5 Ways Shodan Could Actually Make the World a Safer Place


For all of you that thought that Google was the ultimate search engine, enter Shodan, the search engine that can connect you with any device connected to the Internet. This includes anything from door locks to cameras all the way to heating and cooling systems of both residential and commercial buildings. While this seems like quite a security risk, Shodan could also prove to be a vital ally to the many worthwhile causes, namely law enforcement and private home security.

1. Monitor Your House While Out of Town


 Image via Flickr by Gerry Szymanski

Shodan, with its ability to monitor camera systems and home security devices, could be tantamount to having your own home security system without the monthly costs incurred by traditional companies such as Brink or ADT. With a high speed connection, you can easily monitor any device connected to the internet. This includes cameras, automatic locks, garage doors, and more. So, the next time you are out of town, you can be your own security monitor, and if something catastrophic happens, you’ll have evidence to give to the proper authorities.

2. Setting Up Stings

With Shodan, monitoring certain IP addresses becomes much easier. If law enforcement could harness the ability to their advantage, Shodan could keep them actively engaged in the activities of ex-convicts. This includes the opportunity to watch those that could be potentially dangerous, i.e. sex offenders, drug dealers, violent criminals, etc. By tapping into their computers and other wireless devices, authorities could be one step ahead of offenders to catch them in the act or set up potential stings.

3. Nuclear Power Plant Monitoring

Power plants, especially nuclear facilities, are always at some risk of a catastrophic occurrence. Three Mile Island, for example, was a nuclear meltdown that with the proper channels of surveillance could have been avoided. With Shodan, a safety inspector could access cooling systems, backup systems, and other equipment from anywhere in the world to avert disaster. By giving access to these systems, a technician can sidestep having to be there in person. While this activity would have to be closely regulated, it could prevent the next Chernobyl.

4. Preventing the Next School Massacre

It seems as though only short periods of time lapse between school shootings. While predicting the prevalence of these events appears daunting, many shooters use the internet as their medium for venting their anger. If using Shodan can sift through blogs and other websites looking for keywords, such as bomb, death, murder, etc., it could be the perfect medium to search for these people who are looking to harm others. Imagine a world where the next deadly shooting can be stopped before it happens. Parents, students, and teachers alike would never have to fear an attack, and valuable schooling wouldn’t be squandered to run through the latest intruder alerts.

5. Serving as a Deterrent

Crime and punishment has been around since the dawn of man. So, why not use Shodan to keep the criminal and untrustworthy in line? If potential felons learned that any camera system, be it commercial, residential, or governmental, could be monitored from anywhere in the world, perhaps it would deter them from committing crimes. Anyone that has the audacity to vandalize something even though they are being watched belong behind bars anyways.

Shodan provides people on the internet with a way to “hack” into almost any mechanism or device connected to the internet in the entire world. While this seems like quite a scary idea, with the proper regulation, Shodan could be the best crime stopper the world has ever known. The only question that remains: Who’s watching those watching us?


Author Bio:
Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer based out of Tampa, Florida. He enjoys writing on whatever issues life may throw his way, long walks on the beach, bass fishing, and coaching youth baseball. Find him on Twitter, @joey_fort.

5 Ways Shodan Could Actually Make the World a Safer Place
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