There are tons of tools out there that do all kinds of recon, but it can be hard to narrow down what to use. A great way to be more efficient is by taking advantage of scripting. This doesn't have to mean writing everything from scratch — it can simply mean integrating existing tools into a single, comprehensive script. Luckily, it's easy to create your own subdomain enumeration script for better recon.
As we've seen with other tools and utilities, administrators typically use certain things to do their job more efficiently, and those things are often abused by attackers for exploitation. After all, hacking is just the process of getting a computer to do things in unexpected ways. Today, we will be covering various methods to perform banner grabbing to learn more about the target system.
When approaching a target, having a precise and detailed plan of attack is absolutely necessary. One of the main goals is to increase the attack surface since the more opportunities there are for exploitation, the greater the chances of success. Subdomain enumeration is one method used to increase the attack surface, and we'll be using a tool called Subfinder to discover hidden subdomains.
Automation has been a buzz word for quite some time now, but the principles behind it are as strong as ever. For a hacker or pentester, Bash scripting is one form of automation that cannot be ignored. Virtually any command that can be run from the terminal can be scripted — and should be, in many cases — to save valuable time and effort. And a Bash script just happens to be great for recon.
Sniffing packets over a network is an easy way for hackers to gather information on a target without needing to do much work. But doing so can be risky if sniffing packets on an untrusted network because a payload within the packets being captured could be executed on your system. To prevent that, Sniffglue sandboxes packet sniffing to provide an extra layer of security.
When researching a person using open source intelligence, the goal is to find clues that tie information about a target into a bigger picture. Screen names are perfect for this because they are unique and link data together, as people often reuse them in accounts across the internet. With Sherlock, we can instantly hunt down social media accounts created with a unique screen name on many online platforms simultaneously.
While modern browsers are robust and provide a lot of functionality, they can be unlocked to do some pretty spectacular things with browser extensions. For hackers and OSINT researchers, these tools can be used to defeat online tracking, log in to SSH devices, and search the internet for clues during an investigation. These are a list of my top ten favorite browser extensions for hackers — and how to use them.
Metadata contained in images and other files can give away a lot more information than the average user might think. By tricking a target into sending a photo containing GPS coordinates and additional information, a hacker can learn where a mark lives or works simply by extracting the Exif data hidden inside the image file.
Automating port scanners, directory crawlers, and reconnaissance tools can be complicated for beginners just getting started with Kali Linux. Sparta solves this problem with an easy-to-use graphical interface designed to simplify a penetration tester's tasks.
Phone numbers often contain clues to the owner's identity and can bring up a lot of data during an OSINT investigation. Starting with a phone number, we can search through a large number of online databases with only a few clicks to discover information about a phone number. It can include the carrier, the owner's name and address, and even connected online accounts.
Websites and web applications power the internet as we know it, representing a juicy target for any hacker or red team. TIDoS is a framework of modules brought together for their usefulness in hacking web apps, organized into a common sense workflow. With an impressive array of active and passive OSINT modules, TIDoS has the right instrument for any web app audit.
When joining a new network, computers use the Address Resolution Protocol to discover the MAC address of other devices on the same network. A hacker can take advantage of ARP messages to silently discover the MAC and IP address of network devices or actively scan the network with spoofed ARP requests.
Before attacking any website, a hacker or penetration tester will first compile a list of target surfaces. After they've used some good recon and found the right places to point their scope at, they'll use a web server scanning tool such as Nikto for hunting down vulnerabilities that could be potential attack vectors.
For anyone using open source information to conduct an investigation, a balance between powerful tools and privacy controls are a must. Buscador is a virtual machine packed full of useful OSINT tools and streamlined for online research. This program can easily be set up in VirtualBox, and once that's done, we'll walk you through some of the most useful tools included in it.
Hackers rely on good data to be able to pull off an attack, and reconnaissance is the stage of the hack in which they must learn as much as they can to devise a plan of action. Technical details are a critical component of this picture, and with OSINT tools like Maltego, a single domain name is everything you need to fingerprint the tech details of an organization from IP address to AS number.
Sharing your Wi-Fi password is like giving an unlimited pass to snoop around your network, allowing direct access even to LAN-connected devices like printers, routers, and security cameras. Most networks allow users to scan and attempt to log in to these connected devices. And if you haven't changed the default password on these devices, an attacker can simply try plugging them in.
The Operative Framework is a powerful Python-based open-source intelligence (OSINT) tool that can be used to find domains registered by the same email address, as well as many other investigative functions. This reconnaissance tool provides insight about your target through examining relationships in the domains they own.
