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What Is Enumeration In Hacking? – Cyber Security Blog

May 9, 2022

7 min read

Sudip Sengupta

In this article:

Enumeration is crucial in the reconnaissance phase of ethical hacking that allows a penetration tester to expose potential security flaws in an application.

In the enumeration phase, the security team establishes an active connection with the webserver to gather information on users, hosts, networks, primary servers, and application configuration. This is done keeping in mind that if an attacker can enumerate the application, they can gain access to sensitive information that exposes common vulnerabilities.

This article discusses the types, techniques, and commonly asked questions on enumeration in cyber security.

What Is Enumeration In Hacking?

Enumeration forms the basis of information gathering of the target system during a cyber attack. Once attackers have established a connection with the target host during an enumeration attack, they can send directed queries to extract information on system vulnerabilities. Attackers typically assess attack vectors by leveraging the enumeration’s outputs to exploit the system further. Malicious actors also use penetration testing tools to gain pieces of information such as:

IP routing tablesHostnamesDNS detailsSNMP informationUsers on database recordsNetwork services and shares Types of Enumeration

Enumeration attacks are classified depending on the target system, the services it runs, and the information it hosts. The most prevalent forms of enumeration include:

NetBIOS Enumeration

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