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    Complete Guide to Footprinting

    Footprinting and Reconnaissance

    Foot-printing is also categorized as a part of Reconnaissance, it's a process where hackers gather possible information about a target/ company or organization. 

    Foot-printing could be either passive or active. Both process requires an hacker to get/gather information about their target before any exploit is done.

    Foot printing is regarded as the first step to hacking, for example, getting total information about a company website is an example of Passive footprinting. It can also be referred as a process of getting/gathering sensitive information from a website  i.e getting information from websites about a target from Google is called Passive information gathering. 

    Whereas,  a situation which a hacker try to gain access through social engineering or any physical/ directly from their target is called Active information gathering .

    How can we get information using Footprinting 

    One of the most easiest way of gathering information is passive information gathering.

    What is footprinting

    Many hacking has been done succesfully by employing simple passive information gathering approach. One of passive information gathering examples involves getting information from websites or paid search.

     In the coming sections I would explain how you can get information using the passive information gathering. 

    For you to successfully exploit a target, it is recommended/ important for you to make extensive/intensive research of your target before you can exploit them .

    Footprinting is basically the first step to information gathering,  since we know Reconnaissance is an act of gathering  information. 

     Footprinting requires great research,  we usually need to study our target,  understand what they like , what they do,  what they like eating, pet name, phone number and anything related to our target. A process of making research in respect to the listed information is called footprinting.

     It's very important to note Footprinting deems extensive and intensive studying/ research of our target,  every informations we gather should be kept and be categorized important.

    Relevant Information To Gather In Footprinting

    Information gathering can be really tedious/ cranky  sometimes, you need to compare/contrast relevant informations from another. When doing footprinting these are relevant/useful informations to gather from our target.
    • Domain name
    • IP Addresses
    • Namespaces
    • Employee information
    • Phone numbers
    • E-mails
    • Job Information

    In the following section, we will discuss how to extract the basic and easily accessible information about any computer system or network that is linked to the Internet.
    How to do footprinting

    Domain Name 

    A domain name is an assigned name given to a website,  it usually has it host and all other details attached with it, since it's very easy to get any companies domain name, we can simply get the information from Google. 

    What's a Domain name and how does it looks like?

     A domain for Google typically is "http://google.com" for facebook "http://facebook.com" These are examples of a domains.

     Domain usually are the first step to information gathering,  we need to have the Domain of our target to be able to gather exploitable informations, since that's the first step to Footprinting .

    How Do I Exploit or Footprint Domain name? 

    A domain can be exploited very easily , we have plenty methods of exploiting a domain name I would use WHOIS for my example (One of the most effective ways). 

    Visit WHOIS type in the domain you want to get information about.

    Write down the relevant informations, WHOIS gives detailed information about a domain name information including its owner, its registrar, date of registration, expiry, name server, owner's contact information, etc.


    It recommended you keep your domain name a private one which would hide the above informations, this is one of the most effective way.

    IP Address.

    For any attack to be successful we need to have access to their IP address, Footprinting an IP address is an important part in information gathering , very essential as it holds.

    In order to target or exploit a computer we need to have access to its IP address, as IP address is it's gateway.

    How do I Footprint an IP address?

    Footprinting an IP address is quite easier,  since it can be easily done on your Windows or Linux OS respectively a simple command for this approach on Windows is;

    $ ping www.thecomputersecurity. com

    This should give you the IP address of the website your are looking for

    PING thecomputersecurity. com ( 56(84) bytes of data.64 bytes from icmp_seq = 1 ttl = 64 time = 0.028 ms64 bytes from icmp_seq = 2 ttl = 64 time = 0.021 ms64 bytes from icmp_seq = 3 ttl = 64 time = 0.021 ms64 bytes from icmp_seq = 4 ttl = 64 time = 0.021 ms

    How do I find IP address Hosting Name?

    Getting additional or more information is relevant since hacking requires studying and information gathering.

    We can get additional informations of our target by getting there host.

    Visit Ip2location and type in the domain name you wish to get it's host.

    This should give you the IP host name and other relevant informations  of that the website.

    How do I protect myself from Footprinting my IP address?

    If a computer system or network is linked with the Internet directly, then you cannot hide the IP address and the related information such as the hosting company, its location, ISP, etc. 

    If you have a server containing very sensitive data, then it is recommended to keep it behind a secure proxy so that hackers cannot get the exact details of your actual server. 

    This way, it will be difficult for any potential hacker to reach your server directly.

    It's also recommended to log in using a VPN , VPN helps hide your location and IP addresses. 

    How do I get IP Range (Footprinting an IP Range)

    Footprinting an IP range can simply be done by visiting ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) .

    Type in the Domain name and it would give you the IP range.

    Note : We should note that small companies uses IP address and there IP range can be gotten easily,  but large companies uses multiple IP address hence you cant easily exploit each and everyone of this IPs it time consuming .

    How to get the History of  a Website. 

    Getting the history of a website is very simple , why do we need to get the history of a website ? Sometimes we might need additional informations like when the website started , it's traffic and some other informations. How do we get these informations visit Archive. Type your domain name and get the history of your website.

    How do I delete the history of my website? 

    Visit Archive and request them to delete your website history.

    Disclaimer: This Post is meant for learning as any incentive act done by this post,  Thecomputersecurity would not be responsible for the act .

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    1. Thanks for this...can you tell me what's causing my computer to crash?

    2. I have tried the steps and it worked