Footprinting through Search Engines

Footprinting through the search engine is unambiguous in itself. People often wonder what one can find through the search engine as the common concept of the search engine is basic exploring. But results given by the search engine can be used to hacker’s advantage as they are vast in nature.

Even search engine cache and internet archives may provide sensitive information that has been removed from the World Wide Web (WWW).

There are many search engines where you can find anything that desires from finding the meaning of the word to finding a person. Such search engines are:

Attackers use search engines to extract information about a target such as technology platforms, employee details, login pages, intranet portals, etc. which helps in performing social engineering and other types of advanced system attacks.
Search engine caches and internet archives may also provide sensitive information that has been removed from the World Wide Web (WWW).

Finding Company’s  Public Restricted and Websites

Check for the external URL of the target organization using a search engine like Google, Bing, etc. Restricted URLs offer a glimpse inside the many divisions and business units within a firm.You may find a company’s restricted URLs by trial and error method or using a service such as http://www.netcraft.com 

Determining the Operating System

Use the Netcraft tool to determine the OSes in use by the target organization.
Use SHODAN search engine that lets you find specific computers (routers, servers, etc.) using a variety of filters.

or Censys, https://www.censys.io/

Collect Location Information

Use Google Earth tool to get the physical location of the target.
Tools for finding the geographical location:

  • Google Earth
  • Google Maps
  • Wikimapia
  • National Geographic Maps
  • Yahoo Maps
  • Bing Maps

People Search: Social Networking Sites/People Search Services

The best place to find information about people and organizations is on social networking platforms.Information about an individual can be found at various people search websites.
The people search returns the following information about a person or organization:

  • Residential addresses and email addresses
  • Contact numbers and date of birth
  • Photos and social networking profiles
  • Blog URLs
  • Satellite pictures of private residencies
  • Upcoming projects and operating environment

People Search Online Services 

Gather Information from Financial Services

Financial services provides a useful information about the target company such as the market value of a company’s shares, company profile, competitor details, etc.

Footprinting through Job Sites

You can gather company’s infrastructure details job postings.
Look for these:

  • Job requirements
  • Employee’s profile
  • Hardware information
  • Software information

Monitorming Target Using Alerts

Alerts are content monitoring systems that send you automated emails or SMS messages with the most recent information based on your choices.Examples of Alert Services:

Information Gathering Using Groups, Forums, and Blogs

Groups, forums, and blogs provide sensitive information about a target such as public network information, system information, personal information, etc.
Register with fake profiles in Google groups, Yahoo groups, etc. and try to join the target organization’s employee groups where they share personal and company information.
Search for information by Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), IP addresses, and usernames in groups, forums, and blogs.

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