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With modern technology and gadgets which access the internet many people are able to search items online. The most used channel is Google search, you only have to search keywords and a lot of related articles displays onto your screen. Google is easy to use but this makes it vulnerable to hackers and thief's who might steal confidential information and use it to harm you (wright, 2009, p.90)
Penetration testing with google hacks tries to explain google hacking which includes a wide range methods to reveal important and vulnerable information and useful data such as emails, databases passwords and usernames, system logs and web-connected printers and cameras .
Google search works in some few ways, this may include typing a word on your web browser, and it will give results related to your search also Boolean operators like "OR," "AND" and "NOT" can be used. Lastly, there are advanced filters you can use when searching to narrow down work into a more specific item.
To understand this concept let's use the website for Harvard University which is a world-class university. Being an internationally renowned institution, it has diverse cultures and people from all over the world seek admission to it. The institution's website provides a channel through which people can access its services and information without necessarily having to travel there. Its official website is www.harvard.edu. From Google search, you may opt to search Harvard which will bring all information related to Harvard, but if you key in the university domain name, it will take you to the official website. Once you open their homepage, there are a variety of links which relate to services and information offered by the university. To be specific, this is some of the links you will find on the homepage Admission, Research, news, and events, about.
The link on admission allows students to apply for courses of their choice online by filling forms provided by the university. The applicants provide their full legal names their qualifications and requirements as stated. The forms are then submitted for verification, the registrar at the university reviews the forms and determines if the named person is qualified to join the institution. Some applications made may not be genuine since applicants may use fake testimonials and use the money to gain access by paying hackers and use corrupt officials to gain admission, this is a vulnerability the university need to be careful on by installing software's which scan documents provided to determine their legibility. Once identified legal actions should be taken against the people responsible for avoiding such practices in the future (Spencer, 2011)
Another feature in the Google search is Google Advanced operators which allow an individual to get more specific results from their search; it gives you a list of the most relevant and useful information. For instance, advanced operators can be used to get files of a particular type or filter results so that thy match a specific website that is information on the stated domain will be displayed. Advanced operates for Google querying take this form operator: search-term there should be no spacing in between the operator and search term when space is used the query will fail. If you have to use spaces, you will have to surround the query with quotation marks. This will command the Google servers to search for a specific exact match.
Advanced operators for Google querying
Google advanced operator uses two forms the first one is site operator which will only contain results from a given website the second form is file type operator who responds by giving a particular file type which may be a doc or a pdf file. If we use the university website, for example, we see there are a lot of links, but we sometimes have no time to go through the links to access information since we will have to click many links to reach the information we need. Say we want to obtain information from the faculty of medicine. We phrase typed in the search engine should include faculty of medicine and it will take us straight to the site and no time will be wasted.
Google hacking databases
Google hacking databases uses queries submitted by the users in which there are different categories which include files with passwords, vulnerable files, information about the server and software's contained in it. When looking into results from the Google hacking database you have to look at their dates of submission so as to see the most recent which are more relevant than old submissions? However you don't need to ignore the fact that some old submissions may be used to harvest information no matter how old they are. Organizations websites work on databases stored on their servers, when students are admitted in Harvard University for example, files are formed with their information on it that is their fee structures, their grades and all relevant information about them, this information is stored on online databases. To access this information the University has a student portal where the students register themselves by providing a unique username which maybe their email addresses or special identity numbers given by the university. Also the students need to have passwords to protect them against hacks which may reveal their sensitive and private information. So whenever a student wants to access the university services or his portal he only needs to provide the username and key in their passwords. However this may be vulnerable since students use different devices to access the website this may leave their information in those devices, since some devices are automatically set to save passwords and usernames so that your next login won't require you to key all that information the device will just remember your last login. This makes it probable for other people to use the same devices to access their accounts. It's advisable to use only trusted devices when doing the access.
The university website has staff logins which are divided into different departments and faculties. Let's use the finance department when students are paying the tuition fees they don't physically take money with them to school, as this may pose risks to them and their money which can easily be stolen or get into bad hands. The university, in this case, has to collaborate with banks by opening accounts with them, this enables students to pay fees using the banks; student provides their names and special identification numbers given to them by the university during payment. The tellers at the bank then use the information to credit the university account. Once the data is keyed in, a signal is sent to the university databases showing the amount paid and the student name. The student can confirm this transaction from their portals when it is updated by the finance department.
This technology has helped to process things efficiently however it comes with risks. If the bank's keys in wrong identity numbers the fees may be credited to a different student who may bring difficulties if it is not detected early. Also, hackers may channel the money into their accounts if the databases are not well administered and frequently updated to check malicious software and viruses which may corrupt the system. Organizations need to be careful with the people they employ as system administrators and ICT personnel since this are the people who are likely to corrupt the system due to their vast knowledge in computer-related staffs (Rosen, 2014)
Organization websites though have a lot of advantages it makes things more accessible than the past, where storage of information is kept in databases; where it can be easily retrieved. Also, information can reach lots of people all over the world since only the domain is needed, and you can access the website from anywhere. Websites can also be used as an advertisement tool, but people need to be careful since hackers may use this channel to post wrong information hence you first have to check the domain to prove the accuracy of the information. The website also provides a channel for experts to publish articles which may solve some problems in the society by giving answers to various queries.
Not all things are perfect though; websites have shortcomings also which range from hackers, poor technology in some regions and there are instances where people are conned and give private information to thieves. Hence people need to be extra careful.
In conclusion, Google hacking is an excellent tool for people for viewing websites and discovering various types of information without being recognized by the targeted system. Google hacking should be known to all information security examinations personnel since it possesses lots of advantages if it is well implemented. Although not all people are good, this systems may be used to destroy and steal people privacy which is against public goodwill. This calls internet users to be careful when keying in personal data in their devices as this maybe targets to hackers who want to exploit your information. But all in all, we embrace this modern technology, administrators should develop more security measures to protect the public who know little about technology.
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