Attackers choose between active and passive reconnaissance based on their goals, the level of stealth required, and the desired depth of information gathering. Here's why attackers might opt for active or passive reconnaissance:
In active reconnaissance, attackers interact directly with the target's systems or network. This could involve probing for open ports, attempting to gain unauthorized access, or using tools to actively scan and identify vulnerabilities.
Active reconnaissance involves direct interaction with the target's systems, probing for vulnerabilities, and attempting to gain more detailed information.
Passive reconnaissance involves collecting information without directly interacting with the target's systems. This could include monitoring publicly available information, analyzing network traffic, or studying social media profiles to build a profile of the target.
Passive reconnaissance involves collecting information without directly interacting with the target's systems, relying on existing data and observations.
Active reconnaissance is riskier than passive reconnaissance as it increases the chances of triggering security alerts or being detected by intrusion detection systems. Passive reconnaissance may provide less detailed information compared to active reconnaissance. So how does an attacker choose between the two?
In summary, the decision to use active or passive reconnaissance depends on the attacker's objectives, the level of risk they are willing to take, and the specific characteristics of the target environment. Both methods play crucial roles in the information-gathering phase of a cyber attack.