Everyone that uses the internet uses Google. It’s the most popular search engine in the world used by billions to find valuable information. Interestingly, you can also use Google for hacking.
In this guide, you will learn about Google hacking, also known as Google dorking.
What is Google Dorking?
Google hacking, or Google dorking, is a hacking technique that uses the popular search engine to find vulnerabilities.
More specifically, Google dorking refers to the application of search strings that use advanced search operators to find information that is not easily accessible on the internet. Such information could be in form of text, images, classified information, email addresses, passwords, and so on. Often, the information has been left exposed on the internet accidentally.
Google hacking was introduced by cybersecurity expert Johnny Long.
In 2002, Long started gathering search queries that could locate and explore vulnerable servers on the internet. These queries could also find the servers that used no security and left sensitive information like email addresses and credit card numbers lying unprotected on them. He later arranged these queries and uploaded them on a website that became the first Google Hacking database in 2004.
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Usually, when you type a keyword into the search bar on Google, it returns results based on all the information it can find on that keyword. These results usually cover a large ground and are unrefined, which is what makes Google such a great search engine in the first place.
Using Google’s Advanced Operators
When dorking, you need to narrow down the results to the exact information you’re looking for or it will be lost in the sea of the other results. This is where Advanced Google Operators come in. Advanced Google Operators narrow down the results to give you the exact information you searched for. They refine the results so you don’t have to go from page to page looking for what you need.
An advanced search operator is used in this format:
“->operator: term to be searched”
There should be no space between the operator and the colon as well as between the colon and the term. Also, you can use more than one operator once.
However, you can’t combine all operators. For example, allintitle and allintext operators cannot be used in the same query.
Examples of Ways to Hack Google
Below are examples of Google Advanced Search Operators and how they are used.
This will only show pages that have the term placed in front of the operator in their HTML title. For instance, if the query was ‘intitle:potatoes’, the results will only show pages with ‘potatoes’ in their title.
This searches for a specified file type alone. So if you input ‘filetype:pdf, Google will search for pdf files in websites.
This will show pages that have the specified term in their URL.
For example, if you input relate:pencil. The result provided will be related to the query pencil.
This operator searches the content web pages for the keyword. It is quite similar to a plain google search.
Allintext operator locates pages that have the full string of text present in the specified term. Every word in the query has to be in the body text of a page before it can be returned as a result.
This is very useful when you only need information from a specific site. It limits the search to that site only. For instance, site:eggs.com will only return pages from eggs.com
You can also use these operators to find private information on Google.
Google Hacking for Private Information
Exploring unrestricted live cameras
Through Google dorks, you can get access to live camera web pages that are unrestricted. By using “inurl:/view/view.shtml”, you can find exposed live cams on the internet.
Finding exposed usernames and passwords
Usernames and passwords of website Admin accounts are usually contained in .LOG files. By using the command ‘allintext:username filetype:log’, the returned results could comprise applications with exposed log files that have usernames and passwords.
Usernames can also be found by searching for .env files. There are times when site developers carelessly leave their .env files containing unencrypted login details and IP addresses on the site’s public directory.
It makes the files easy targets for hackers. They input the command ‘DB_USERNAME filetype:env’ into the Google search bar and it would pop out links to pages with those files.
Searching through domains of certain websites
It is possible to explore the domain of some websites using Google dork. You only need to enter the command in the following format ‘inurl:domain’.
Hacking using the Google hacking database
The Google Hacking database is a site with a comprehensive list of Google dorks that can expose vulnerabilities, passwords, usernames, and documents. You find different combinations of dorks using the Advanced Search Operators that can easily hand otherwise difficult-to-find information into your hands.
Disclaimer: It is highly advised that you use the information you find for legal purposes only. The unauthorized access of information can lead to a criminal proceeding against you. So use Google hacking with care (and written permission).