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A Search Engine for the Internet’s Dirty Secrets

MIT Technology Review

Early this week the Austrian security company SEC Consult found that more than three million routers, modems, and other devices are vulnerable to being hijacked over the Internet. Instead of giving each device a unique encryption key to secure its communications, manufacturers including Cisco and General Electric had lazily used a much smaller number of security keys over and over again.

That security screwup was discovered with the help of Censys, a search engine aimed at helping security researchers find the Internet’s dirty little secrets by tracking all the devices hooked up to it. Launched in October by researchers at the University of Michigan, it is likely to produce many more hair-raising findings. Google is providing infrastructure to power the search engine, which is free to use.

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