5 stages of hacking

5 Stages of Hacking | Explained by Hacker


In this post, You will learn what are the 5 stages of hacking and also there will be a brief explanation of how it works.


The 5 Stages of Hacking

The 5 phases or 5 stages of hacking

1. Reconnaissance
2. Scanning & Enumeration
3. Gaining Access
4. Maintaining Access
5. Covering Tracks

1. Reconnaissance

It is the first move of Hacking a system. The first stage of hacking is also called footprinting. This is the stage to get a lot of information about the target.

In reconnaissance, we gather information such as;

  1. Network (eg: OS, Service)
  2. Host
  3. People involved

There are two types of reconnaissance they are;

Internal reconnaissance (Active Information gathering): Directly interacting with the target to get the information. (eg: Using tools such as Nmap)

External reconnaissance (Passive Information gathering): Not directly interacting with target and searching for the publicly available information of the target.

To read more about external and internal reconnaissance [Click here]

2. Scanning & Enumeration

Scanning and enumeration are done to Obtain more in-depth information about targets.

e.g: Network Scanning, Port Scanning, Which versions of services are running.

There are three main types of scanning they are;

  • Port scanning
  • Vulnerability Scanning
  • Network Mapping

3. Gaining Access

This is the stage to attack the target system and gain access. Once the hacker gained access then the hacker will be doing vertical or horizontal privilege escalation.

Below are three examples of how to gain access.

e.g: Can be done locally (offline), over a LAN or over the internet.

e.g(2): Spoofing to exploit the system by pretending to be a legitimate user or different systems, they can send a data packet containing a bug to the target system in order to exploit a vulnerability.

eg(3): Can be done using many techniques like command injection, buffer overflow, DoS, brute-forcing credentials, social engineering, misconfigurations etc.

4. Maintaining Access

This is a stage to maintain access, To maintain access the hacker just put the payload or in simple terms the hacker create a backdoor to reenter the system again.

e.g: Rootkit, Trojan, Backdoor can be used.

5. Covering Tracks

Covering tracks or Obfuscation is the stage for hackers to delete all the log files. In simple terms delete the evidence.

e.g: Clear the logs; Obfuscate trojans or malicious backdoors programs.


In this post, We have seen the five stages of hacking, I hope it will be helpful for you please share and do watch the video format of the post.

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