[Owasp-board] [Owasp-leaders] [Owasp-google-hacking] [GPC] OWASP "GoogleHacking" Project - Status - June 2010

Jeff Williams jeff.williams at owasp.org
Tue Jul 6 21:47:33 UTC 2010

I think we should make it clear that there is a process for handling this
kind of controversy at OWASP.  These things are bound to crop up from time
to time, and we can limit the amount of damage done by following a fair and
balanced process led by impartial parties.  The inquiry process will
generate a set of recommendations which can then be implemented by the


Dinis, since you've taken on this particular one - can you send out a
message to the list reiterating the process (and linking - where is the
writeup of the process)?  That way everyone will know it is being handled.
I think it's fair to say that this particular project has had its status
changed pending the outcome of the inquiry.







From: owasp-board-bounces at lists.owasp.org
[mailto:owasp-board-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of Eoin
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 5:10 PM
To: dinis cruz
Cc: OWASP Foundation Board List
Subject: Re: [Owasp-board] [Owasp-leaders] [Owasp-google-hacking] [GPC]
OWASP "GoogleHacking" Project - Status - June 2010


[i have removed the "audience" from this email,something Dinis, you should
of done]


Question: To what end shall this inquiry serve?

As i mentioned before we now have a Global Projects Committee to assure
appropriate projects are branded OWASP projects and receive support from the


Question: The project is closed, what negative impact has this fiasco had on


Question: Shall prolonging this issue continue to negatively impact owasp?


Question: What do other board members think?






On 6 July 2010 17:44, dinis cruz <dinis.cruz at owasp.org> wrote:

Sorry, but we can't put this one to bed,


There has been too many questions and worries raised about this project
which need to be addressed.


The mistakes that have been made need to be documented so that we can learn
its lessons and don't repeat them in the future.


To see what will happen next please refer to one of my last emails were I
explain that we are going to do an 'OWASP Inquiry' into this issue and
explain its scope (for example we are starting with the assumption that
Chistian is an innocent party) 

Dinis Cruz

On 6 Jul 2010, at 16:05, Eoin <eoin.keary at owasp.org> wrote:

Indeed Arshan, Totally agree.


Community, can we put this to bed and move on. This industry is full of
empty vessels trying to take advantage as we all know.

In future the GPC should be able to prevent such silliness in terms of what
can become an OWASP branded solution and what is snake oil.




On 6 July 2010 15:53, Arshan Dabirsiaghi
<arshan.dabirsiaghi at aspectsecurity.com> wrote:

I just confirmed that this is the same "Google Hacking" talk that I saw
delivered in NYC, and I have to say it was pretty hilariously bad. Now, I
normally wouldn't be so rude about it, but this thread has shown how heavily
it was/is being promoted.

It's a 150-line Perl script, and mostly comments. You compare it to
something SensePost did, but SensePost isn't going to conferences promoting
their little Perl script, it's just sitting on their website, quietly. At
conferences they publish original, awesome research.

We want to encourage people to work on OWASP projects and contribute to the
community, but to be honest there isn't nearly enough here to be a
"project". It doesn't pass the "sniff test", nor any real assessment
criteria, I'm sure.

What's worse is I don't think there's any way you couldn't know that. And
that means you're taking advantage of the platform OWASP works so hard to
give people.

Maybe we can look forward to more substantial contribution from you in the
future, but I think it's best that this whole project be forgotten and both
parties walk away from each other.


-----Original Message-----
From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org
[mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of Christian
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 12:41 AM
To: dinis cruz
Cc: Steven Steggles; Brad Empeigne; owasp-google-hacking at lists.owasp.org;
owasp-leaders at lists.owasp.org; Global Projects Committee
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] [Owasp-google-hacking] [GPC] OWASP
"GoogleHacking" Project - Status - June 2010


TCP Input Text et al is *not* within the scope of the OWASP Google
Hacking Project and neither were they represented as such. Rather the
scope is

should be used the benchmark based on the endorsement by this same
troll i.e. http://twitter.com/TownyRoberto/status/17405662031

The identity of this troll *must* be established in light of their
refusal i.e.
to mitigate the possible damage to "Steven Steggles" of
http://whois.domaintools.com/lifebetweenscreens.com i.e. their e-mail
addresses are different.  It is believed that "Brad" and "George" are
also the same troll as the source code has only been downloaded once.

Please keep in mind that this "complaint" from the troll is intended
to divert resources from the investigation of the spoofed e-mails sent
to the Mailing List of the OWASP Chapter in Melbourne, Australia i.e.
and https://lists.owasp.org/pipermail/owasp-australia/2010-June/000288.html

