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Thread: Google Hacking

  1. #1

    Google Hacking

    Search engines are great. Understanding how to achieve good search results can be an art. That's what google hacking is about. Google Hacking is really nothing more than getting the most out of a google search engine. This term originated in hacker circles, and a book on same said was published in 2005. Following are examples of the most common google hacking techniques. Please feel free to add to this list.

    Search by title:
    Code:
    intitle:"search term"
    Example: intitle:"Crime Blog"


    Search by file type:
    Code:
    "search term" filetype:ext
    Example: "shadow" filetype:jpg


    Search a site:
    Code:
    "search term" site:thesite.com
    Example: "Psychopathy" site:apa.org


    Exclude search terms:
    Code:
    "search term" -"exclude term"
    Example: "Zodiac Killer" -"movie"

    Complex search:
    Code:
    (("search term1")OR("search term2"))AND("search term3")
    Example: (("Joseph")OR("Joe"))AND("Smith")


  2. #2
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    This is awesome! A few here I haven't seen before. Thank you!

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    wow I never knew any of this, that really explains the difficulty I have had looking things up, my husband thought I was just a bit unsavy with google, I was always saying I couldn't find something and he would bring it up practically immediately.

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  6. #4
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    I would like to know if it's possible for someone to identify the I.P. address associated with a Google/other search for their name. For example, if I'm Googling John Smith, who lives in West Virginia, and I live in Utah, can John Smith somehow identify searches done of his name, and trace the I.P. address?

    Paranoid much? I try not to be, but if I'm 'sleuthing' someone rotten, I'd sure hate to find out they were able to identify my I.P. addy. Thanks -

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    7,885
    There is no way you will get any important information from google. Why use google to search for someone? Use one of the search companies referred here at WS.

    Edited to add, you're a newbie I see. Welcome! Why not send a message to a mod. They may not see a 2 year old thread pulled up. imho
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "There is really no such thing as free speech . " ALZ
    Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.Jimi Hendrix

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazura Jane View Post
    I would like to know if it's possible for someone to identify the I.P. address associated with a Google/other search for their name. For example, if I'm Googling John Smith, who lives in West Virginia, and I live in Utah, can John Smith somehow identify searches done of his name, and trace the I.P. address?

    Paranoid much? I try not to be, but if I'm 'sleuthing' someone rotten, I'd sure hate to find out they were able to identify my I.P. addy. Thanks -
    Welcome to Websleuths Hazura Jane! I'm not sure how to answer your question but hopefully someone can. Thanks, and again Welcome!!!



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  12. #7
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    I used the google term to include all search sites - should have made that clear.
    I never asked for this!

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  14. #8
    It really depends upon the search site. For example, an individual can create an alert on ZabaSearch to email them anytime someone looks up their name. The email will not contain the IP addy but it will contain the origin of the search (i.e., City, State).

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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazura Jane View Post
    I would like to know if it's possible for someone to identify the I.P. address associated with a Google/other search for their name. For example, if I'm Googling John Smith, who lives in West Virginia, and I live in Utah, can John Smith somehow identify searches done of his name, and trace the I.P. address?

    Paranoid much? I try not to be, but if I'm 'sleuthing' someone rotten, I'd sure hate to find out they were able to identify my I.P. addy. Thanks -
    I'm not going to be of much help here, and may just create more confusion, but will tell you something I recently discovered while curiously googling a name. I clicked on a "mylife" link related to that name. Then, I scrolled a few more pages and saw the same "mylife" link but with more descriptors added. I clicked it. It shows a google map, complete with big red arrow, pointing at the address of the computer looking at your mylife page!!!! I'll never click mylife links again. I'm going to guess that this is something you can do with most social networking sites when you sign up, but I have no idea as I don't belong to any.

    Unless I have included a link, it is my opinion and only my opinion that I am expressing.

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  18. #10
    Yeah, it's really creepy scary how these companies are plastering our info all over inet without our express permission. Will be interesting to see how/if the proposed online privacy bill ( pdf link ) helps to deter this sort of thing.

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  20. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazura Jane View Post
    I would like to know if it's possible for someone to identify the I.P. address associated with a Google/other search for their name. For example, if I'm Googling John Smith, who lives in West Virginia, and I live in Utah, can John Smith somehow identify searches done of his name, and trace the I.P. address?

    Paranoid much? I try not to be, but if I'm 'sleuthing' someone rotten, I'd sure hate to find out they were able to identify my I.P. addy. Thanks -
    Which search sites are you using? To the best of my knowledge, there is no way for someone to know they're Googling you (using Google), with some exceptions. Allow me to elaborate.

    - Google does NOT reveal the IP addresses of people running searches. That would be a huge breach of privacy imo and to the best of my knowledge it is against their TOS.

    - I have no idea if they give out your info to third-party companies for publicity reasons. Google seems to like to be in control and has its own publicity program so it is unlikely that they would give away your full information. I hope that someone with more legal knowledge can drop by to confirm this but if they gave away all of your information it would be under confidentiality clauses and you could sue for breech of privacy if it fell into the wrong hands.

    - Google itself will only give away all of the information they have about your usage of their products if they have a warrant. If the person you are Googling is a civilian, they have no way to get it except starting a lawsuit about you that proves you have done something illegal and where your Google history would be evidence.

    - Now... there is Google AdWords which tells people if someone has Googled them but it does not give away your IP. I am not sure how it works. There is also that visit tracker that you can use on blogspot by default and on other sites if you sign up but that is linked to a specific page that you have access to and will only tell you how people found your page, the number of visits and the location of visitors. I don't use it often but as far as I know it only says the country of your visitors.

    - There are unofficial products that tell people who has been Googling them and lets them control Google hits for their name but I have never tried any. After some research, all of the articles I found explain that it is linked to a social network type site and all it tells you is who has visited that site via Google. It does not give away your IP.

    In conclusion, unless your John Smith is very well-connected there is no way that he can get your IP info directly from Google. The most he'll know is that someone Googled him and visited his webpage if he has one.

    I would be careful where you're looking, though... some sites have visit counters that do register the IP or at least the city and country of whoever's visiting. If none of the sites you're visiting is connected to him he won't know. There are some amateur blogs that have live visitor maps and widgets like that so be careful with those.

    Either way... chances are there are more people with his name you could be looking for and more people Googling him. The bigger your city is, the less likely he is to find you based on just your city unless you're very famous there and everyone knows you're sleuthing.

    IP addresses are very unreliable too. One of my past IPs didn't even match my country and anyone who knows the first thing about IPs knows to mistrust that information because there are proxies and other irregularities. Heck, my IP was once banned from a site for Russian SPAM that I didn't post nor was it posted from my account. It can be done but if he's the average joe he won't know how to do it correctly.

    If you need to be safe use a proxy to change your IP and do not perform Google searches while logged into a Google account. Be especially careful if you are visiting third-party sites that are not official (official being gov't pages, for example, versus blogs or forums).


    I hope this helps and happy sleuthing. Keep in mind that I am not an expert and I have never had to search for anything sensitive so this could be inaccurate.

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  22. #12
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    If you're afraid of Google tracking your web searches, you can use startpage.com, a proxy search engine.

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  24. #13
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    Talking Wild card

    I recently learned of a searching technique to use when you don't know the entire name of an individual. Along with quotations such as "Tom Tommy Thompson" you can use an asterisk as a wild card. If you can only remember part of the name you are searching for, you can try "Tom To* Thompson". This is not a real name, it's just one that came to the top of my head so forgive me if this name actually belongs to someone. Hope this helps someone.

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