Some things just shouldn't be connected to the Internet. With Shodan, a search engine that finds connected devices, it's easy to locate dangerous things that anyone can access without so much as a username or password.
You know those cameras that snap photos of you speeding through a red light? Yeah, someone put an entire network of them on the Internet.
Made by a company called PIPS, a division of 3M(MMM), the "Autoplate" technology takes photos of cars going through intersections and loads their license plate numbers on a server. Those servers are intended to be accessed by police departments. They're definitely not supposed to be connected to the greater Internet without any log-in credentials.
That's what happened, though, and any Web lurker could check out who was zipping through the photo zones in the spot Tentler found. Added kicker: Autoplate actually records photos and registration information for every car that goes through the intersections it's watching -- not just speeders.
3M spokeswoman Jacqueline Berry noted that Autoplate's systems feature robust security protocols, including password protection and encryption. They just have to be used.
"We're very confident in the security of our systems," she said.
Tentler notified the FBI about the particular system he found.