What's the goal of the penetration (pen) test? Before starting any ethical hacking job, it's important that you determine the scope of the assignment. These kinds of details should have been worked out in the written agreement that specifies the scope of the engagement. Is the entire organization, a particular location, or one division to be examined, and will any subsidiaries be assessed? These are some questions that need to be answered up front before you begin any activity. Why is this mentioned here? Because you always want to make sure that you have legal written permission before you begin any footprinting or testing. Once an agreement is in place, there might still be logistical problems. Scope creep can be one of the biggest logistical problems you can face. Scope creep is the expansion of the assignment beyond its original specification. The client might want to expand the pen test beyond its original specifications; if so, make sure that the new requirements are added to the contract and that proper written authorization has been obtained.
The Seven Step Information Gathering Process