[ISN] Hackers use Google to access photocopiers
isn at c4i.org
Mon Sep 27 04:22:35 EDT 2004
[The Google Hacking Database (GHDB) @ http://johnny.ihackstuff.com/
will fill in any blanks this story is missing. - WK]
September 24, 2004
Hackers are using search engines to watch what people photocopy.
Using Google hacks -- requests typed into the search engine that bring
up cached information on networks -- hackers are discovering and using
login details for networked photocopiers so they can watch what is
"You don't have to be a genius to do this," said Jason Hart, security
director at Whitehat UK. "You can see what people are photocopying on
your monitor. You just have to search for online devices on Google."
Google stores billions of Web URLs and information sent from Web
servers. Some Web servers, if configured incorrectly or left to
default, can accidentally broadcast network information, such as IP
addresses, login details and device information. Google, like many
other search engines, stores this information, which can be recalled
at any time.
"Essentially Google caches everything on the Web," said Hart. "By
inputting commands into Google you can extract information and use it
as a reverse-engineering tool."
Hackers have been using Google hacks for some time -- exploiting
photocopiers is only a recent example of compromising online devices.
Hackers also use the search engine to view logged conversations on the
Google computer groups list. In these, techies often share network
information, such as logins, and their company domain name when they
post their email address with a message.
Hart added: "If you look at a firm's domain you can see all their
security questions which means you can see their network
infrastructure. [Hackers] wait for people to come along and say: 'I've
been put in charge of security but dont know much. Can you help me?'
The hacker helps out and gets their trust until they get the passwords
to the firewalls."
Hart advised that security staff should regularly check Google for
cached information on their firms' domain names. He said that if using
public forums to solve problems, participants should sign in using an
"You can ask Google to take certain information off its site," said
Hart. "It's always worth taking a look at. It's a simple check, but
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