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:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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