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Monday, September 8, 2003

Google Hacking, and Hacking Google

You can either hack Google (see Warrant seeks N.Y. Times, Google hacker , September 8, 2003 – or what about Googlebombing), or use Google to do some hacking (well, technically it’s not hacking, just finding doors left open by webmasters without a clue). Read the Google Cache of “Hacking Google” or Zen and the art of Google Hacking.

The basic idea of Google hacking is to enter strings which appear on unprotected directories and the like. For example, the phrase “index of” is a great indicator of a browsable directoy. Oftentimes, this is wanted; sometimes, it’s not. Combinging the “index of” with other keywords (and possibly, file-extensions), can locate an entrance to data the owner rather would see kept private.

“One such posting on a security newsgroup claimed that searching using the string ’Index of / +banques +filetype:xls’ eventually turned up sensitive Excel spreadsheets from French banks. The same technique could also be used to find password files.”
– James Middleton, Google Not Hackers Best Friend, 27-11-2001

Google Hacks Books

And then there’s the Google Hacks book.

And this one is new:

[Spidering Hacks]

Spidering Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
By Kevin Hemenway, Tara Calishain
October 2003

Google Turned Five This Sunday

Happy Birthday to Google:

“The search engine site moved to its first office, actually a garage, in Menlo Park, California on 7 September 1998.”
Google celebrates fifth birthday (BBC News), 7 September, 2003

In another celebration article, I stumbled upon an interesting theory, proposed without proof or further detail (emphasis mine):

“Kiran Jonnalagadda, a computer geek who set up several Indian websites before moving on to America¬ís prestigious Johns Hopkins University, says, ’Not so long ago, you could make an anonymous posting to the Web by simply withholding identification marks. If your writing did not include a name or IP (Internet Protocol) address, there was no way anyone could trace it back to you. Not so anymore. Anybody can use Google now to track you down solely based on your preferred vocabulary.’”
– Sachin Kalbag, Spinning a web, September 7, 2003


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