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Security concerns over connected devices mask the greater threat

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The popular and sometimes controversial Shodan search engine made some changes recently that drew attention mostly of the latter variety. If you are not familiar with Shodan, it is the self-proclaimed “first search engine for Internet-connected devices” providing information about the connectedness of everything from refrigerators to power plants.

The new capability at Shodan that drew such wide attention was the creation of a section enabling subscribers to search for webcams streaming video openly over port 554 with no authentication. The new-found availability of snapshots from cameras in a variety of public and in some cases, all too private locations, has kicked up a new cloud of dust (and wave of concern) around the security and associated privacy issues introduced by the Internet of Things (IoT).

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