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Fw: Google Search and Gmail Correlation
From: Colin.Scott () csplc com
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 09:28:01 +0000


A little OT but I was pondering the other day about something.

Remember the Axis network camera "inurl" search that exposed internet
facing LAN cameras? Well I noticed that lots of those cameras are
configured on high ports. 7000 for example. Now, I wondered how Google gets
those cameras into its cache. Ok so there may be a web facing link
_somewhere_ that references the URL... but when you search there are
hundreds of these cameras in Google's cache. Now are Google going to tell
us that they got there merely from web links? Is Google doing port scans
when it finds an IP? Probably not.... So how about the Googlebar secretly
updating Google's cache when we use these things?

Just a ponder, please dont flame me if its been covered before, I havent
got my flame-proof trousers on today!  :)

Cheers,

Colin.






                                                                                        "Ádám Szilveszter               
                              
             dr."                                                                       <adam () nhh hu>                
                              To              Sent by:                  full-disclosure () lists netsys com             
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                                     ys.com                                                Subject                      
                  Re: [Full-Disclosure] Google Search                                        and Gmail Correlation      
                      24/02/2005 12:12                                                                                  
                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                        
                                      !
                                                              



Hello Cody,

I think that what you are observing is this: the cookie you get when
visiting your gmail account is valid for the whole google.com domain, and
therefore will be transferred again when you do web searches as well.

As you write, this is not a bug per se, the cookie mechanism is working as
expected.

It is also obvious that such an approach may raise privacy concerns.

Now, *if* google wanted to mitigate this problem, it would be easy. They
should migrate the gmail service web frontend to a subdomain (say:
gmail.google.com) or even a whole new domain (gmail.com exists already but
www.gmail.com merely redirects) and make the cookie only valid in that
domain/subdomain.

The questions is, do they want to do this?

And yes, for now, if you are privacy conscious, delete the cookie before
doing a Google search (or using any other Google service).

Regards:

Szilveszter Adam
Budapest
Hungary
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