnaissance meaning

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, reconnaissance definition (reconnaissance meaning) is the process of getting information about enemy forces or positions by sending out small groups of soldiers or by using aircraft, etc is known as reconnaissance.

But, in reconnaissance in hacking means, getting as much as information about the target system using www(world wide web) by email hacking, DNS hacking, and other such footprinting tools and techniques is known as reconnaissance in hacking.

Importance of reconnaissance

Now, you maby asking that, what are the importance of reconnaissance?

The importance of reconnaissance or, importants of footprinting or, importants of information gathering.

What you tell it is important in hacking because, hear we gather information about target system, use it to create attacking strategies, and then use this information to exploit the system!

Footprinting tools

Hear, I am going to provide you with some of the tools use in footprinting and reconnaissance.

Tools of Extract Data (Extract Information from Web Page)

Web Data Extractor

Web Data Extractor, a powerful and easy-to-use application which
helps you automatically extract specific information from web pages.

Spider Foot

Spider Foot is a free, open-source, domain footprinting tool. Given one or multiple domain names (and when I say domains, I’m referring to the DNS kind of domains, not Windows domains).

It will scrape the websites on that domain, as well as search Google for, Netcraft, Whois and DNS to build up information like:

  • Sub domains
  • Web server versions
  • Users details
  • Similar domains
  • Email addresses
  • Net blocks


RobTex is a software developer that was founded in 1989 developing all kinds of software.

However, In recent years his main focus has been on Internet-related software.

Currently the most popular has been free tools like
and network explorer.

People Search Online Services

Pipl People Find

Yahoo People Search

Profile Search by Email

People Lookup


123 People Search

Public People Finder

http://www.publicpeoplefinder.comFootprinting through Search Engine




People Search on Social Networking Sites






Gathering Information from Financial Services

Google Finance

Yahoo Finance

Monitoring Target using Alert

Giga Alert:

The web’s leading solution for monitoring your professional interests online. Track the entire web for your topics and receive new results by daily email.

Google Alert:

Moreover, Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web,news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

People Search on JOB Search Sites:





Freshers World

Times Jobs


Competitive Intelligence

A broad definition of competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors.

Moreover, Any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organization.

Key points of this definition:

  • Competitive intelligence is an ethical and legal business practice, as opposed to industrial espionage which is illegal.The focus is on the external business environment.
  • There is a process involved in gathering information, converting it into intelligence and then utilizing this in business decision making. CI professionals erroneously emphasize
    that if the intelligence gathered is not usable (or actionable) then it is not intelligence.

Competitive Intelligence brands and their websites:

  1.  ABI/Inform `Global
2: Factiva

3: Business Wire


Whois: Whois is a protocol used to find information about networks, domains and hosts which are hosted with WHOIS databases for domain registration information.

By performing a simple WHOIS search you can discover when and by whom a domain was registered, contact information, and more.

Whois Lookup Tools

You Get Signal

MY IP Suite

Lan Whois


Lapshins Whois

Domain Hosting View

Web Ferret

Whois Lookup Online Tools


Better Whois

Domain Tools

IP Tools

Find Website Details using Command Prompt


nslookup is a network administration command line tool available for many computer operating systems for querying the Domain Name System (DNS).

To obtain domain name or IP address mapping or for any other specific DNS record finding.

Find MX Record

nslookup -type=mx
hear, in, you need to enter the domain for which you need to find the mx records.

Find NS Record

nslookup -type=ns
hear also, you need to enter in the place of yourdomain.!

Find SOA Record

nslookup -type=soa

Find A Record

nslookup -type=a

Trace Route

Traceroute: Traceroute is the program that shows you the route over the network between two systems.

listing all the intermediate routers a connection must pass through to get to its destination.

It can help you determine why your connections to a given server might be poor, and can often help you figure out where exactly the problem is.

It also shows you how systems are connected to each other, letting you see how your ISP connects to the Internet as well as how the target system is connected.

Trace Route tools

3D Traceroute
Loriot Pro

Path Analyzer Tool

Visual Route Trace

Traceroute Tools

GEO Spider

V Trace

Magic Net Trace

Visual IP Trace


Ping Plotter
http://www.pingplotter.comPing Probe

Website Mirroring Tools

HTTRack: HTTRack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility.

Itallows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer.

Web Snake:

Web Snake: WebSnake is the world’s most powerful off-line browser designed exclusively for Windows Platform.

In addition to off-line browsing, WebSnake is unique in that it uses our proprietary .

Intelligent pull” technology to search and retrieve files from the World Wide Web.


Surfonline: Surf Online is fast and convenient website download software.

The software allows you to download entire websites and download web pages to your local hard drive.


PageNest: Copy your favorite WebPages to hard disk with PageNest. Give PageNest the
address of a website and it will copy either the page or the entire site (whichever you prefer) to
your hard disk.

It will create an exact copy of what you see in your browser including the text, html, images and css.

Mirroring Entire Website Tools

Black Window



Website Riper Copier

Teleport Pro

These were some of the footprinting tools.

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see also:
7 steps you must know to crack the winRAR
Things you must know about Banner Grabbing