NSA releases how-to guide for Internet espionage

Want to surf like a spy?

On May 7, the nation’s top spy agency released a guide to “Internet Research,” essentially a how-to book for its agents looking to get the most out of Google, Yahoo and other Web search tools.

The guidebook, which was stamped “For Official Use Only” until it was declassified on Tuesday following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, offers a wealth of tips for the spy in training, noted Wired, which first discovered the newly posted document.

“Misconfigured web servers ‘that list the contents of directories not intended to be on the web often offer a rich load of information to Google hackers,’ the authors write, then offer a command to exploit these vulnerabilities — intitle: ‘index of’ site:kr password,” wrote Wired’s Kim Zetter.

The guidebook also offers suggestions on how to find spreadsheets full of passwords in Russia: Type “filetype:xls site:ru login.” Even on websites written in non-English languages the terms “login,” “userid,” and “password” are generally written in English, the authors helpfully point out.

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The 643-page tome, called Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research, was last updated in 2007, so the search engine advice it offers is often outdated.

Makes you wonder what the newest edition contains.