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What is Shodan and How to Use it for Finding Vulnerable Devices?

When we work, we will not have any specific target in mind, but we look for vulnerablility where you will get the easy-to-hack mark. It would have been great when we get a search engine similar to Google ,which can help us to find the solution. This is the reason we have Shodan.

What is Shodan Used for?

This is a search engine software like Google and this only works with the internet-connected device. Shodan can find anything when it is connected to the internet. If any chance internet is not protected Shodan tells hackers that there are something that is breaking the network.
The hackers do not design Shodan and they does not use it. This is mainly to get used by cybersecurity experts who help to protect individuals, public utilities, enterprises, and much more.
Whenever you search for anything in Shodan it will make you see if there is anything publicly available. But you need to understand that searching for something in Shodan is complicated compare to google search.

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What is Shodan and How to Use it?

Since most of the new device has a web interface, it can ease the remote management where we can access the innumerable web-enabled servers. We also have access of the home security systems, network devices, etc.

Shodan easily fine the public through webcams, video projectors, traffic signals, home heating systems, routers, and other SCADA systems. Anything within the web interface Shodan can find it easily.

Here you will get the step by step procedure to find vulnerable devices; those are below

Create a Shodan Account- First, you need start by navigating shodan’s official site and you will get greet by opening a screen as below. Before you start work, you need to register by using its feature, if you want the advanced feature then you need to get paid for it.

Search on Shodan- As soon as we register, we can do the custom search, or do the “search directory.” After that, you can see if you have any standard recent searches. Are you trying something new in Shodan then we recommend that you browse first the “Popular Search”.

Find Unprotected Webcams- By using this, user will find Shodan are innumerable and unprotected webcams. For example, down picture you can see there is an airplane hangar in the Norway. You can notice that there is a java control with a pan, which you can use in the form of web, and you can scan and zoom that portion.

Find Traffic Lights- There are many devices you can find on Shodan and you will get those devices the entire article. The most intriguing thing you can see is the traffic signal and all the cameras will monitor the traffic. Everyone is not using the traffic signal camera but few states start with recording with the licenced plate number. They will send you the ticket to detect the speed of running the red light.

Find Routers- Shodan has catalogs that are in thousands, and most of them are unprotected. You will get here the screenshot of the logged one, which includes an administrator account with “admin”.

If anyone has the malicious intention they can change the setting including password, and others wreaked havoc. Usually, these type of device is inferior for  unsuspecting users.

Find SCADA System- The most damaging uses of the Shodan is to find SCADA, which includes supervisory control and data acquisition. These are the devices of the web interface. SCADA is a device that control few things like water plants, electrical grid, nuclear power plants, and water treatment plants.

This SCADA device mainly targets cyber-terrorism, which includes two combatants who disable the other’s infrastructure. As soon as one combatant gets disable the other two start working that including the electrical grid, water plants, and power. It will not take a long time for their adversary to other knees.

When you do the custom search, it will take you to the IP address of a hydroelectric plant. After you click on the link, you will get the login screen of the plant control system.

Find the default passwords- There are many sites whose interfaces uses the default passwords. But for this software, there are many resources where you can get the list of default passwords for all kinds of device; You can quickly go to the online site and collect it from there. There are hundreds of places on the web where you can search for the default password.

Most consumers and system administrators are very careless who do not change the default password untill they gain access for the device. So down you will get the default password list which includes default user id and password.

Is the Shodan legal?

Many people ask this is very important question because it works as a ‘massive port scanner’ that simply exposes the vulnerable devices, which means it uses the actual information that had discoverd. Well, the question-answer is yes, it’s legal. Port scanning is not a violation of the Abuse Act. The reason is, it does not meet the requirement whenever anything is damage concerns. Users also needs to check the availability of the integrity devices.

Should you panic about Shodan?

Most of the users do not take much tension about applications like Facebook, Google and other similar type browsers. Google is a live example who knows more than anybody. Shodan search is also works in the same way, but in this, it becomes difficult to protect yourself.

Devices always use the default configuration, which is the golden chance for cyber criminals while using Shodan or any other software. Very easily, they can sniff the insecure device configuration, and your valuable information will be at risk. It is not that Shodan is scary. There is a Google dork where SQL search queries are available, and you can get the data from the website’s index. This was developed in 2009 before Shodan has introduced to the market. Most of the queries will be “to find the vulnerable information for your website, “This document is considered as a sensitive data”.   

When you start with Shodan it is a fully knowledge-based comprehensive thing, and this will be very useful to learn to use the engine effectively so that you can protect yourself.


Shodan is entirely free to explore. Developers need the real-time data stream where you can get the shebang too. Shodan always gives the value of organization visibility with the external posture. Whenever any security debt comes, Shodan allows seeing that problem clearly, how much ever things are not in control.

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