Hacker Tools for Information Gathering

When starting an security assessment or penetration test with a new client, often the first step is information gathering or reconnaissance. Sure, you could just ask the client for the information you want, but where’s the fun in that?  Here is a list of tools to use to find information that they may not know is publicly available.

Google hacking or Google “dorks” – Johnny Long literally wrote the book about Google hacking, and if you are a cybersecurity professional you probably have read it already.  If not get on Amazon (Google Hacking for Penetration Testers) and order it.  Google has found everything there is to find on the Internet and made it searchable.  Take your search skills to the next level.

CheckUserNames.com – Search 160 social sites for a user name or brand.

HaveIBeenPwned.com – See if a particular email address has been involved in a breach.  If so, it may be for sale on the Dark Web

Shodan – the search engine for the Internet of Things.  Find open web cams and other devices

BeenVerified.com – A great people search tool for finding additional metadata about a target.  Don’t forget LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday we will continue with tools for vulnerability scanning and penetration testing.

More information:


About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.