Google hacking

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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. A search query with intitle: admbook intitle: Fversion filetype: php 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".

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 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 no yes yes yes yes yes
allintitle[3] Search page title no yes yes yes yes yes
inurl Search URL yes yes yes yes not completely like intitle
allinurl Search URL no yes yes yes yes like intitle
filetype specific files yes yes yes no not completely
intext Search text of page only yes yes yes yes yes yes
allintext Search text of page only yes yes yes yes yes
site Search specific site yes yes yes yes no not completely
link Search for links to pages yes yes yes no no not completely
inanchor Search link anchor text yes yes yes yes not completely yes
numrange Locate number yes yes yes yes yes not completely
daterange Search in date range yes yes yes not completely not completely not completely
author Group author search yes yes no no yes not completely
group Group name search yes no yes yes not completely
insubject Group subject search yes yes like intitle like intitle yes like intitle
msgid Group msgid search no yes not completely yes

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

History of Google hacking[edit]

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

The list of Google Dorks grew into a large dictionary of queries, which were eventually organized into the original Google Hacking Database (GHDB) in 2004.[6][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.[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 8 December 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2002.
  6. ^ "Google Hacking Database (GHDB) in 2004". Johnny Long. Archived from the original on 7 July 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]