Browse Definitions:
Definition

Google dork query

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A Google dork query, sometimes just referred to as a dork, is a search string that uses advanced search operators to find information that is not readily available on a website.

Google dorking, also known as Google hacking, can return information that is difficult to locate through simple search queries. That description includes information that is not intended for public viewing but that has not been adequately protected. 

As a passive attack method, Google dorking can return usernames and passwords, email lists, sensitive documents, personally identifiable financial information (PIFI) and website vulnerabilities. That information can be used for any number of illegal activities, including cyberterrorism, industrial espionage, identity theft and cyberstalking.

A search parameter is a limitation applied to a search. Here are a few examples of advanced search parameters:

  • site: returns files located on a particular website or domain.
  • filetype: followed (without a space) by a file extension returns files of the specified type, such as DOC, PDF, XLS and INI. Multiple file types can be searched for simultaneously by separating extensions with “|”.
  • inurl: followed by a particular string returns results with that sequence of characters in the URL.
  • intext: followed by the searcher’s chosen word or phrase returns files with the string anywhere in the text.

Multiple parameters can be used, for example, to search for files of a certain type on a certain website or domain. The Public Intelligence website provides this example:

“sensitive but unclassified” filetype:pdf site:publicintelligence.net

Those search parameters return PDF documents on that website’s servers with the string “sensitive but unclassified” anywhere in the document text.

Access to internal documents can yield further sensitive information. For example, document metadata often contains more information than the author is aware of, such as revision history, deletions, dates and author / updater names.  Because an intruder with the requisite know-how and / or tools can access such information, it’s a good practice to ensure that it is actually removed from documents before they are published or shared. The practice of document sanitization is designed to make sure that only the intended information can be accessed.

In August 2014, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center issued a bulletin warning agencies to guard against the potential for Google dorking on their sites. One of the first intrusion prevention measures proposed is to conduct Google dorking expeditions using likely attack parameters to discover what type of information an intruder could access.

This was last updated in September 2014

Continue Reading About Google dork query

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

clear information about google dorking.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close