Search Engine Allows Users to Find, Spy on Unsecured Webcams


Shodan, an account-based search engine, has revealed a new feature for members to search through unprotected webcams and spy on people around the world.

The search engine’s new feature reportedly crawls the internet looking for IP addresses with open ports, and then taps into the video feed for paying members to look at. Though the new feature is for paying members of the search engine only, many users have found a way to easily access the feature for free.

Webcam feeds are often just vulnerable family home computers, staring into vacant rooms or people’s faces, but some have reported finding marijuana plantations, baby monitoring camera equipment staring at sleeping children, and school computer webcams among the list of subjects.

Though unprotected and easily hackable technology is definitely not a new issue, many will now be left more vulnerable with the addition of Shodan’s more mainstream tool. Tapping into insecure webcams is an old trick for cyber criminals with malicious intent who dwell on the dark web, but Shodan has just given the ability in easy-access browsing form to your average citizen. It is unlikely that anything other than bad will come from this.

The new feature is showcased on Shodan’s homepage, and the tag “webcam” is currently the most popular search term on the entire website.

Charlie Nash is a libertarian writer, memeologist, and child prodigy. When he is not writing, he can usually be found chilling at the Korova Milk Bar, mingling with the infamous. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrNashington.