Globbing is using wildcard characters (asterisks and question marks) to request or evaluate sets of files with the same partial sets of characters. Globbing allows users to expand a search for non-specific file names. The two most common forms of globbing are using a question mark to represent a specific unnamed character in the file and using an asterisk to look for a continuous string of characters. Globbing can be used to search for file content or match filenames.
- Asterisk (*): matches any characters in a filename.
- Question mark (?): matches a single character in a filename.
- A user may type an asterisk (*) to search for all files in the current directory.
- Typing “*.html” to search for all files ending in “.html.”
- Typing “*notes*” to search for all files containing “notes” in their name.
- Typing “../*” to find all files in the parent directory.
- Typing “some?file” to bring up all files, starting with “some” and ending with “file,” with one character in between the two words.
- Typing “*wise*” will find all files with the word “wise” in their name.
Globbing in hacking
Hackers may use globbing for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Because globbing can require many server resources to look for several different files, creating vague globbing commands can deplete server resources.,