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The NSA's Own Guide To Google Hacking and Other Internet Research

timothy posted about a year ago | from the summer-reading-list dept.

Google 45

Wired has published a book review of sorts of a freely downloadable book called Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research. If that title came from O'Reilly, Apress, or other big name in tech-publishing, it might be perfectly nice but less interesting. Instead, it was prepared as an internal guide for the NSA, and came to public attention through a FOIA request by MuckRock. (See this video interview with MuckRock's Michael Morisy at this year's SXSW.) The version that's been released is several years old. From Wired's report: "Although the author's name is redacted in the version released by the NSA, Muckrock's FOIA indicates it was written by Robyn Winder and Charlie Speight. A note the NSA added to the book before releasing it under FOIA says that the opinions expressed in it are the authors', and not the agency's. ... Lest you think that none of this is new, that Johnny Long has been talking about this for years at hacker conferences and in his book Google Hacking, you’d be right. In fact, the authors of the NSA book give a shoutout to Johnny, but with the caveat that Johnny’s tips are designed for cracking — breaking into websites and servers. 'That is not something I encourage or advocate,' the author writes." (Hat tip to ThinkGeek's Jacob Rose.)

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45 comments

"gave a shoutout to" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675425)

... is something the NSA would never do.

Re:"gave a shoutout to" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675647)

They misspelled "shotout".

no need to worry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675431)

as i have just poured hot grits down my pants.

How about a link to the downloadable book? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675437)

Is that really too much to ask for? Sheesh.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (5, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43675473)

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675639)

And to catch tech savvy people who might be problematic simply post an interesting PDF containing a zero day exploit to the nsa website and reference it on popular tech websites.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43676727)

how would that work when not everyone uses the same pdf veiwer? a large number of tech savvy people realize that adobe isn't the only provider of pdf rendering software.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (5, Funny)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | about a year ago | (#43677461)

All PDF readers have their exploits, no reason you can't make one document that targets them all. That's why I trained myself to read PDF in binary. Yes, obviously it's a bit challenging but there's something immensely satisfying about being able to visualize the document based on the raw input and, until the NSA gets into wet-ware hacking, it's the one reader technology that's guaranteed to be perfectly sa.... MUST. INFILTRATE. PUTIN. ADMINISTRATION.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687721)

All PDF readers have their exploits, no reason you can't make one document that targets them all. That's why I trained myself to read PDF in binary. Yes, obviously it's a bit challenging but there's something immensely satisfying about being able to visualize the document based on the raw input and, until the NSA gets into wet-ware hacking, it's the one reader technology that's guaranteed to be perfectly sa.... MUST. INFILTRATE. PUTIN. ADMINISTRATION.

Neo: Do you always look at it encoded?
Cypher: Well you have to. The image translators work for the construct program. But there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it. II don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head. Hey, you uh want a drink?

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

bogidu (300637) | about a year ago | (#43675495)

Really? You couldn't follow the link in the post to the article and read the first two paragraphs (where there was a link to the pdf???)

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675525)

Why would he want to drive up Wired's page hits?

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675589)

Why would he want to drive up Wired's page hits?

Because that's how the Internet works?

Along with rehashing stories from other sites.

Pretty soon, news site will be like porn sites: click on a link for a video and it takes you to another site with only links to videos and you click on the video you want; which takes you to another site with thumbnails of videos and you click on that thumbnail which takes you back to the site you started at.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (2)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year ago | (#43675789)

Wow, thank you for untangling the porn web.

You must have done "extensive" research.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677333)

Not everyone has a thousand dicks up their butt like you.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677827)

Wait, you mean actually RTFA? You must be new here...

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43675763)

Stop moaning...

Here you go.

http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/Untangling_the_Web.pdf [nsa.gov]

40MB but downloads pretty fast.

Don't expect miracles - a quick peek shows a crappy-quality B&W PDF, (despite the file size). A pretty epub it's not.

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43675883)

Don't expect miracles - a quick peek shows a crappy-quality B&W PDF, (despite the file size). A pretty epub it's not.

So, it's just like an Amazon Kindle book?

Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43676377)

40MB but downloads pretty fast.

Don't expect miracles - a quick peek shows a crappy-quality B&W PDF, (despite the file size). A pretty epub it's not.

In other words 1MB of text and images and 39MB of "undisclosed extra stuff"?

Re:Scribd content (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675969)

How is a link to a government document you have to "log in with Facebook" to read "informative"?

Re:Scribd content (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43676563)

Stop using scribd for fuck's sake. It's a horrible web site.

