Seeing Others' Computers With Google Desktop Search
from the bug...-or-feature? dept
Someone who prefers to remain anonymous writes “You can search the hard drives of other computers on your network with Google’s new desktop search. I followed the instructions on the site and I was able to search through my roommate’s computer. Quite a scary bug in one of Google’s fastest growing programs.” The question, though, is whether this is a bug or an undocumented feature? While it is a bit worrisome if there are unknown users on your network, in a case where you control the network, it would be very useful to have the simple ability to Google search across other computers on the network from a single machine. In the meantime, this hack doesn’t work on machines that have a firewall, and if you don’t have a firewall, you’re already asking for trouble. Anyway, it’s likely that Google will fix this soon and, bug or feature, it will be a thing of the past.
Comments on “Seeing Others' Computers With Google Desktop Search”
Not an attack
The original post is extremely poorly worded. (Follow the attributions to understand what’s being done where). This “attack” requires you to install software on the target machine, then run Google Desktop Search on the target machine, and now you can “attack” the target remotely.
If I can install software on your computer, all bets are off. Google has done nothing wrong here, and in fact, they’ve done a reasonably good job of preventing remote exploitation of GDS.
Re: Not an attack
Um, actually it’s simpler than that. Normally if you wanted to install some type of backdoor you would have to figure out a way to do just that. Virus, Trojan, etc.
Odds are plenty of people will install it on their own. Removes that tricky first step.
just my $0.02 (Canadian, before taxes)
but if you try this...
Harvard won’t let you into their business school.