Google Hacking Overview
Google hacking, also known as Google dorking, is a vital resource for security researchers. In the world of ethical hacking, Google is not only a search engine where you find news, images, or videos, but it’s also a powerful hacking tool.
In penetration testing, Google can be used to locate vulnerable web servers or applications with the help of native search engine capabilities. Unless someone is blocking certain resources from the website using the robots.txt. file, Google is going to index the information present on the website.
After that, anyone will be able to access the information if they know what to look for using Google dorks generator tools.
Let’s look at the top Google hacking techniques so you can better protect your online information.
1. Log Files
Log files are the easiest resources for finding sensitive information on a website. Access logs, error logs, and other application logs are often found inside the public HTTP of websites. Attackers can use them to find the PHP version that you are running along with the crucial system path of the frameworks or certificate management system (CMS).
2. Unsafe Web Servers
There is a way that you can detect hacked or vulnerable servers allowing “/proc/self/cwd/” to the website’s URL directly:
The command will prompt the system to display the vulnerable result that appears along with the exposed directories you can surf using your own browser. Therefore, it is advised to use a Linux server for your business.
3. .ENV Files
Well-known web development frameworks often use .env files for declaring general configurations and variables for online and local development environments.
The best practice is to move the .env files to a place that cannot be accessed publicly. Nevertheless, there are many developers who neglect this precaution and place their .env files in the main public site directory.
This can allow unencrypted usernames, passwords, and even IPs to appear in search engine results, where they can be accessed and exploited by malicious actors.
4. Email Lists
You can easily find email lists through simple Google hacking techniques. For example, users can find excel files where you may have stored numerous email addresses by exploiting this hack:
Keep in mind, the power of Google hacks originates from the numerous combinations that can be used. Spammers are aware of this trick, and they will use it frequently to grow their email lists.
5. SSH Private Keys
SSH private keys are used for decrypting information that has been exchanged in the SSH protocol. Private keys should always be present on the system since it is being used for accessing the remote SSH server. Hence, it shouldn’t be shared with anyone.
Hackers can use Google to find your SSH private keys that have been indexed by Google.
6. Live Cameras
Cameras on your devices can be hacked by malicious actors and used to watch you over the internet. Google dorking techniques allow them to fetch live camera web pages that aren’t restricted by IP.
This gives hackers access to cameras aimed at virtually any part of the world, including government, military, and education cameras without IP restrictions.
These same techniques can be used to perform white-hat penetration tests on the cameras. They give the user complete remote control over the admin panel and allow them to reconfigure cameras however they wish.
Google dork techniques can be used to fetch information of all types from various electronic devices that are connected to the internet. Weather conditions around the world can be accessed with this dork:
intitle:”Weather Wing WS-2”
The output shows many devices that share weather details in specific global regions, such as temperature, wind direction, or humidity.
These days everybody listens to music through online streaming platforms. Nevertheless, there are many old-school individuals who still download music legally. This dork can be used to look for MP3 files:
intitle: index of mp3
9. Open FTP Servers
Google doesn’t only index HTTP-based servers, but it indexes FTP servers also.
With this dork, users can explore public FTP servers that may display interesting things:
intitle:”index of” inurl:ftp
In addition to being one of the world’s leading search engines, Google is a versatile hacking tool. It can be used for white hat penetration testing or for more nefarious purposes, but knowing the basics of how users can exploit Google dorks can help protect you and your information.