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Security Tips for Google Hacking Essay Sample

Security Tips for Google Hacking Pages
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• Google
– It was created by two guys. – They have lots of money now. – Motto: Do no evil. – Goal: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”

• Google hacking is not hacking Google. • Google hacking is using Google in creative ways to find nifty tidbits.

We care when:
• Google can be used to compromise the security of:
– An establishment (i.e. our university) – An individual

Google operators
• Used to make searches less ambiguous • Some of the more useful operators: – site (e.g. site:uiowa.edu) – intitle/allintitle – inurl – filetype

Searching strategy
• Search for phrases where possible. • Use advanced operators to your advantage. • Make searches as specific as possible to narrow results. – If the search is too specific. Try using a more generic search, and the refine it.

Be good!
• The information in the following searches, and from Google hacking in general, has the possibility of being used for malicious purposes. This demonstration is delivered for illustrative purposes, not as a way of enabling illegal and/or harmful actions. However, it is our hope that this demonstration enables administrators to locate and resolve insecurities in their environments.

Threats to establishments -examples
• intext:”Tobias Oetiker” “traffic analysis” site:edu • filetype:log site:edu “set password for“ • filetype:config OR filetype:conf site:edu – Google Search

And, because Jason Alexander went to Iowa State…
• site:iastate.edu intitle:”index of” modified

Creepy Crawlers: Worms and Spiders
• There has already been a worm that harvested email address from google searches in order to spread. • A program could query for server specific messages to search for vulnerable servers.

Creepy Crawlers (cont.)
• A program could search for user information, and save results that seem relevant for later review by an identity thief. • One could even enumerate servers in a domain by doing a site:domain.com search and parsing URLs for server names.

Protecting Ourselves
• Do not enter personal information in public areas. • Turn off directory listings!!! • Change default server error strings/replies and program names. • Use a robots.txt file.

Prevent Directory Browsing – IIS
• Include “index.html” in the directory. • IIS – Turn off/manage Directory Browsing – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313075/ EN-US/

Prevent Directory Listings Apache
• Apache
Options –Indexes

– Use .htaccess for individual directories. – http://httpd.apache.org/

robots.txt file
• A robots.txt file is a way to keep search engines’ spiders from indexing specified parts of a site. User-agent: * Disallow: /directory/ – http://www.robotstxt.org

Changing defaults
• Change the default filename of applications if plausible. • Consider using mod_headers with Apache or IISLockDown with IIS to change default banners. • Consider changing default error pages.

Future threats?
• More intelligent/devious programs designed to harvest information? • Combining the power of facial recognition software and Google’s image search? • Using maps.google.com to get a visual of a person’s home.


• “Dangerous Google – Searching for Secrets” – www.hakin9.org/en • Google Hacking for Penetration Testers – books 24×7 www.lib.uiowa.edu • http://johnny.ihackstuff.com/ • www.google.com

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