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Twenty-Four Seven Security

Peter Schooff

3 Google Hacks You Better Know About

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When a bank robber is getting ready to rob a bank, you can bet the successful ones case out the bank beforehand and try to learn every possible thing they can about the bank’s strengths and weaknesses. Well, when a cybercriminal is zeroing in on a company to attack on the internet, there are three main Google searches they use to do just about the same thing.

The following three searches should give you a good hacker’s eye-view of your company's web presence and exactly where the most obvious weaknesses lie.

The three searches, taken from IT World, are (note that the xxx.com should be replaced with your URL):

Site:xxx.com – This displays the systems under that domain name known to Google and is used by attackers to quickly identify potential targets on the internet. This also shows pages that exist under that domain, the structures and technologies (HTML, Notes, ASP, PHP, etc) in use and helps the attacker focus their attack.

Filetype:yyy site:xxx.com – This quick search allows hackers to uncover possible confidential data accessible on your site. The yyy should be replaced with common file names like doc, xls, txt, rtf, ppt, and the search commonly reveals data that can range from customer lists to marketing lists to phone books to email addresses and more.

Link:xxx.com – This reveals sites that link to your site and can help attackers discover business partners and others who might have special access through partner networks, firewall rules, VPNs, etc. This is also a good search to possibly reveal phishing and scam sites that may be linked to you in order to steal content and graphics.

While these three searches barely just scratch the surface of the ever-morphing world of Google hacks, these should quickly reveal the most obvious, and easily correctable, problems with your company’s internet presence.

Tags: Google Hacks

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Peter Schooff's blog is a daily look at what's going on in the world of computer security with an emphasis on how it affects businesses.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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