How NSA spies hack Google to find confidential information

Credit: Image credit: flickr/Anonymous9000

You too can search like a spy

Under orders from a Freedom of Information Act request by MuckRock, The National Security Agency has publicly released a book that was written to help its agents find intelligence on the web. The 643-page tome is called Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research, and the most interesting section is named "Google Hacking."

Wired has pointed out the salient parts of that section. In the end, these "secret" search tricks are simply advanced operators and search strategies anyone can use.

For example, if you want to find spreadsheets in Russia containing passwords, enter "filetype:xls site:ru login." (The word "login" and "password" apparently cross language barriers.)

In addition to targeting filetypes and country sites, spies also search for vulnerabilities with words like "index of" (to find web servers listing content by mistake) and "confidential".

And now you can search like a spy.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

What’s wrong? The new clean desk test
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies