In this blog, we will cover Google Dorking and its workings, along with various examples. Additionally, you will understand the key advantages and disadvantages it offers in the domain of cyber security.
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What is Google Dorking?
Google Dorking, also known as Google Hacking, is a method commonly practiced by ethical hackers and cyber security professionals. With this method, they can fetch sensitive data from websites or web pages using Google’s search engine.
There are various types of operations through which we can do the Dorking in Google: filetype:, Info:, intext:, cache:, and more. We will discuss each of these operations in the next section.
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How Does Google Dorking Work
Google Dorking is a way of making online searches more precise by using special commands on Google. These commands, called operators, help users find information that might be hard to discover with regular searches.
Suppose you are a security professional tasked with identifying publicly accessible directories that may contain sensitive information. You could use the Google Dork operation which is a ‘filetype:’ that will specify the type of file you are looking for in the Google Search Engine.
This search might reveal open directories on web servers that inadvertently expose sensitive files such as Confidential documents, pdf files, Database dumps, Log files, and Backup files.
As a cybersecurity professional, you might use this information to notify the affected parties about the exposure and recommend securing the sensitive data.
Various Operations of Google Dorking
In this section, we will explore the various examples of Google Dorking. Here is the table with various operations along with their usage:
|Google Dorking Operations
|Allows you to specify the type of file you are looking for in the Google Search Engine.
|Provide results based on a certain word or phrase in the title.
|Exclude results from a specific site or domain in your search
|OR & AND operator
|Used to connect multiple search terms and modify the search behavior
|Cache displays the cache version of the page as it tells when the web crawler has crawled the webpage.
“filetype” operator refers to a search operator that allows you to specify the type of file you are looking for. This can be useful for finding specific documents, media files, or other content on the web. For example, we are looking for all the pdf files of the Intellipaat website. Here is the syntax for this:
Syntax: filetype: pdf example.com
The intitle operator is used to specify that the search results must contain a certain word or phrase in the title.
-site: operator is another operator in Google Dorking which is used to exclude results from a specific site or domain in your search. Cybersecurity professionals often search for specific information on certain websites. The -site: operator can be used to exclude irrelevant or untrusted domains from search results, focusing the search on more reliable sources.
Syntax: keyword -site:example.com
OR & AND operator
In search engine queries the “OR” and “AND” operators are used to connect multiple search terms and modify the search behavior.
The OR operator is used to find pages that include either one keyword or another.
Syntax: “keyword” OR “keyword”
The AND operator is used to find pages that include both keywords.
Syntax: “keyword” AND “keyword”
‘cache:’ in Google Dorking allows users to access a stored version of a webpage, representing how it appeared during Google’s last indexing. This feature proves helpful in places where content may have been altered or removed from the current live version of a website, providing a snapshot of the page at a specific point in time.
Some of the other google techniques that are quite famous in the domain of cybersecurity are mentioned below:
EMAIL LISTS – Locating them through Google Dorks is remarkably straightforward. Many spammers exploit this method to effortlessly augment their spam lists with an unlimited number of email addresses. To retrieve email lists, use the following format for your dork.
Site: .com filetype: csv inurl: email.csv
WEATHER DORKS – Accessing weather dorks allows you to retrieve information from any internet-connected weather measuring device worldwide. To obtain this data, use the following search query.
[intitle: weatherwing WS2]
WORDPRESS ADMIN LOGIN – Utilizing a Google dork makes it remarkably simple to discover an index of WordPress administrative login pages and even gain access to the login credentials for those pages.
[Intitle: index of wp-admin]
ZOOM BOMBS – Zoom bombs refer to dorks employed to disrupt online video meetings when URLs are shared. To execute this, use the following search query.
[inurl: zoom.us/j and intext: scheduled for]
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How to Stop Google Dork Infiltration
Although Google Dorking plays a vital role for cyber security experts and hackers, it can also be used for malicious acts. The following points will help you prevent the infiltration:
- Implement a Robust Robots.txt file: This file instructs web robots or web crawlers about which pages have to be crawled on your website.
- Restrict File and Directory Permissions: Ensure that file permissions are set correctly and also limit access to sensitive directories.
- Use ‘NoIndex’ and ‘NonFollow’ Tags: There are tags that will tell Google search engines not to index certain pages or follow links on specific pages. This will help to save sensitive data from appearing in search results.
- Apply Security Tools: Implement security tools and firewalls to examine and prevent potential attacks from Google Dork infiltration.
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Advantages of Google Dorking
- Useful in Nature: It is quite useful for ethical hackers to perform some of the tasks, such as networking mapping, port scanning, and information gathering.
- Easily Fetch Sensitive Data: Google Dorking can easily find hidden information on websites like usernames & passwords, email lists, and some sensitive data such as bank account details, transaction details, etc.
- Flaw Detection is Easy: It is used to find vulnerabilities in the website.
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Disadvantages of Google Dorking
- Information Leakage: Google Dorking can reveal usernames, passwords, or proprietary data.
- Corporate Espionage: Enables the gathering of internal business information.
- Increased Vulnerability Exposure: Reveals inadequately secured websites and systems.
- Legal and Ethical Concerns: Unethical use may lead to legal consequences.
- False Positives: This may provide misleading or inaccurate results.
It’s important to implement Google Dorking in the right manner. Ethical use of Google Dorking is essential for promoting online security. Therefore, it’s vital to understand its workings, advantages, and disadvantages. Let’s create a safe internet space for everyone with the help of our blog.
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