Information gathering is the first step of Ethical Hacking, where the penetration tester or even hackers gather information on their target victims. To increase your chances of a “successful” hacking, you will need to do a good job and spend time on this stage.

There is a couple of information that one can gather during the process. These include but are not limited to:

  • Victim IP addresses
  • Domain Name Information
  • Technologies used by the website/web applications
  • Other websites on the same server
  • DNS records
  • Unlisted files, subdomains and directories

Whois is an online tool that helps one to lookup information of the target website/web app such as Domain name, IP address block or an autonomous system but it is also used to query for a wider range of information. The information that is provided in the Whois lookup is publicly available unless the website is using domain privacy.


There are various webpages that offer whois services among those:

How to use

1. Access the website of your choice and search for the domain name of the site, in this case, I’d use, the result should look like this. (I’m using domain protection so my real information is hidden)

2. Information that can be found

  • Domain:This field will give you the domain name which we are querying the WHOIS details.
  • Registrar:This is the details of the registrar with whom the domain name is registered.
  • Registration Date: This is the date when the domain name was first registered.
  • Expiration Date:This is the date when the domain will expire.
  • Updated Date: This is the date when the WHOIS details last updated.
  • Status: This is the registrar status of the domain. This will be “OK” if there is no restriction and the domain is free to transfer from one registrar to another.
  • Name Servers: This field will provide the details of the nameservers used by the domain.
  • IP Address & IP Location
  • Contact

whois on CLI

1. Get help

  • whois -h

2. Run whois command and the domain you want to search

  • whois