Shodan is a project created by security expert John Matherly, who has defined it as “the most terrifying search engine in the world”. Its name comes from the type of evil artificial intelligence of the legendary video game System Shock.
We live in a world where, with increasing incidence, physical devices and electronic systems are increasingly connected to each other due to the expansion of the Internet of Things, a complex network that allows data exchange. These disruptive technological advances have permeated every aspect of contemporary life, facilitating and monitoring numerous daily tasks related to transportation, health, home, welfare or industry.
In addition to the multiple applications that the Internet of Things has for all sectors of life in general, there are also certain security issues related to its appearance. The context of deep web –or the “invisible” part of the Internet up to 45 times higher to the information indexed by Google and the rest of the search engines – conventional – it is dangerous terrain where you can locate any device.
Within this deep web, Shodan is a search engine for HTTP addresses connected to the Internet, most of which do not appear in Google searches or the like. It can be defined as an Internet of Things search engine, since it is capable of locate refrigerators, alarms, security cameras, webcams, wearables, and any other connected device.
Shodan’s bases, the preferred search engine of hackers
Shodan is a search engine born in 2009 whose operation is similar to Google, although here the similarities end. Instead of indexing web content through ports 80 (HTTP) or 443 (HTTPS) as Google does, hodan crawls the web looking for devices that respond to another series of ports, including: 21 (FTP), 22 (SSH), 23 (Telnet), 25 (SMTP), 80, 443, 3389 (RDP) and 5900 (VNC).
Shodan can discover and index virtually any device, among a wide range that includes webcams, road signs, routers, firewalls, closed circuit television systems, industrial control systems for nuclear power plants, electrical networks, domestic appliances and much more.
The most dangerous and negative part of this detection is that all these devices are connected to the Internet. without their owners being aware of the dangers and risks at the safety level, and therefore, without the application of basic protective measures such as username or a strong and robust password.
User safety especially wobbles on webcams, since they can capture images of all kinds around the addresses, personal information or faces of minors.
Search in Shodan through filters
Free accounts in Shodan allow you to search through the following filters:
- Country: Allows you to encapsulate the search reducing it to a specific country.
- City: Filter by city.
- Port: Permits each search depending on the open port or the service that is running,
- Net: To search for a specific IP or IP ranges.
- Hostname: This filter is used for searches related to the text that we indicate in the hostname part.
- YOU: Depending on the operating system.
In 2012, a security researcher named Dan Tentler demonstrated how he was able to use Shodan to find control systems for machines, pressurized water heaters, and even garage doors.
Was also able to find a hydroelectric plant in France, a car wash that could be turned on and off remotely and a hockey rink in Denmark It could have been defrosted at the click of a button. He even found all the straffic control system of a city connected to the network, which could have been interrupted with the use of certain commands.
The existence of projects like Shodan leads us to reflect as consumers and to implement new security mechanisms and measures about our wearables, gadgets and other smart products and devices.