Open-source data scraping is an essential reconnaissance tool for government agencies and hackers alike, with big data turning our digital fingerprints into giant neon signs. The problem is no longer whether the right data exists, it's filtering it down to the exact answer you want. TheHarvester is a Python email scraper which does just that by searching open-source data for target email addresses.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! As many of you know, recon is crucial to a successful hack/pentest. In most cases, hackers spend more time doing good reconnaissance than actually hacking. Without proper recon, you are simply guessing at what type of approach or exploit is going to work and, as a result, your time is wasted without any useful outcomes.
Welcome back, my tenderfoot hackers! Those of you who have been reading my posts here for awhile know how much I emphasize good reconnaissance. Novice hackers often jump into a hack/exploit without doing proper recon and either fail or get caught. Experienced and expert hackers know that 70-80 percent of a good and successful hack is dependent upon successful and accurate reconnaissance.
Welcome back, my greenhorn hackers! Before we attempt to exploit any target, it is wise to do proper reconnaissance. Without doing reconnaissance, you will likely be wasting your time and energy as well as risking your freedom. In previous guides, I have demonstrated multiple ways to perform reconnaissance including passive recon with Netcraft, active recon with Nmap or hping3, recon by exploiting DNS or SNMP, and many others.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! Before we try to attack a website, it's worthwhile understanding the structure, directories, and files that the website uses. In this way, we can begin to map an attack strategy that will be most effective.
Welcome back, my tenderfoot hackers! As you know, DNS, or Domain Name System, is critical to the operation of the Internet. It provides us with the ability to type in domain names such as www.wonderhowto.com rather than the IP address. This simple service saves us from having to memorize thousands of our favorite website IP addresses. Instead, we simply type in a domain name to retrieve the website.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! Reconnaissance is one of the most important preparatory steps to hacking. As I have emphasized many times before here on Null Byte, you must know the operating system, the ports, the services, the applications, and sometimes even the language of the target to be effective. If you haven't taken the time to gather this info, then you are likely wasting your time.
Welcome back, my greenhorn hackers! My preference for Linux as a hacking platform is well documented, and I have even created a series of tutorials to train new hackers. Without being proficient in Linux, you can't really call yourself a hacker.
Welcome back, my fledgling hackers! A short while ago, I did a tutorial on conducting passive OS fingerprinting with p0f. As you remember, p0f is different from other operating system fingerprinting tools as it does not send any packets to the target, instead it simply takes packets off the wire and examines them to determine the operating system that sent them.
Welcome back, my greenhorn hackers! Earlier in this series, I showed a you a couple of different ways of fingerprinting webservers. Probably the easiest way, is to use netcat and connect to port 80 and pull the webserver banner.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! I have tried to emphasize throughout this "Hack Like a Pro" series that good reconnaissance is critical to effective hacking. As you have seen in many of these hacks, the techniques that we use are VERY specific to the:
Welcome back, my rookie hackers! The more we know about a system or network, the better our chances of owning it and not leaving a trace for investigators to follow. One of the often overlooked sources for information is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Many rookie hackers are not even aware of it, but it can prove to be a treasure trove of information, if you understand how it works and how to hack it.
Welcome back, my budding hackers! One of the most time-consuming, but necessary, activities in hacking is reconnaissance. Before we can hack a system, we need to know what operating system it's running, what ports are open, what services are running, and hopefully, what applications are installed and running.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! I've written a couple of articles on reconnaissance and its importance, and as I've said before, a good hacker will spend 3 to 4 more times doing reconnaissance than actually exploiting the system. If your recon isn't good, you'll likely fail, or worse—end up serving time and becoming Bubba's wife for a couple years. I can't say it enough—recon is critical.
Welcome back, my nascent hackers! Earlier, I wrote a guide on finding operating system and application vulnerabilities in Microsoft's own security bulletins/vulnerability database. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate another invaluable resource for finding vulnerabilities and exploits by using the SecurityFocus database.
Welcome back, my nascent Hackers! In my last blog, we looked at a passive way to gather information necessary for a hack. The advantage of using passive recon is that it's totally undetectable, meaning that the target never knows you're scouting them and you leave no tracks. The disadvantage, of course, is that it's limited to only some websites and not entirely reliable.
Welcome back, my novice hackers! Most of my tutorials up until this point have addressed how to exploit a target assuming that we already know some basic information about their system. These include their IP address, operating system, open ports, services running, and so on.
Remember that scene in The Matrix when Trinity uses a realistic Nmap port scan, followed by an actual SSH exploit (long since patched) to break into a power company? Well, believe it or not, but that scene is not far fetched at all. If you want to exploit vulnerabilities and root boxes, you'll need to learn how to perform the necessary reconnaissance first. In fact, you will spend far more time researching your target then you will exploiting it. In this article, I am going to show you the fi...