Google Hacking

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Google Hacking

Abstract: Google hacking is the term used when a hacker tries to find vulnerable targets or sensitive data by using the Google search engine. In Google hacking hackers use search engine commands or complex search queries to locate sensitive data and vulnerable devices on the Internet. Keywords: hacking, hack, Google, Google hack, hacking techniques, attack, ethical hacking, search engines, search engine hacking

What is Google Hacking? Google hacking is the term used when a hacker tries to find vulnerable targets or sensitive data by using the Google search engine. In Google hacking hackers use search engine commands or complex search queries to locate sensitive data and vulnerable devices on the Internet. Although Google hacking techniques are against Google terms of service1 and Google blocks wellknown Google hacking queries, nothing can stop hackers from crawling websites and launching Google queries. Google hacking can be used to locate vulnerable web servers and websites which are listed in the Google search engine database. In other words, hackers can locate many thousands of vulnerable websites, web servers and online devices all around the world and select their targets randomly. This kind of attack is most commonly launched by applying Google hacking techniques to satisfy junior hackers. It is obvious that the Google hacking procedure is based on certain keywords, which could be used effectively if they are used by some internal commands of the Google search engine. These commands can be used to help hackers narrow down their search to locate sensitive data or vulnerable devices. Nevertheless, the success of Google hacking techniques depends on the existence of vulnerable sites, servers and devices. However, we should not ignore the power of the search engines in providing information about the targets to the hackers in the reconnaissance phase. Beyond Vulnerability Malicious hackers can use Google hacking techniques to identify vulnerable sites and web servers for known vulnerabilities. In addition, they can look for error pages with the help of technical

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information or retrieve files and directories with sensitive contents such as databases, passwords, log files, login pages or online devices such as IP cameras and network storage. Google Proxy Hackers can use the Google Translate service (http://translate.google.com/translate_t) as a proxy server to visit a website or translate the contents of the website or URLs without leaving any footprints.

Figure 1: Google Translate Service.

Google Cash Google copies the content of a website in its database. This function helps users to access the content of the website if the site is not available. However, a hacker can use this function to access and visit a targeted website without leaving any footprint and in complete anonymity.

Figure 2: The red cycle indicates the link to access the Cached page.

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Directory Listings Web server applications such as Apache and IIS provide facilities that a user can browse and navigate website directories by clicking on the directory name and links such as Parent Directories. The directories and their content can be listed if directory listing or directory browsing are enabled by the administrator. This vulnerability gives an unauthorized access to the files and it may help hackers to gain access to the information which can help them to hack a website or a web server or download its contents. Directory listings make the parent directory links available to browse directories and files. Hackers can locate the sensitive information and files just by simple browsing. In Google it is easy to find websites or web servers with enabled directory listings because the title of the pages start with the “index of” phrase so we can use index of in the search box to find the directory listings-enabled website. If we want to get better result from our search we can use this combination...
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