Google Dorks – Sometimes it really is that easy

One day, I was watching some DefCon talks at YouTube, as I often do. One of the videos was titled “Google Hacking for Penetration Testers“. This title sounded very interesting, but also didn’t tell me much about what to actually see in there. So naturally, I watched it. It was amazing.

All I could think about was “huh it really is that easy sometimes”. A couple weeks later I made my first own Google Dork, found a good couple of COMPLETELY wide-open databases for various sites, including some decently sized forums, and reported the leak to the Owners.

But before I tell that story further, let me just tell you what “Google Hacking” and “Google Dorks” are all about:

The concept is fairly simple. People put a lot of stuff on the internet. And Google is highly effective at finding and indexing basically everything there is. Additionally, Google offers some advanced search Parameters that can make searches very effective. So if somebody posts their Facebook password in a public pastebin under the wrong Impression that these are private, you can literally just google for that password. Some other thing that you might see a lot are so called “Open Web Directories”. These are folders on web servers that have auto-indexing on. That sometimes is by design, but also often a misconfiguration. In that case, finding someones juicy files is fairly trivial.

Now to show you an Example, let me show you the Google Dork that I used to find those Databases as mentioned above:


Just put that in the Google Search and you may find similar things. Yes. Its really that easy sometimes.

So let me explain how I found it: At work, we had to dump a database for a customer. The server was not our own, and we did not have DB or SSH Access. However we had FTP Access. So a colleague suggested to use a tool named MySQLDumper “MySQLDumper”). This tool is designed to be put on a server, dump databases to SQL and remove it again. Because of that it has NO PASSWORD PROTECTION by default. It also provides some functionality very similar to PHPMyAdmin, as in you can change or delete certain data sets from the tables.

So I asked myself “What if people just leave that thing on their servers.” As I recently learned about Google dorks, I found a distinguishable factor that would allow me to find MySQLDumper in a Google Search. There would probably be many other ways, but I chose to use part of the URL to search for it.

And low and behold, I found lots. Many returned a 404, meaning the owner removed the tool already, and some have put up an HTPASSWD protection. But for a handful of sites I just was able to get to the site and was effectively having control over their database. You could (in theory) dump the Database and sell it, change the Password Hash for the Admin User to your own and control the whole site / server and a lot of other things. Dont do that though. It’s illegal and immoral.

Sometimes…it really is too easy.

I have then submitted that dork and others I created to the Google hacking database. Which makes me an official contributor of the “Exploit Database and Google Hacking Database” apparently. It sounds cooler that it is to be honest.

screenshot of my profile on ghdb

Some other Dorks from me Include one that is capable of finding incomplete Installations of the TYPO3 CMS that one would be able to hijack by finishing the Installation. This would allow an attacker to not just run the website but to Upload a webshell or other malicious PHP code using the Extension System.

Here is a list of all my approved dorks so far:

I recommend just surfing the GHDB as well

Please use this knowledge responsibly and follow the laws of where you live.

Thanks for reading.