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Active reconnaissance refers to system information collection for hacking purposes or system penetration testing. In active reconnaissance, a hacker uses system information to gain unauthorized access to protected digital or electronic materials, and may go around routers or even firewalls to get it. Active reconnaissance is also used by systems analysts and programmers to test the security of networks and systems and scan for potential vulnerabilities.
In order to perform active reconnaissance, an individual must have a worthy application that scans ports to reveal weak or vulnerable ones that may have been overlooked. When penetration tests are performed on systems, hacking can be used for useful purposes such as anticipating what a hacker could or would get into, thus making a system more access-secure. But while information technology experts value active reconnaissance for the amount of information it provides, it is relatively easy to perform, but for systems analysts and hackers.
Hackers enlist active reconnaissance measures to benefit from protected data. Benefits to the hacker might include financial gain if they illegally distribute and sell the otherwise secure data, or gaining the benefit of knowledge for stealing intellectual property they can use to shortcut the information gathering process. Another benefit might be to obtain classified information from, say, a government defense program for even more malicious purposes.