Gathering information is the first step where a hacker tries to get information about the target. Hackers use different sources and tools to get more information, and some of them are briefly explained here. This informations will be useful for you to become an ethical hacker.

What is Information Gathering?

Information Gathering is the act of gathering different kinds of information against the targeted victim or system. It is the first step or the beginning stage of Ethical Hacking, where the penetration testers or hackers (both black hat or white hat) performed this stage; this is a necessary and crucial step to be performed. The more the information gathered about the target, the more the probability to obtain relevant results. Information gathering is not just a phase of security testing; it is an art that every penetration-tester (pen-tester) and hacker should master for a better experience in penetration testing. There are various tools, techniques, and websites, including public sources such as Whois, nslookup that can help hackers gather information. This step is necessary because you may need any information (such as his pet name, best friend's name, age, or phone number to perform password guessing attack or other kinds of attacks) while performing attacks on any target.

Information gathering can be classified into three major categories:
  1. Footprinting
  2. Scanning
  3. Enumeration

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