The starting phase of a penetration test is the Intelligence gathering phase. This phase consists of collecting preliminary data or information about your target. The data then can be used to formulate a plan of attack. Common intelligence gathering techniques consist of search engine queries and internet footprinting.

TheHarvester can be used to assist in the Intelligence gathering phase. The tool will gather emails, subdomains, hosts, employee names, open ports and banners from different public sources like search engines, PGP key servers and SHODAN computer database. It can also be used to show an organization what an attacker can see at first glance.

The tool can be used actively or passively against targets and the results can be exported into an HTML format. Our security team has used theHarvester to aid in gathering intelligence with success.

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