Offensive reconnaissance of a computer system or server

Reconnaissance
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Reconnaissance:- This is the primary phase where the Hacker tries to collect as much information as possible about the target. It includes Identifying the Target, finding out the target's IP Address Range, Network, DNS records, etc.

Active reconnaissance is a type of computer attack in which an intruder engages with the targeted system to gather information about vulnerabilities.  The word reconnaissance is borrowed from its military use, where it refers to a mission into enemy territory to obtain information. In a computer security context, reconnaissance is usually a preliminary step toward a further attack seeking to exploit the target system. The attacker often uses port scanning, for example, to discover any vulnerable ports.  After a port scan, an attacker usually exploits known vulnerabilities of services associated with  open ports that were detected.



Somewhat confusingly, active and passive reconnaissance are both sometimes referred to as passive attacks because they are just seeking information rather than actively exploiting the targets, as active attacks do.



Both active and passive reconnaissance are also used for ethical hacking, in which white hat hackers use attack methods to determine system vulnerabilities so that problems can be taken care of before the system falls prey to a real attack.

The simplest way to prevent most port scan attacks or reconnaissance attacks is to use a good firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS). The firewall controls which ports are exposed and to whom they are visible. The IPS can detect port scans in progress and shut them down before the attacker can gain a full map of your network.

A vulnerability assessment process that is intended to identify threats and the risks they pose typically involves the use of automated testing tools, such as network security scanners, whose results are listed in a vulnerability assessment report.

Organizations of any size, or even individuals who face an increased risk of cyber attacks, can benefit from some form of vulnerability assessment, but large enterprises and other types of organizations that are subject to ongoing attacks will benefit most from vulnerability analysis.

Because security vulnerabilities can enable hackers to access IT systems and applications, it is essential for enterprises to identify and remediate weaknesses before they can be exploited. A comprehensive vulnerability assessment along with a management program can help companies improve the security of their systems.
Importance of vulnerability assessments

A vulnerability assessment provides an organization with information on the security weaknesses in its environment and provides direction on how to assess the risks associated with those weaknesses and evolving threats. This process offers the organization a better understanding of its assets, security flaws and overall risk, reducing the likelihood that a cyber criminal will breach its systems and catch the business off guard.


Types of vulnerability assessments

Vulnerability assessments depend on discovering different types of system or network vulnerabilities, which means the assessment process includes using a variety of tools, scanners and methodologies to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks.

Some of the different types of vulnerability assessment scans include the following:

  • Network-based scans are used to identify possible network security attacks. This type of scan can also detect vulnerable systems on wired or wireless networks.
  • Host-based scans are used to locate and identify vulnerabilities in servers, workstations or other network hosts. This type of scan usually examines ports and services that may also be visible to network-based scans, but it offers greater visibility into the configuration settings and patch history of scanned systems.
  • Wireless network scans of an organization's Wi-Fi networks usually focus on points of attack in the wireless network infrastructure. In addition to identifying rogue access points, a wireless network scan can also validate that a company's network is securely configured.
  • Application scans can be used to test websites in order to detect known software vulnerabilities and erroneous configurations in network or web applications.
  • Database scans can be used to identify the weak points in a database so as to prevent malicious attacks, such as SQL injection attacks.

Vulnerability assessments vs. penetration tests

A vulnerability assessment often includes a penetration testing component to identify vulnerabilities in an organization's personnel, procedures or processes that might not be detectable with network or system scans. The process is sometimes referred to as vulnerability assessment/penetration testing, or VAPT.

A host of tools are available for conducting an assessment on any computer system.  They can be found at Kali.org  Here's a full list of assessment tools they are links that take you to kali website where you can get a full breakdown on performance and capablity.

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