Google Hacking: Search With Precision

This is a tutorial on using Google hacking to find specific information within the Google index.

Google deploys web crawlers to collect information on all the websites on the internet and to make them searchable in a big database it calls an index.

Google advanced search allows you to restrict your searches so that only the most relevant information is returned. It includes operators like OR (to find documents that contain either of two words), AND (to find documents that contain both of two words), and boolean operators like NOT (to exclude a word).

In short, the Google hacking technique is a way to search with precision by leveraging Google itself. We can do a precise search instead of using generic keywords.

I want to share this with you to bring home the point that privacy requires a measure of proactivity. If you want to know what’s in the public domain, the technique outlined in this article will help you.

Google Search Modifiers With Examples

MODIFIEREXAMPLE
Double quotes are used for finding an exact phrase; by using quotes you’re telling Google exactly what you want it to find — in this case, the phrase “privacy angel”“privacy angel”
An OR statement uses the | symbol — in this case, we’re searching for websites that contain either of the two listed phrases“privacy angel” | “erase yourself from the internet”
An AND statement uses the & symbol“privacy angel” & “erase yourself from the internet”
We can view information that was deleted from the original source (e.g., the website) but still cached by Google using the modifier “cache:”“privacy angel” cache:privacyangel.com
We can view information only on a specific website using the “site:” modifier; in this case, we’re searching for articles with the word “hacking” on the privacyangel.com website“hacking” site:privacyangel.com
We can view *.PDF file types that contain the phrase “internet privacy”filetype:pdf “internet privacy”
We can find other “internet privacy” related sources of information related:”internet privacy”
We can search for any URL that includes the word “privacyangel” in the URL; this would return URLS like “privacyangel.com” and “twitter.com/privacyangel”inurl:”privacyangel”
This will restrict content to only that which contains “privacyangel” in the text itselfintext:”privacyangel.com”

In addition to Google, don’t forget to consider other search engines like Bing, Shodan, and Yahoo!, each of which have their own modifiers.



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