Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?

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9780321518668: Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?

What Does Google Know about You? And Who Are They Telling?

 

When you use Google’s “free” services, you pay, big time–with personal information about yourself. Google is making a fortune on what it knows about you...and you may be shocked by just how much Google does know. Googling Security is the first book to reveal how Google’s vast information stockpiles could be used against you or your business–and what you can do to protect yourself.

 

Unlike other books on Google hacking, this book covers information you disclose when using all of Google’s top applications, not just what savvy users can retrieve via Google’s search results. West Point computer science professor Greg Conti reveals the privacy implications of Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Groups, Google Alerts, Google’s new mobile applications, and more. Drawing on his own advanced security research, Conti shows how Google’s databases can be used by others with bad intent, even if Google succeeds in its pledge of “don’t be evil.”

 

  • Uncover the trail of informational “bread crumbs” you leave when you use Google search
  • How Gmail could be used to track your personal network of friends, family, and acquaintances
  • How Google’s map and location tools could disclose the locations of your home, employer, family and friends, travel plans, and intentions
  • How the information stockpiles of Google and other online companies may be spilled, lost, taken, shared, or subpoenaed and later used for identity theft or even blackmail
  • How the Google AdSense and DoubleClick advertising services could track you around the Web
  • How to systematically reduce the personal information you expose or give away

 

This book is a wake-up call and a “how-to” self-defense manual: an indispensable resource for everyone, from private citizens to security professionals, who relies on Google.

 

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

About the Author xxi

 

Chapter 1: Googling 1

Chapter 2: Information Flows and Leakage 31

Chapter 3: Footprints, Fingerprints, and Connections 59

Chapter 4: Search 97

Chapter 5: Communications 139

Chapter 6: Mapping, Directions, and Imagery 177

Chapter 7: Advertising and Embedded Content 205

Chapter 8: Googlebot 239

Chapter 9: Countermeasures 259

Chapter 10: Conclusions and a Look to the Future 299

 

Index 317

 

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About the Author:

Greg Conti is an assistant professor of computer science at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. His research includes security data visualization, usable security, information warfare, and web-based information disclosure. He is the author of Security Data Visualization (No Starch Press, 2007) and has been featured in IEEE Security & Privacy magazine, Communications of the ACM, and IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications magazine. He has spoken at a wide range of academic and hacker conferences, including Black Hat, DEFCON, and the Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security (VizSEC). Conti runs the open source security visualization project RUMINT. His work can be found at www.gregconti.com/ and www.rumint.org/.

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