It turned out to be harder than expected to create a definitive list of who is poking the Internet and looking for information about devices. Enter Grey Noise, whose mission is to count the scanners. While scanners scour the Internet looking for things, Grey Noise eavesdrops on everyone—researchers, defenders, and malicious actors—doing the scanning.
Whether or not a map is valuable depends entirely on how well someone can use it to navigate from one place to another. Same goes for Internet scans. The scanning tools pull together different types of information, such as the kind of device and how it is configured, but the resulting map—the scan data—is valuable only if people can use it to answer important questions.
Just as people use search engines such as Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to find specific information on the Internet, there are special search engines that can find information about Internet-connected devices and networks. Think webcams, printers, smart light bulbs, industrial control systems, monitoring systems. Information about these devices are just a special search query away.