CAPEC-169 - Footprinting

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 Methods 4
  • Protocol Manipulation
  • Injection
  • Analysis
  • Social Engineering
  • Purposes 1
  • Exploitation
  • Scopes 1
  • "Varies by context"
  • Confidentiality

Low level: Attacker knows how to send HTTP request, run the scan tool.

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.

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.

Step 1 - Request Footprinting

The attacker examines the website information and source code of the website and uses automated tools to get as much information as possible about the system and organization..

Tecnique ID: 1 - Environment(s) env-Web

Open Source Footprinting: Examine the website about the organization and skim through the webpage's HTML source to look for comments.

Tecnique ID: 2 - Environment(s) env-Web

Network Enumeration: Perform various queries (Registrar Query, Organizational Query, Domain Query, Network Query, POC Query) on the many whois databases found on the internet to identify domain names and associated networks.

Tecnique ID: 3 - Environment(s) env-Web

DNS Interrogation: Once basic information is gathered the attack could begin to query DNS.

Tecnique ID: 4 - Environment(s) env-Web

Other Techniques: Use ping sweep, TCP scan, UDP scan, OS Identification various techniques to gain more information about the system and network.

Indicator ID: 1 - Environment(s) env-Web

Type: Positive

The response contains sensitive information such as ports open, network block, server version etc.

Indicator ID: 2 - Environment(s) env-Local

Type: Inconclusive

The response does not contain sensitive information about the system and network.

Security Control ID: 1

Type: Detective

The server may detect a large amount of port scan request, illegal ICMP and TCP packets.

Outcome ID: 1

Type: Success

A list of sensitive information about the system and network.

Outcome ID: 2

Type: Failure

There is no information available about the system and network.

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.