July 20, 2024

OSINT Tools: Recon-ng

3 min read

What is Recon-ng?

Recon-ng is a full-featured reconnaissance framework that facilitates information gathering from various sources and data points. It is an indispensable tool for security assessments, as it enables users to collect, analyze, and visualize information about domains, IP addresses, people, and organizations. Recon-ng operates as a modular framework, making it extensible and adaptable to various cybersecurity tasks.


Before we delve into using Recon-ng, let’s begin with the installation process. Recon-ng is a Python-based tool, so the setup is relatively straightforward.


Ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  1. Python: Recon-ng requires Python 2.x. You can download Python from the official Python website.
  2. PIP: PIP is Python’s package manager and is usually included with Python installations. If it’s missing, you can install it separately.

Installation Steps

Follow these steps to install Recon-ng:

  1. Clone the GitHub Repository:Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command to clone the Recon-ng GitHub repository to your local machine:bash

git clone https://github.com/lanmaster53/recon-ng.git

Navigate to the Recon-ng Directory:

Change your working directory to the newly cloned repository:


cd recon-ng

Install Required Dependencies:

Run the following command to install the required Python libraries for Recon-ng:


  1. pip install -r REQUIREMENTS This command will install the necessary libraries and dependencies.

Using Recon-ng

Now that you have Recon-ng installed, let’s explore how to use it for reconnaissance and information gathering.

Basic Usage

To start Recon-ng, run the following command:



This command will launch the Recon-ng interactive console. From here, you can interact with the framework and execute various commands.


Recon-ng operates using modules, each designed to perform a specific type of reconnaissance or data collection. To list available modules, use the following command within the Recon-ng console:


modules load <module_name>

Replace <module_name> with the name of the module you want to load.


Recon-ng uses workspaces to organize and manage different projects or assessments. To create a new workspace, use the following command:


workspace add <workspace_name>

Replace <workspace_name> with the name of your workspace.


Recon-ng offers a wide range of commands, including show, options, set, run, and back, among others. You can use these commands to configure modules, execute tasks, and navigate the framework. Refer to the Recon-ng documentation or use the help command within the console for more information on available commands.

Modules and Data Sources

Recon-ng modules are designed to collect information from various sources, including search engines, social networks, domain databases, and more. Each module has specific options and parameters that you can configure to suit your reconnaissance needs.

Output and Reporting

Recon-ng provides options for generating reports and exporting collected data in different formats. You can use these features to document your findings and share them with stakeholders.

Responsible Use of Recon-ng

It’s crucial to use Recon-ng responsibly and within legal and ethical boundaries. Always ensure that you have permission to perform reconnaissance on targets, and respect the terms of service and legal restrictions of the data sources you query. Recon-ng is a powerful tool that can yield valuable insights, but it should never be used for malicious purposes.

In conclusion, Recon-ng is a versatile reconnaissance framework that can significantly enhance your cybersecurity assessments and information gathering efforts. By following the installation steps and understanding how to use it effectively, you can bolster your cybersecurity toolkit and contribute to better security practices. Happy reconning!

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