This is a beginner’s book, to explain what cybersecurity information gathering (reconnaissance) is, and how to use this knowledge to improve the security of your data and programs. It provides insight into how hackers initially research a target site, but does not detail the subsequent hacking phases, of mapping out networks and identifying exploits.
Kali Linux is a popular and free to use cybersecurity Linux distribution, and is used in this book to demonstrate information gathering techniques. Instructions on installing Kali Linux to a USB memory stick with persistence (using Windows) are included, along with guidance to help you get started using the operating system.
The book starts with basics and guides you through a variety of topics, including staying anonymous on the Internet (Tor and VPN) and then looks at useful Internet sites, search engines, and the use of DNS and WHOIS tools. Finally, there is a look at Recon-ng, using a number of modules to determine host/geolocation data.
By reading this book, you should gain a good understanding of some of the information gathering tools and resources available to hackers, and the kinds of information they are interested in. An awareness of how and what data may be gathered from Internet sites, search engines, software tools and social media, will hopefully encourage and enable improved security of your information.