Monday, October 13, 2014

Shodan, the "other" search engine to find "things"

Here’s something to know about: “Shodan” (inspired by the game “System Shock”), the “search engine for the Internet of things” – somehow connected to a housecat in a popular TV ad.  Rather than websites, it searches for Internet connected devices – routers, televisions, refrigerators, home thermostats, security systems, especially those with weak passwords.  The basic domain is here. Yes, it can find power plants, which really should be walled off from the public Internet, but we’ve known since 2002 how exposed they are.  It does NOT find ordinary websites, so I don’t know if it is part of the “deeper Internet” in reputation management. (The "io" TLD refers to British Indian Ocean Territory.) 
CNN Money calls Shodan “the scariest search engine on the Internet”, link here. No, I don't have any appliances hooked up to the Internet.  Obviously, it makes it easy for the NSA to monitor anyone's TV viewing habits -- for anyone with Internet TV. 

The site was launched in 2009 by John Matherly.   Despite the hype, law enforcement and the US military and homeland security use it for investigation all the time.  

(For major story on Snapchat, see Oct. 11 on COPA blog; more to come.) 

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