Google Dorking, also known as Google Hacking or Google Dork, is the process of using advanced search techniques to find hidden information that is not readily available through standard search queries. It is worth noting that Google Dorking is not illegal but a legal technique used by security professionals.
What is Google Dorking used for?
This practice is commonly used in the Information Security (InfoSec) industry, where security researchers use it to determine if any sensitive information related to their organization is publicly accessible.
In simpler terms, Google Dorking involves using Google's search engine to find vulnerable web applications and servers, leveraging the search engine's native capabilities and built-in query language.
Most Common Google Dorking Queries
A Google Dorking query sometimes called a dork, is a search string or custom query that uses advanced search operators to find information not readily available on a website.
A search operator (sometimes referred to as a search parameter) is a character or string of characters used in a search engine query to narrow the focus of the search.
- cache:: This operator shows the cached version of any website. For example, cache:securitytrails.com retrieves the most recently cached version of the 'securitytrails.com' webpage.
- inanchor:: This is useful when searching for web pages that use a specific anchor text in their links. For example, inanchor:"cybersecurity" will find pages with links containing the anchor text "cyber security".
- intext:: This operator helps locate pages containing specific words or phrases within their text. For instance, intext:"safe internet" will return pages with the phrase "safe internet".
- site:: Use this to view a complete list of all indexed URLs for a given domain and its subdomains. For example, site:securitytrails.com will list all pages from 'securitytrails.com' that Google has indexed.
Preventing Google Dorking Infiltration
Hackers can use Google Dork to breach systems and carry out attacks. To protect your system from potential Google Dork infiltration, you can take the following measures:
- Restrict Information: Avoid sharing sensitive information online. If you must share sensitive files, ensure they are appropriately protected and not indexed by search engines.
- Use 'NoIndex' and 'NoFollow' Tags: These tags tell search engines not to index certain pages or follow links on specific pages, which can help protect sensitive data from appearing in search results.
- Regularly Conduct Website Audits: Regular audits can help identify and fix potential vulnerabilities. Use techniques like Google Dorking to find exposed information and take corrective measures.
- Limit File and Directory Permissions: Ensure file access permissions are set correctly and restrict access to sensitive assets
- Use Security Tools: Adopt security solutions to monitor activities and detect unusual flows to prevent potential attacks.