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.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2005 @ 4:52pm

    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.
    Duh.
    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      someone247356, 16 Mar 2005 @ 9:52am

      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)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nonuser, 16 Mar 2005 @ 3:50am

    but if you try this...

    Harvard won't let you into their business school.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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