Google Hack

Topics: World Wide Web, Web server, Internet Information Services Pages: 5 (1579 words) Published: September 2, 2006
Using search engines such as Google, "search engine hackers" can easily find exploitable targets and sensitive data. This article outlines some of the techniques used by hackers and discusses how to prevent your site from becoming a victim of this form of information leakage.Other Articles By Johnny Long. The Google search engine found at offers many features, including language and document translation; web, image, newsgroups, catalog, and news searches; and more. These features offer obvious benefits to even the most uninitiated web surfer, but these same features offer far more nefarious possibilities to the most malicious Internet users, including hackers, computer criminals, identity thieves, and even terrorists. This article outlines the more harmful applications of the Google search engine, techniques that have collectively been termed "Google hacking." The intent of this article is to educate web administrators and the security community in the hopes of eventually stopping this form of information leakage. This document is an excerpt of the full Google Hacker's Guide published by Johnny Long, and located at Basic Search TechniquesSince the Google web interface is so easy to use, I won't describe the basic functionality of the web page. Instead, I'll focus on the various operators available: Use the plus sign (+) to force a search for an overly common word. Use the minus sign (-) to exclude a term from a search. No space follows these signs. To search for a phrase, supply the phrase surrounded by double quotes (" "). A period (.) serves as a single-character wildcard.

An asterisk (*) represents any word—not the completion of a word, as is traditionally used. Google advanced operators help refine searches. Advanced operators use a syntax such as the following: operator:search_termNotice that there's no space between the operator, the colon, and the search term. The site: operator instructs Google to restrict a search to a specific web site or domain. The web site to search must be supplied after the colon. The filetype: operator instructs Google to search only within the text of a particular type of file. The file type to search must be supplied after the colon. Don't include a period before the file extension. The link: operator instructs Google to search within hyperlinks for a search term. The cache: operator displays the version of a web page as it appeared when Google crawled the site. The URL of the site must be supplied after the colon. The intitle: operator instructs Google to search for a term within the title of a document. The inurl: operator instructs Google to search only within the URL (web address) of a document. The search term must follow the colon. Google Hacking Mini-GuideBy Johnny Long.Date: May 7, 2004.Google Hacking TechniquesBy using the basic search techniques combined with Google's advanced operators, anyone can perform information-gathering and vulnerability-searching using Google. This technique is commonly referred to as Google hacking. Site MappingTo find every web page Google has crawled for a specific site, use the site: operator. Consider the following query: site: microsoftThis query searches for the word microsoft, restricting the search to the web site. How many pages on the Microsoft web server contain the word microsoft? According to Google, all of them! Google searches not only the content of a page, but the title and URL as well. The word microsoft appears in the URL of every page on With a single query, an attacker gains a rundown of every web page on a site cached by Google. There are some exceptions to this rule. If a link on the Microsoft web page points back to the IP address of the Microsoft web server, Google will cache that page as belonging to the IP address, not the web server. In this...
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