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Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 19:12:53 -0800
From: Swair Mehta <>
To: Gynvael Coldwind <>
Cc: "" <>
Subject: Re: Google's robots.txt handling

Coldwind is right, u r talking about security through obscurity.

If u tell a pentester that u r using joomla and php together, he/she
will try <yourwebsite>.com/administrator
 Since if u r ignorant and havent blocked access to it, your joomla
access page will show up and hydra/brutus will be able to take over
from there.

On 10-Dec-2012, at 3:35 PM, Gynvael Coldwind <> wrote:

> Hey,
>>> Here is an example:
>>> An admin has a public webservice running with folders containing
>>> sensitive informations. Enter these folders in his robots.txt and
>>> "protect" them from the indexing process of spiders. As he doesn't
>>> want the /admin/ gui to appear in the search results he also puts his
>>> /admin in the robots text and finaly makes a backup to the folder
>>> /backup.
> If no one would know about a folder, why would one add it to
> robots.txt in the first place?
> But that's missing the point anyway - robots.txt is not a security mechanism.
> If someone uses robots.txt as the only and last line of defense he
> plainly doesn't understand what he's doing (especially that it's one
> of the first files both pentesters & attackers look at).
> If someone has an /admin/ site (which is a really easily guessable
> name, checked by every web directory scanner out there) he cannot rely
> on concealment*, but on proper user authentication using mechanisms
> designed for such purpose (e.g. requiring a password).
> (* for historical reasons there is a Polish IT term for such attempts
> - "deep hiding", there's even a wiki page on that -
>> I'm wondering if, in perhaps .htaccess, one could allow ONLY site
>> crawlers access to the robots.txt file.  Then add robots.txt to
>> robots.txt...would this mitigate some of the risk?
> 1. It's still missing the point.
> 2. No, it wouldn't work in case of scanners that try to impersonate robots.
> --
> gynvael.coldwind//vx
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