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So, suppose a person accidentally typed their complex encryption password into Google search. They weren't logged in to any Google services so the search was anonymous, and they continued to use this password afterwards. What I am curious about is, suppose at a much later point LEA was to seize hard drives of a suspect and attempt to do a brute force attack on their devices, is it feasible to assume that they could have access to a Google database containing every search term ever entered, from all over the world? And if they do, how realistic would it be to feed such a database into a brute forcer with the aim of cracking, say, a Veracrypt volume?

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  • Welcome to the community. We can't possibly know all of this, since it involves multiple parties/layers, but it probably isn't completely unrealistic. Best we can do is name a case where something similar was used, but I'm personally unaware of such of a case, probably because it's either top secret (which would eventually be declassified/ leaked by whistleblowers) or because it actually doesn't happen Sep 17 at 16:49

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... LEA ... is it feasible to assume that they could have access to a Google database containing every search term ever entered, from all over the world?

Google probably collects this information over some time and they might be obligated by law to share selected information when ordered so. I don't think that this includes all search data ever collected though. But what LEA can actually get from what is available is a purely legal question - check Law Stackexchage for this. And if this ever happened - I cannot remember any public information about it, so probably it did not happen or they do not want or are not allowed to tell anybody.

how realistic would it be to feed such a database into a brute forcer with the aim of cracking, say, a Veracrypt volume?

More realistic than trying every possible combination in any case. And it could be improved by ordering the search terms: some which clearly look like a valid search term (often used by others, lots of hits) can be put at the end while the more rare terms (rarely used, only by few users, few hits) could be tried at the beginning. Or with some KI model it could be determined which terms are more likely for a specific user based on what is known about this user.

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