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Fun with Shodan and IOT

Edward KiledjianComment
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Read this related article: Find phishing and malware with a simple search

Search engines have become a favourite starting point for threat actors, so it should also be your starting point. Beyond Google, there are a bunch of specialized search engines that are powerful and scary. This article talks a bit about Shodan. Think of this article as a gentle introduction.

What is shodan

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Shodan is often called the world's most dangerous search engine. Shodan attempts to catalogue metadata about its targets and its targets are often Internet of Things (IOT) devices. Hackers and security researches use Shodan daily to find vulnerable webcams, open traffic light systems, SCADA in manufacturing plants and much more.

I'm going to assume you have a free Shodan account.

Browse the categories

If you visit the Shodan Explore section, you can find all kinds of interesting systems listed.

Unprotected webcam

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For this example, I searched for the Axis 212 webcam which is known to have many vulnerabilities and a known default password.

As an example, the webcam I highlighted seems to be in a daycare facility and isn't even password protected.

I've blurred out the children and teacher.

I've blurred out the children and teacher.

Some are unprotected. Some have kept their default passwords (there are lots of default password lists like this one). Obviously many of these cameras are made by a handful of manufacturers in China and are never updated. Once you find a vulnerability on one model it is often workable on dozens of others.

Routers

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You can search Shodan for common router brands like Belkin, D-Link, Netgear, etc and then try to log in using the default admin passwords. Above is an example of a Linksys router exposed to the internet without a password. Others are exposed with the default password.

Intel AMT Exposed to the internet

There is a major Intel AMT vulnerability but Shodan shows that 4,647 devices with AMT (on July 22) were connected to the internet.

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If you search for "http intel active management" in Shodan, you will get a listing of these devices.

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Other searches you can perform

Netgear device with port 80 open to the internet

Netgear device with port 80 open to the internet

Bitcoin servers

Bitcoin servers

You can even use the Shodan ShipTracker dashboard to track realtime ship

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ShipTracker is harmless on its own, but combined with data available from other sources and the knowledge that many ship systems use default passwords and it is a disaster waiting to happen.

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There is a known vulnerability that allows a threat actor to steal or modify information from a Memcached server. This vulnerability was used to target GitHub with a massive DDoS attack. Not all Memcached servers are vulnerable ( I won't show you how to find the vulnerable ones) but how would you search for Memcached servers on the net? The answer is with a Shodan query.

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Conclusion

Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A true threat intel specialist will be able to automate Shodan queries and then combine them with known vulnerabilities, exploits or default credentials. I am hoping this article created a bit of interest in you to learn more. 

For this article, I only chose examples that were exposed to the internet and were not password protected. Be careful as laws differ around the world. In some countries even testing default passwords could be considered "hacking". 

Snapchat usage grows among teens

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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Pew Research publishes interesting surveys, and they recently shared results about what teens use most. Contrary to public opinion, Snapchat is still king with teens, followed by Youtube. Facebook usage amongst teens is down 71% compared to the 2014-2015 Pew report. 

  • 45% of teens admitted to being online "almost constantly."
  • 24% of teens admitted to being online "several times a day."

Girls are more likely to be "almost constantly" online (50%) compared to boys (39%). 

Provided by Pew Research

Provided by Pew Research

Instagram is still going strong and 72% of teens now use it (up from 52% in 2015). 70% of teens use Snapchat (up from 41% in 2015). 

Most platforms have an equal amount of creation and consumption except Youtube, where the most significant proportion is consumption. 

You will notice that Snapchat and Instagram have higher usage than Facebook. Interestingly you will note:

  • Instagram/Snapchat are designed to post pictures, whereas Facebook supports photos but videos, links, text updates, etc.
  • Instagram/Snapchat are designed to be used on a smartphone, whereas Facebook is multiplatform. This is confirmed when the stats show that 95% of teens have or have access to a smartphone (88% of teens have access to a computer at home).

31% of teens believe social media has a positive impact on their lives while 24% think it has a negative one. 45% believe it has a neutral effect on their lives. 

Cheap clean water from a book

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Living in Canada, I often take clean drinking water for granted. During my many travels to Africa, it became abundantly clear that fresh, clean drinking water was a global problem and I'm happy to see organizations working hard to solve this epidemic. 

A team of university researchers have created the Drinkable Book. The book teaches readers about how to purify water and the actual pages turn into usable water filters capable of removing 99.9% of harmful bacteria (cholera, typhoid, E.Coli, etc).

The best part of the solution is that it costs pennies per page (which is far cheaper than most other options). Each filter is usable for 30 days and therefore a single book can provide this life nourishing clean water for 4 years.

Clench your hand to improve memory

StrategyEdward KiledjianComment
A study published in journal PLOS One indicates that clenching your right hand (aka making a fist) may help improve your memory. Later clenching your left hand will help remember that memory.

"The findings suggest that some simple body movements -- by temporarily changing the way the brain functions -- can improve memory," Ruth Propper, researcher, Montclair State University.

Additional research will have to be conducted to determine if this action can help with other functions.