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Google Hacking Database Tool Updated

The Google Hacking Database Tool is an online application that automates Google searches for files and other data associated with Web site vulnerabilities.

Thomas Claburn

March 5, 2008

2 Min Read

GnuCitizen, a computer security consultancy, today released an updated version of its Google Hacking Database Tool (GHDB), an online application that automates Google searches for files and other data associated with Web site vulnerabilities.

GHDB is essentially a Web-based version of Goolag Scanner, a penetration testing and hacking tool released two weeks ago by Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc). It was assembled with the help of Johnny Long, the author of Google Hacking for Penetration Testers.

GnuCitizen founder Petko D. Petkov acknowledges that the concept is similar to Goolag Scanner, but says GHDB incorporates a different design and programming approach. "The GHDB tool was first released long before cDc's Goolag, back in March 2007, I believe," he said in an e-mail. "It is built on the top of Ajax technologies and some cutting-edge JavaScript programming techniques. The application is entirely online-based, and it is a good example of how to implement a true cloud computing type of infrastructure. Because of its nature, it is always updated with the latest Google dorks/hacks, with no admin overhead on our side, unlike the Goolag tool, which is a compiled binary. And it runs inside the browser, which makes it cross-platform."

SiteDigger 2.0 is a similar application offered by Foundstone. It requires a Google Web services API license key. Other examples of this type of tool include Gooscan and Wikto. Blogger Alessandro Tanasi offers a more complete list of penetration testing software on his Web site.

While Google hasn't actively fought the use of such tools, it will block automated search queries after a detecting a high volume of them. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Automated vulnerability scanning tools should be thought of as a necessity in today's security environment. Those disinclined to scan their sites for vulnerabilities should be aware that unethical hackers are doing so.

"I believe that penetration testing and hacking tools like this one will become more and more popular among the community, although not all types of tools are suitable to be made available online," said Petkov.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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