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Five Steps To Help Repel The 'Lulz'

Targeted attacks are a reality today, especially with the likes of hacktivist groups such as Anonymous

1. Go Google-hack yourself.

Turns out one of the first tools used by the LulzSec attackers was Google hacking, or Googling for vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection and remote-file include flaws on Web pages. Francis Brown, managing partner for Stach and Liu, has researched LulzSec's use of Google hacking, and says querying Google for vulnerabilities on websites was the first step in the group's recon efforts.

Most organizations don't bother to take that simple but often-revealing step. "We recommend you Google-hack yourself," Brown says. "Once you do that and find vulnerabilities, like some Cisco VPN configuration file, you have a flag in the sand going forward."

The Stach & Liu researchers offer free Google hacking tools, and Brown says he and fellow researcher Rob Ragan plan to release more Google-hacking tools for defensive purposes at the upcoming Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas next month. "One of our largest Fortune 100 companies plugs them in, and using Google alerts and Bing RSS feeds, from now on, if Google ever indexes matches with these vulns, [the tools] send you real-time updates," Brown says. "It's an IDS, if you will, for Google hacking."

Among the new tools they will release are versions for the Android and iPhones. So if one of the so-called "Diggity Hacking" tools sees a SQL file with 300,000 of your organization's passwords indexed on Google, it sends you an alert, he says.

"You could have a whole host of traditional vulnerabilities. You don't want other people to find them so easily via Google because Google is kind enough to index all of your vulnerabilities for you," he says. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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