Browse Definitions :
Definition

active reconnaissance

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.

See also: cracker, hacker, well-known port number, vulnerability analysis (vulnerability assessment)

 

Continue reading about active reconnaissance:

> Reconnaissance attacks are covered in this introduction to network security.

> eTorials also covers reconnaissance attacks.

This was last updated in April 2012

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • time-based one-time password (TOTP)

    A time-based one-time password (TOTP) is a temporary code, generated by an algorithm, for use in authenticating access to ...

  • Security Operations Center (SOC)

    A security operations center (SOC) is a command center facility for a team of IT professionals with expertise in information ...

  • incident response team

    An incident response team is a group of IT professionals in charge of preparing for and reacting to any type of organizational ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

SearchStorage

  • storage class memory (SCM)

    Storage class memory (SCM) is a type of NAND flash that includes a power source to ensure that data won't be lost due to a system...

  • Hadoop as a service (HaaS)

    Hadoop as a service (HaaS), also known as Hadoop in the cloud, is a big data analytics framework that stores and analyzes data in...

  • blockchain storage

    Blockchain storage is a way of saving data in a decentralized network which utilizes the unused hard disk space of users across ...

Close