There is a search engine, Shodan, available that searches for internet connected devices, any internet connected device. The search can be narrowed down to a device which is not password protected, by longitude and latitude, IP address, street address, city, county, state or a device in which the user has not changed its password from the manufacturer’s default. This includes all household devices such as thermostats, baby monitors, security cameras, webcams, cell phones, just to name a few. Of possible concern to hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts some of their devices include GPS, phones, any camera that is capable of automatically uploading photos including the new trail cameras.
Shodan is the Google for hackers searching the internet of things. Many people saw this coming some are wary while others are on the “oh what the heck I don’t have anything to hide” page. Well to this latter group think again, read this story in Forbes about a man who was awakened in the middle of the night by a voice in his 2 year old daughters room; it was a man talking over the baby monitor!
Fortunately at this point charlie carries no internet connected devices while hunting or while enjoying the outdoors. To the distress of many including mrs elk, not even a cellphone. He has always viewed them as electronic leashes. Now that all this tech can be turned into real-time monitoring he thinks he has been proven right in that respect.
So how can we use Shodan to scout for game?
Search for active GPS units in known hunting areas during hunting season. Better yet if you know a hunter who consistently bags a trophy or has good success getting whatever the game you seek. Then find that hunter’s GPS and phone IP address to watch in real time while they are hunting. Of course a savvy hunter with productive secret areas to hunt is going to turn off all their gadgets while hunting. But will they? These days more and more people feel too insecure to be “disconnected” for extended periods of time. Certainly at some point he is going to check in with the wife- Bingo you have his stand location!
Or search for the new generation of trail cameras which upload pictures immediately to a remote server or cell phone. Bingo you have pictures of the deer along with GPS coordinates of the camera’s location.
Unethical you say, perhaps, but how would anyone prove the competing hunter did any hacking? Besides is it hacking if there is no encrypted protection on the device?
Heck charlie was upset when Google Earth pictures of his home clearly showed mrs elk working her garden and the license plate number of his Suburban clearly visible. Then a computer nerdy friend educated him about Meta Data which he wrote about in Your Secret Hunting Location and Metadata Now his mind is spinning in new directions. If you can help him stop spinning; please feel free to try.