Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community of Knowledge Resource for Building Secure Software
An attacker engages in probing and exploration activity to identify constituents and properties of the target. Footprinting is a general term to describe a variety of information gathering techniques, often used by attackers in preparation for some attack. It consists of using tools to learn as much as possible about the composition, configuration, and security mechanisms of the targeted application, system or network. Information that might be collected during a footprinting effort could include open ports, applications and their versions, network topology, and similar information. While footprinting is not intended to be damaging (although certain activities, such as network scans, can sometimes cause disruptions to vulnerable applications inadvertently) it may often pave the way for more damaging attacks.
Attack Execution Flow
None. Any system or network that can be detected can be footprinted. However, some configuration choices may limit the useful information that can be collected during a footprinting attack.
In this example let us look at the website http://www.example.com to get much information we can about Alice. From the website, we find that Alice also runs foobar.org. We type in www example.com into the prompt of the Name Lookup window in a tool, and our result is this IP address: 220.127.116.11 We type the domain into the Name Lookup prompt and we are given the same IP. We can safely say that example and foobar.org are hosted on the same box. But if we were to do a reverse name lookup on the IP, which domain will come up? www.example.com or foobar.org? Neither, the result is nijasvspirates.org. So nijasvspirates.org is the name of the box hosting 31337squirrel.org and foobar.org. So now that we have the IP, let's check to see if nijasvspirates is awake. We type the IP into the prompt in the Ping window. We'll set the interval between packets to 1 millisecond. We'll set the number of seconds to wait until a ping times out to 5. We'll set the ping size to 500 bytes and we'll send ten pings. Ten packets sent and ten packets received. nijasvspirates.org returned a message to my computer within an average of 0.35 seconds for every packet sent. nijasvspirates is alive. We open the Whois window and type nijasvspirates.org into the Query prompt, and whois.networksolutions.com into the Server prompt. This means we'll be asking Network Solutions to tell us everything they know about nijasvspirates.org. The result is this laundry list of info: Registrant: FooBar (nijasvspirates -DOM) p.o.box 11111 SLC, UT 84151 US Domain Name: nijasvspirates.ORG Administrative Contact, Billing Contact: Smith, John firstname.lastname@example.org FooBar p.o.box 11111 SLC, UT 84151 555-555-6103 Technical Contact: Johnson, Ken email@example.com fierymonkey p.o.box 11111 SLC, UT 84151 555-555-3849 Record last updated on 17-Aug-2001. Record expires on 11-Aug-2002. Record created on 11-Aug-2000. Database last updated on 12-Dec-2001 04:06:00 EST. Domain servers in listed order: NS1. fierymonkey.ORG 18.104.22.168 NS2. fierymonkey.ORG 22.214.171.124 A corner stone of footprinting is Port Scanning. Let's port scan nijasvspirates.org and see what kind of services are running on that box. We type in the nijasvspirates IP into the Host prompt of the Port Scan window. We'll start searching from port number 1, and we'll stop at the default Sub7 port, 27374. Our results are: 21 TCP ftp 22 TCP ssh SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_2.30 25 TCP smtp 53 TCP domain 80 TCP www 110 TCP pop3 111 TCP sunrpc 113 TCP ident Just by this we know that Alice is running a website and email, using POP3, SUNRPC (SUN Remote Procedure Call), and ident.
Skill or Knowledge Level: Low
Attacker knows how to send HTTP request, run the scan tool.
The attacker requires a variety of tools to collect information about the target. These include port and network scanners and tools to analyze responses from applications to determine version and configuration information. Footprinting a system adequately may also take a few days if the attacker wishes the footprinting attempt to go undetected.
Configuration: Keep patches up to date by installing weekly or daily if possible.
Configuration: Shut down unnecessary services/ports.
Policy: Change default passwords by choosing strong passwords.
Implementation: Curtail unexpected input.
Design: Encrypt and password-protect sensitive data.
Policy: Place offline any information that has the potential to identify and compromise your organization’s security such as access to business plans, formulas, and proprietary documents.
Manic Velocity. "Footprinting And The Basics Of Hacking". Web Textfiles. <http://web.textfiles.com/hacking/footprinting.txt>.
Eddie Sutton. "Footprint: What Is And How Do You Erase Them". <http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/Footprinting.pdf>.