Search engine for Internet-connected devices.
Web search engines, such as Google and Bing, are great for finding websites. But what if you're interested in measuring which countries are becoming more connected? Or if you want to know which version of Microsoft IIS is the most popular? Or you want to find the control servers for malware? Maybe a new vulnerability came out and you want to see how many hosts it could affect? Traditional web search engines don't let you answer those questions.
Shodan gathers information about all devices directly connected to the Internet. If a device is directly hooked up to the Internet then Shodan queries it for various publicly-available information. The types of devices that are indexed can vary tremendously: ranging from small desktops up to nuclear power plants and everything in between.
So what does Shodan index then? The bulk of the data is taken from banners, which are metadata about a software that's running on a device. This can be information about the server software, what options the service supports, a welcome message or anything else that the client would like to know before interacting with the server.
The information gained from these services is applied to many areas:
- Network Security: keep an eye on all devices at your company that are facing the Internet
- Market Research: find out which products people are using in the real-world
- Cyber Risk: include the online exposure of your vendors as a risk metric
- Internet of Things: track the growing usage of smart devices
- Tracking Ransomware: measure how many devices have been impacted by ransomware
As you can tell the use cases for the data are varied. We provide the platform that ensures accurate, consistent and up-to-date information on Internet-facing devices - it's up to you to decide what type of information you're most interested in.