Friday, 31 August 2012

Web Reconnaissance

As a start of the recon phase, the tester can use a search engine such as Google to learn more about the target organization. In particular, it is important to conduct searches on the target organization’s name to gather the following information, which should be recorded in the tester’s results:

·         Major businesses: What is the industry or industries associated with the target? Financial services? Government agency? Manufacturing?
·         Major products or services: What does the target organization produce? What are the brand names of its products or services?
·         Corporate officers and other VIPs: Who is most important in the target organization? Who are its leaders? Who is associated with its technical infrastructure?
·         Physical locations: Where are the major facilities of the target organization?
·         Recent press releases: What has the target enterprise told the public lately about itself? What do they consider important from an image and marketing perspective?

Most organizations have job requisition information available on the Internet, as they look to hire new staff.  These job requests often contain detailed information about the technical environment of the enterprise.  In addition to search the target site itself you should look for open jobs on various job-hunting sites, like Yahoo’s and Both of these sites let you search based on categories of jobs.

Other helpful areas to search are social networking sites. People put a significant amount of information about themselves on these sites, often including where they work. That employer information is exactly what we are looking for. By searching within the social networking site for people who work for the target enterprise, we can then focus in on their background and skill set.

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