Launched in 2009, Shodan is more of a prying eye across the world through the IoT rather than just a simple search engine. John Matherly, its creator, named his project after the villainous computer in the video game System Shock. As in present, Shodan is living up to his name. Already designated as ‘world’s scariest search engine’, it is commonly called the hacker search engine.
Shodan shows you what Google doesn’t. Designed with an aim to link all the devices connected to the Internet, it took no time to become a play zone for hackers and experimenters. Shodan works by collecting and stacking HTTP addresses from various devices linked over the Internet across the world. The indexing is done on the basis such as country, OS and brand.
Shodan’s scanning power can be assumed from the fact that it can detect the traffic lights, security cameras, control systems for gas stations, power grids, and even nuclear power plants. Most of these public services use little measures for online security and once exposed to hackers or terrorist organizations, the results could be disastrous.
If you have installed telnet enabled security cameras in your home for “security”, then you might want to put them away. Hackers can breach into your system if your IoT hub is exposed on the Internet using this hacker search engine. It won’t be easy, however, it is not impossible either.
There are a number of devices out there that still run on their default passwords or no passwords at all. Shodan crawls through the Internet for such accessible devices and you are shown 50 of those if you have an account on Shodan. If you could give the website the reason to check these devices with their fees, you would get information of all the devices.
Though, even if you can, we highly recommend you to not misuse Shodan, the hacker search engine.