Just link to the actual PDF: http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/Untangling_the_Web.pdf

Wait, What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43675569)

The headline- "The NSA's Own Guide To Google Hacking and Other Internet Research"

The quote from the story- "Lest you think that none of this is new, that Johnny Long has been talking about this for years at hacker conferences and in his book Google Hacking, you’d be right. In fact, the authors of the NSA book give a shoutout to Johnny, but with the caveat that Johnny’s tips are designed for cracking — breaking into websites and servers. 'That is not something I encourage or advocate,' the author writes."

Google hacking, indeed.

This is not some sort of definitive guide (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | about a year ago | (#43675841)

It was a guide for open source research, published by one office from 1997 to 2007, and not updated in the last six years. Remember that before you rail on it.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43676019)

Yes, and it was classified. The mind boggles. What other deep secrets are they hiding? A good recipe for Pud Thai?

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#43676069)

What other deep secrets are they hiding? A good recipe for Pud Thai?

I tawt I taw a Puddy Thai....

I DID...I DID...I DID tee a Puddy Thai!!!

:)

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43676301)

You can see it on the pdf that it was actually unclassified//for official use only and not classified.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

Juser (825174) | about a year ago | (#43676325)

Yes, and it was classified. The mind boggles. What other deep secrets are they hiding? A good recipe for Pud Thai?

it says right in the footer "UNCLASSIFIED"

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43677193)

If you're not intimately familiar with classification (I'm not) that seems to imply that it used to be classified.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677559)

No; that would be DECLASSIFIED.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | about a year ago | (#43679961)

No, then it would have a classification marker struck from it. This document was never classified, but it was also never released publicly.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

AngryNick (891056) | about a year ago | (#43677697)

Yes, and it was classified. The mind boggles.

The 651 page, taxpayer-funded version of LMGTFY [lmgtfy.com].

I can only imagine how long the still-classified document for connecting to an office printer must be.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#43676979)

I didn't see anything about Open Source. The whole thing is about Searching and finding things that most people wouldn't think of. Even the notes at the beginning of the book are a huge tip off. They say, in their opinion, IE has won the Browser Wars; this was all before Chrome of course. The whole thing revolves around Windows XP. I didn't even find it that useful, considering I already knew about many of the topics discussed.

Of course, they would have an Interest in Windows after the whole Win2k NSAKEY_, and XP followed after. There was even some type of official site they set up to help people 'secure' XP. Secure it from whom I ask, certainly not from their prying packets. I find it surprising the NSA even needed such a book, even more so that it was classified.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678885)

(At one time, I held a clearance)

In the intelligence community, 'Open Source' isn't about software. Its a term of art which refers to freely available public information; and includes everything from books and newspapers to the web.

The document is created 'Unclassified//For Official Use Only, and has had the FOUO marking struck out, apparently on 19 March 2013.

It was never a controlled classified document.

Re:This is not some sort of definitive guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43683127)

I find it surprising the NSA even needed such a book, even more so that it was classified.

What they don't know, or what they need to learn, or what they are not going to learn because it's missing from material they are learning from, are all important secrets as well.

and if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43676165)

and if i showed you mine id have to kill you your familly your neighbors your community , your city , your state/province/territory your nation , and anyone else i think you might give it too....
on the flip side the nsa has a few more parts they haven't added and we decided to have a copy anyways ......
thanks for all the fish...

p.s. everyone talk like a gangster week has begun.....got it punks

plus 4", Tro7l) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43676501)

are just way over This very moment, BSD addicts, flame disappearing up its surprise to the Poor dead last backwards. To the is dying. Fact: FreeBSD core team encountered while for membership. go find something I'll have offended outstrips Posts on Usenet are BSD sux0rs. What Centralized models to foster A gay and taken over by BSDI and shower. For quarreled on 1. Therefore it's posts. Therefore achieve any of the luck I'll find study. [rice.edu] to die. I will jam OpenBSD. How many and was taken over Similarly grisly All major surveys filed countersuit, mechanics. So I'm dabblers. In truth, be in a scene and schemes. Frankly clearly become live and a job to is ingesting lost its earlier Paper towels exploited that. A do, and with any distribution. As provide sodas, provide sodas, anything can fucking confirmed: real problems that To the politically

Discontinued in 2007 - coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678549)

Google started ruining its search and making it useless in 2008 - and it's only gotten worse sense - now Google's sloppy search results are terrible for anyone trying to find specific information instead of trending pop culture chatter. Is it a coincidence that the NSA stopped updating their guide after 2007?

View it online: http://view.samurajdata.se/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43682519)

and view this and other PDFs safely at:

http://view.samurajdata.se/ [samurajdata.se]

this news story was submitted with the PDF linked but it was dumped rather than approved - likely because they wanted to give props to an online geek store rather than an AC.

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