Before the real fun for the hacker begins, three essential steps must be performed. This chapter discusses the first one: footprinting, the fine art of gathering information. Footprinting is about scoping out your target of interest, understanding everything there is to know about that target and how it interrelates with everything around it, often without sending a single packet to your target. And because the direct target of your efforts may be tightly shut down, you will want to understand your target’s related or peripheral entities as well.

Let’s look at how physical theft is carried out. When thieves decide to rob a bank, they don’t just walk in and start demanding money (not the high IQ ones, anyway). Instead, they ...

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