Maltego: Examine how uncovered you might be on-line

A primer on the way to use this highly effective software for uncovering and connecting data from publicly obtainable sources

It’s a truism that non-public information is a useful asset for cybercriminals, because it permits them to tailor and in any other case enhance their phishing and different social engineering assaults. The wealth and number of private information that’s obtainable on-line is leveraged for assaults and scams that focus on not solely folks but in addition corporations.

However organizations can also faucet into strategies reminiscent of Open Supply Intelligence (OSINT) that permit them to see their community the best way attackers would possibly see it and to assemble numerous sorts of publicly obtainable details about themselves in an effort to determine their weak factors and finally improve their safety. One such in style and highly effective information-gathering software is a bit of software program referred to as Maltego.

What’s Maltego and why use it?

Maltego is a bit of software program that enables moral hackers, penetration testers and different safety practitioners to uncover details about folks or corporations on the web. It allows them to cross-match information and map out connections between social media profiles, electronic mail addresses, cellphone numbers, areas, skilled affiliations and different data. The knowledge is represented in easy-to-digest graphical hyperlinks and relationship diagrams.

Learn additionally: 5 free OSINT instruments for social media

Maltego affords a slew of advantages for numerous entities, each within the non-public and public sectors. Cybersecurity practitioners can leverage Maltego for gathering useful details about threats that may jeopardize the safety of an organization’s data and infrastructure. Regulation enforcement businesses can use Maltego to gather useful information that helps in investigating fraud and gathering digital proof, amongst different issues.

What kind of data can Maltego accumulate?

The software’s most-used options are these that allow you to determine and visualize relationships between what the software calls entities, reminiscent of IP addresses, domains, e-mails, social media profiles, and so on. As well as, Maltego means that you can combine completely different sources of data, reminiscent of databases, on-line search instruments, APIs, and so on.

Even Maltego’s free model fetches a considerable amount of data, together with:

  1. Community data: Maltego can scan and collect details about community hosts, open ports and protocols used. For instance, with Maltego, you possibly can obtain Shodan inside the software, which lets you collect extra particular details about the community to be analyzed.
  2. Area and electronic mail data: Maltego can collect details about domains, reminiscent of our DNS entries, electronic mail logs, and host identify logs. It may possibly additionally collect details about electronic mail addresses, domains, electronic mail suppliers and DNS data.
  3. Social media data: You may get Maltego to gather numerous varieties of data from social media, together with profiles, posts, associates, followers and connections.
  4. Details about folks and organizations: Maltego can collect details about folks or organizations, together with their names, addresses, phone numbers, electronic mail addresses, web sites and social media profiles.
  5. Malware data: Maltego can collect details about malware, reminiscent of file names, fingerprints, assault patterns and habits. This helps collect details about threats, making it a helpful software for risk intelligence duties. 

Right here’s what occurs underneath the hood:

  • The Maltego shopper sends a request in XML format to seed servers over HTTPS.
  • The request from the seed server is shipped to remodel utility servers (TAS) that, in flip, ahead it to the service suppliers.
  • The outcomes are despatched to the Maltego shopper.

How one can use Maltego

Download and install Maltego on Home windows, macOS or Linux and create an account on the software’s web site that may can help you use the app and the free servers. As soon as you put in the software program and register, it’s a must to create a brand new search web page and drag the entity there (i.e., the kind of search you wish to make – on this case, an individual) to then run the search and see the outcomes.

Getting began with Maltego

After you have chosen the kind of search you wish to make, double click on on the particular person icon to entry the configuration part and, when you enter the identify, excellent click on on the particular person icon and choose “run remodel”. Inside this class, there are completely different subcategories, the place you possibly can seek for particular data, reminiscent of electronic mail addresses, IP addresses of a web site, and so on. On this specific case, we’ll use the “all transforms” choice to seek for all potential data within the Web, so it’ll shortly begin gathering information and the consequence might be much like that proven within the picture under:

Instance of data search outcomes

Within the screenshot, you possibly can see web sites the place the identify “John Doe” was talked about or there may be data associated to it. It’s value mentioning that this software is so highly effective that it could discover profiles in Fb, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Twitter, and Youtube, amongst others. However that’s not all, as you may as well discover associates associated to this particular person in social media. To see it in additional element, click on on the “Listing View” button within the “View” lateral bar, the place you possibly can see the hyperlinks and different data.

Kind of data gathered by Maltego


The knowledge gathered utilizing Maltego will also be utilized by cybercriminals when deploying their assaults. That is why it’s helpful to know what sort of data a cybercriminal can find out about us or our firm and be cognizant of – and probably lower – our stage of publicity.

It goes with out saying that everytime you use an OSINT software, be sure you are conscious of native and nationwide legal guidelines and rules associated to the gathering and use of data in order that you don’t commit against the law or violate the privateness of others. Additionally, when gathering and storing data, it is very important take measures to guard it in opposition to potential theft or information breaches.