OSINT. Almost everybody in the infosec sector has heard of it, but many people actually struggle with defining OSINT. Strictly it's just using freely available information. However, that might be. You can find out more about persons if you want. You can look at Shodan to find out some interesting stuff about their network, etc. However, this all seemed like a waste of potential for me. So today, I'm going to write about a rather unusual appliance for OSINT or being explicit Google dorking.
So, it's 2020. In a nutshell, the world is on fire, quite literally for some people. Through all this pain and suffering though societies all around the world are becoming more and more extremist, which in the end only hurts democracies that most of us live in. Even worse, many things are going on behind the scenes that maybe will never make it to the daylight. Governments are just passing laws that can significantly impact people's lives, and nobody is even noticing it. This has to stop.
Just a quick spoiler, my idea and execution are far from perfect, but hopefully, I can inspire some people or be a starting point for something greater. Here goes nothing.
If you live in a relatively democratic country, good news. You can probably do what I'll be showcasing right now. First off, you go to Google (e.g., Google.com). After that, you'll have to research how laws are passed in your country and which parts of the government play a significant role in this. Since I'm not that well-versed in politics outside of my own country (Germany), I'm going to make all of this very centered around Germany's situation. So, here in Germany, the so-called Bundestag and Bundesrat play a significant role considering passing laws.
Luckily the Bundestag has their own website (which is kind of shares with the Bundesrat) and a damn professional one if I may do say so. So, straightforward steps from here on. Again, go to Google.com and put this into the search field:
Now you should be presented with search results only containing links directing to the Bundestag.de website. So far, so unimpressive, but luckily that's not all of it. So-called Google dorks have much more to offer, so now type into the search field of Google:
Way better and more interesting already, isn't it? Fantastic, now we have a variety of PDFs shown to us, which are hosted on Bundestag.de. Still, it's all pretty messy if you ask me. In the next step, we'll make the results even more precise. Now we're gonna add another "advanced operator" to the search. Be prepared to type into the search field:
site:bundestag ext:pdf intitle:Drucksache
Now, this is quite something: if you want, you could even click the button on the far right under the search field, which says search filter and set the time room to 1 week, maybe 1 month. Whatever you like.
Of course, you could take this much further, by, for example, adding the "intext" operator and the name of a political party, a politician, etc. You get the point. Also, you could just exclusively scrape "dip21.bundestag.de" or, for that matter, "dipbt.bundestag.de" which both basically are the same, except they look a bit different. These websites lead you to the documentation and information system of the Bundestag and Bundesrat, where all the juicy and exciting things (Documents) are stored and protocoled. As far as I'm aware, all of the documents stored as PDFs as well, lucky me.
So, now that you've read this article and gone through these steps with me, congratulations. You just learned another appliance of OSINT and how it can be used. However, your journey and mine don't end here. Get creative, because that's one of the best things you can do along with voting. In that sense, go vote and use your voice wisely. Cheers!