Google hacking

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Not to be confused with Google Hacks.

Google hacking, also named Google dorking,[1][2] is a computer hacking technique that uses Google Search and other Google applications to find security holes in the configuration and computer code that websites use.


Google hacking involves using advanced operators in the Google search engine to locate specific strings of text within search results. Some of the more popular examples are finding specific versions of vulnerable Web applications. The following search query would locate all web pages that have that particular text contained within them. It is normal for default installations of applications to include their running version in every page they serve, for example, "Powered by XOOPS 2.2.3 Final"

intitle:admbook intitle:Fversion filetype:php

One can even retrieve the username and password list from Microsoft FrontPage servers by inputting the given microscript in Google search field:

"#-Frontpage-" inurl:administrators.pwd
or filetype:log inurl password login

Devices connected to the Internet can be found. A search string such as inurl:"ViewerFrame?Mode=" will find public web cameras.

Another useful search is following intitle:index.of[1] followed by a search keyword. This can give a list of files on the servers. For example, intitle:index.of mp3 will give all the MP3 files available on various servers.

Advanced operators[edit]

There are many similar advanced operators which can be used to exploit insecure websites:

Operator Purpose Mixes with Other Operators? Can be used Alone? Web Images Groups News
intitle Search page Title yes yes yes yes yes yes
allintitle[3] Search page title no yes yes yes yes yes
inurl Search URL yes yes yes yes not really like intitle
allinurl Search URL no yes yes yes yes like intitle
filetype specific files yes no yes yes no not really
intext Search text of page only yes yes yes yes yes yes
allintext Search text of page only not really yes yes yes yes yes
site Search specific site yes yes yes yes no not really
link Search for links to pages no yes yes no no not really
inanchor Search link anchor text yes yes yes yes not really yes
numrange Locate number yes yes yes no no not really
daterange Search in date range yes no yes not really not really not really
author Group author search yes yes no no yes not really
group Group name search not really yes no no yes not really
insubject Group subject search yes yes like intitle like intitle yes like intitle
msgid Group msgid search no yes not really not really yes not really

The "link:" search operator that Google used to have, has been turned off by now (2017).[4]

History of Google Hacking[edit]

Johnny Long creates "googleDorks" in 2002

The concept of "Google Hacking" dates back to 2002, when Johnny Long began to collect interesting Google search queries that uncovered vulnerable systems and/or sensitive information disclosures - labeling them googleDorks.[5]

The list of googleDorks grew into large dictionary of queries, which were eventually organized into the original Google Hacking Database (GHDB) in 2004.[6] These Google hacking techniques were the focus of a book released by Johnny Long in 2005, called Google Hacking for Penetration Testers, Volume 1.[7]

Since its heyday, the concepts explored in Google Hacking have been extended to other search engines, such as Bing[8] and Shodan.[9] Automated attack tools[10] use custom search dictionaries to find vulnerable systems and sensitive information disclosures in public systems that have been indexed by search engines.

But in 2012 Google held an open challenge for anyone to infiltrate their resisting servers. For a full visual timeline, detailing the major events and developments in Google Hacking from 2002 to Present, see the Google Hacking History by Bishop Fox.[11]


  1. ^ Term Of The Day: Google Dorking - Business Insider
  2. ^ Google dork query,
  3. ^ Karch, Marziah. "Allintitle Definition". Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  5. ^ "googleDorks created by Johnny Long". Johnny Long. Archived from the original on December 8, 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2002. 
  6. ^ "Google Hacking Database (GHDB) in 2004". Johnny Long. Archived from the original on July 7, 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2004. 
  7. ^ "Google Hacking for Penetration Testers, Volume 1". Johnny Long. Retrieved 20 February 2005. 
  8. ^ "Bing Hacking Database (BHDB) v2". Bishop Fox. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Shodan Hacking Database (SHDB) - Part of SearchDiggity tool suite". Bishop Fox. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "SearchDiggity - Search Engine Attack Tool Suite". Bishop Fox. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Google Hacking History". Bishop Fox. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 

External links[edit]