On Sun, Jul 4, 2010 at 7:11 PM, dinis cruz <dinis.cruz at owasp.org> wrote:
> Hi Brad and others that have raise concerns about this project (note that
> the original email was also sent to the owasp-google-hacking list, so I'm
> CCing this to a number of other owasp lists).
> First of all , thanks for sharing your concerns about this project and I
> want to assure you that we at OWASP Board and Projects Committee are
> this issue very seriously.
> Due to the nature of OWASP and in its spirit of openess we trust that our
> project leaders are working hard on their projects and delivering value to
> their project's community.
> Given the sheer number of OWASP Projects and the fact that we (at OWASPs
> Global Projects Committee) have not yet completed the upgrade of all OWASP
> Projects into the new Project Assessment Criteria V2.0 (+ new Project Wiki
> Template), we have not been able to spend as much time as we should on
> reviewing OWASP projects and ensuring that they are: still alive, need
> review/help, make sense, etc...
> The OWASP Google Hacking project has been on the radar of OWASP's Board
> GPC for a while (with a number of emails going back one year), BUT somehow
> (mainly due to lack of time) we never followed it up.
> That said now, due to the level of complains that we have received and the
> need that we have at OWASP to create a process to deal with this type of
> situations, we are going to take a good look at this and find a solution
> it.
> A couple days ago, i meet Christian at the HITB conference in Amsterdam
> we spent a couple hours going over the history of this project and what
> should happen next.
> Here is the status:
> The OWASP Google Hacking project is going to be marked as 'Inactive' (with
> very clear indication that this is not an active OWASP project), there
> be no more public presentations about this project, and there is also the
> possibililty that we might delete this project (depending on what happens
> with the Inquiry that I'm going to present below)
> I have made a number of notes about the history of this project which I
> document soon
> In order to address the issues raised, we are going to run an OWASP
> into this issue with the objective to address the issue of '...does the
> OWASP Google Hacking Project deliverables match the expectations that the
> OWASP community have for projects that are presented in the way this
> was..." (note that we have already an history at OWASP to run 'formal'
> inquiries for issues/concerns raised by our community (see for example
> http://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Investigation_-_AppSec_Brazil_2009 )
> Christian has also raised a number of concerns over how several Australian
> Chapters have been run, and that will be addressed by a separate OWASP
> Inquiry lead by the OWASP Chapters Committee.
> Note that we are starting this process from the point of view that
> is an inocent party (i.e. not guilty of the accusations made until proven
> so). It is important to note that the focus of the inquiry will be on the
> technical merit of what was created for this project (and will stay away
> from any personallity clashes that might/do exist between members of the
> OWASP community). For example, one of the first steps will be to create an
> independent technical analysis of what was delivered, so that we are able
> establish the extent of this project's contribution to OWASP and the
> WebAppSec world.
> Once we figure out the operational details of how this OWASP Inquiry (into
> the OWASP Google Hacking Project) will work, we will be contacting the
> Community (starting with the one that have raised their concerns) for  'on
> the record' comments about this issue. After all data is collected and
> analyzed, an independent group of OWASP Leaders will review it and provide
> recomendations (just like what happened in the Brazil's case)
> A final point I would like to make, is that from an OWASP Projects point
> view, this is a very important case, since we really need to have better
> guidelines on what we technically expect from OWASP Projects and its
> Hopefully, we will be able to use this case to further consolidate OWASP's
> projects focus, quality and credibility
> Dinis Cruz
> OWASP Board Member
> On 4 July 2010 04:38, Brad Empeigne <brad.empeigne at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all, I had a look at the source code after reading the below email
>> and thought since it was finally public i could see what all the fuss
>> is about.
>> As someone who is comfortable with Perl i must admit that I'm
>> surprised by how basic this code is and it does look rather
>> amateurish. Not only that but the general concept of the code is
>> simple too since it appears to just be a google cache search and not
>> much more? To be frank it looks like a couple of hours of work and it
>> maybe belongs as some example code referenced on a wiki page after
>> being tidied up, but thats about it. i am sorry to say that it is far
>> from worthy of being presented at multiple international conferences
>> and the publicity this has received is not warranted. I hope OWASP has
>> not funded this project and Christian used his own expenses to present
>> around the world?
>> I share Stevens general sentiment that something is not quite right
>> with this entire situation and in the future i believe OWASP need to
>> do better QA on projects and keep a closer eye on project leaders.
>> What has happened here does in fact reflect very poorly on OWASP. Good
>> luck and best regards.
>> -- Brad
>> On Sat, Jul 3, 2010 at 12:19 PM, Steven Steggles
>> <steven.steggles at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Dear OWASP,
>> >
>> > The source code that has been released is a single Perl script of 250
>> > lines,
>> > most of the code being comments. The code appears to do nothing besides
>> > providing a command line interface to perform a Google cache query. Am
>> > to
>> > believe that this is the sum total of the famous Google Hacking
>> > From what I understand of Christian's claims at various conferences
>> > across
>> > the world, the following source code is still missing:
>> >
>> > 1. "Speak English or Die" Google Translate Workaround.
>> > 2. Google SOAP Search API "Key Ring" Workaround.
>> > 3. "TCP Input Text" Proof of Concept (PoC) which implements the Google
>> > SOAP
>> > Search API to extract TCP Ports from Google Search Results as input for
>> > nmap
>> > and netcat.
>> >
>> > Christian claimed to have released this source code at Ruxcon in
>> > November
>> > 2008....
>> >
>> > It appears as though OWASP has chosen to not address this issue
>> > correctly
>> > and bury its head in the sand.Perhaps in the naive hope that this
>> > problem
>> > will quietly go away. What a disgrace! The OWASP Google Hacking project
>> > appears to have been solely created as a vehicle for Christian's own
>> > self
>> > promotion! I am ashamed to be associated with such an organization that
>> > turns a blind eye to this highly inappropriate behavior. What a
>> > disgrace!
>> >
>> > I expect that you will moderate this message but I feel that the wider
>> > security community should be made aware of this sham and lack of action
>> > on
>> > OWASP's part.
>> >
>> >
>> > Very disappointed,
>> > Steven

Christian Heinrich - http://www.owasp.org/index.php/user:cmlh
OWASP "Google Hacking" Project Lead - http://sn.im/owasp_google_hacking
OWASP-Leaders mailing list
OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org
OWASP-Leaders mailing list
OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org

Eoin Keary
OWASP Global Board Member
OWASP Code Review Guide Lead Author

Sent from my i-Transmogrifier

Eoin Keary
OWASP Global Board Member
OWASP Code Review Guide Lead Author

Sent from my i-Transmogrifier

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