Footprinting: A Comprehensive Guide In 2021

Ajay Ohri


Imagine you wish to ethically hack into a company’s website to find out the vulnerabilities. This can be helpful while testing the Web application. What will the first step you follow? That will be to collect as much as information possible. The collecting of information is known as Footprinting. This data is the main street for the programmer to hack the system.

 In this article, we will discuss What is a footprint in Ethical hacking, and its tools.

  1. What is footprinting?
  2. Types of Footprinting
  3. Footprinting Tools
  4. Importance of Footprinting in Ethical hacking

1. What is footprinting? 

What footprint means is gathering data about the target system which can be utilized to execute to hack the system. To get this data, a programmer may utilize different strategies with variation apparatuses. 

The majority of the time is spent in Footprinting. Information such as Firewall, OS used, and Security configurations in the target system, IP address, Server configurations, VPN, URLs, Network map.

On the question of What is the meaning of footprint, the is the data collected.

2. Types of Footprinting

  • Passive Footprinting 

On account of Passive Footprinting, you assemble data without interfacing with the framework/application you are attempting to think about. You accumulate data through web indexes or freely available reports. At the point when you utilize Passive Footprinting, it is highly unlikely that the framework would know your IP address.

  • Active Footprinting 

Dynamic Footprinting is the sort of Footprinting where you assemble data about the framework/application by straightforwardly connecting with the framework. At the point when you utilize Active Footprinting, there is a high possibility that some data like your IP address is known by the framework you are attempting to accumulate the data about. 

3. Footprinting Tools

This the footprinting tools list commonly used –

  • Social Media

A large portion of individuals tends to deliver the vast majority of their data on social media. Programmers utilize these sensitive and personal data in a serious deal. They may make a phony record for looking genuine to be added as a companion or to follow somebody’s record for getting their data. So when talking about footprinting in hacking, social media plays a very important role.

  • Google

In the tools used for footprinting, search engines come first. Google and other Search engines can perform more remarkable pursuits than one might suspect and one has experienced. It very well may be utilized by programmers and assailants to accomplish something that has been named Google hacking. Fundamental inquiry strategies joined with cutting edge administrators can do incredible harm.

For instance, gadgets associated with the Internet can be found. Google can be utilized to reveal numerous bits of touchy data that shouldn’t be uncovered. A term even exists for the individuals who blindly post this data on the web, they are classified “Google Dorks”. It is the most useful one when talked about footprinting tools in Ethical hacking.

  • Job Websites

Associations share some secret information on many JOB sites. For instance, an organization posted on a site: “Employment opportunity for Lighttpd 2.0 Server Administrator”. From this data can be accumulated that an association utilizes Lighttpd web worker of rendition 2.0. This is one of the best footprinting tools.

  • Organization’s Website

It’s the best spot to start for a hacker. For a hacker who needs to search for open-source data, which is data available freely to the general public then basically the most ideal choice is: ‘Organization’s WEBSITE’. It comes under website footprinting. Ping to discover the IP address 

  • For finding out the IP address of a specific site, open the terminal and run the beneath order:  $ ping www.’ organization name’.com
  • The Ip address of the organization’s website will be displayed in the output.
  • CDPSnarf Package Description

CDPSnarf Package Description is a footprinting tool in Kali Linux. CDPSnarf is a sniffer only written to separate data from CDP parcels as it is for the network layer. It gives all the data that would return on a Cisco switch and considerably more.

  • Social Engineering

When talking about footprinting in cybersecurity, social engineering comes first in mind. There are different procedures that fall into this class. A couple of them are: 

  • Snooping – The attacker attempts to record individual discussion of the target with somebody that is being held over correspondence mediums like Telephone. 
  • Shoulder Surfing – In this method Attacker attempts to get the individual data like Email id, and so forth; of the target machine by keeping an eye on the work written or typed by the victim.
  • Who is

This is a site that is very useful for Hackers. Through this site data about the email-id, domain name, owner of the domain, and so on can be found out. Essentially this serves as a path for Website Footprinting.

  • For doing this, open the browser and search for
  • Enter the name or IP address of the target organization and click on ‘Search’.
  • The output will show the details about the organization’s online presence.

The Archived variant alludes to the older rendition of the site which existed in a period previously and numerous highlights of the site have been changed. is a site that gathers depictions of all the sites at a customary time frame. This site can be utilized to get some data that is currently not present on the site but was present before and is essential for hacking footprinting.

  • Neo Trace

NeoTrace is an integral asset for getting data about the path. The graphical presentation shows the course amidst the remote site and the hacker, including every single intermediate hub and their data. NeoTrace is a notable GUI course tracer program. Alongside a graphical course, it additionally shows on location, IP address, contact data of every hub. It is very useful in footprinting in network security.

4. Importance of Footprinting in Ethical hacking 

  • Know the stand in Security

The information assembled in footprinting ethical hacking will assist us with getting a diagram of the security stance of the organization, for example, insights concerning the presence of a firewall, security designs of uses, and so forth. 

  • Decrease area to attack

Can recognize a particular scope of frameworks and focus on specific targets in particular. This will extraordinarily decrease the number of frameworks we are focusing on. 

  • Recognize weaknesses

We can construct a data information base containing the weaknesses, dangers, escape clauses accessible in the arrangement of the association. It also tells the attack that the system is prone to. Thus, it plays an essential role in footprint cybersecurity.


Footprinting and reconnaissance is a significant aspect of any hacking activity. Any data that a programmer can find out about the target can help in recognizable proof of potential assault vectors and focusing on endeavors to possible weaknesses. Answering the question What is meant by footprint was the center point of this article.

Hope you understood What is footprinting in hacking and got an insight into tools for footprinting.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

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