Ann Arbor’s Censys Launches Updated Public Search Engine with Major Upgrades

Ann Arbor-based Censys, the leading provider of attack surface management (ASM), announced it is launching a new version of its public search engine, which continuously indexes internet services on more than 2,500 ports, providing 177 times the coverage than its original service.
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Censys map
A map of devices, scanned by Censys, on the Internet as of May 2021. // Courtesy of Censys

Ann Arbor-based Censys, the leading provider of attack surface management (ASM), announced it is launching a new version of its public search engine, which continuously indexes internet services on more than 2,500 ports, providing 177 times the coverage than its original service.

“When we originally launched Censys in 2015, we scanned 14 popular ports. Since then, security researchers have shown that services are spread across a tremendous number of ports and that services are changing nearly constantly,” says Zakir Durumeric, co-founder of Censys. “We’ve designed a new scan engine that continuously scans an extended set of ports to help defenders and researchers more comprehensively find security problems”

The new engine scans the top 100 ports daily, and the top 2,500 ports every ten day across all public IPv4 hosts — which represent individual network interfacing protocols — resulting in the search turning up nearly four times as many services as the original platform, and 85 percent more than competing services.

Other major improvements to the engine include a daily refresh of known services, automatic protocol detection (APD), and multiple global vantage points, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) for both defensive and offensive security teams. These tools help teams conduct better threat detection, and asset discovery.

The service now scans from the U.S, Europe, and Asia, allowing Censys to provide visibility to nearly 99 percent of the internet. It also uses the new APD technology to identify the standard protocol on each port, allowing it to scan for non-standard port, identifying more results. Two smaller improvements include faster host lookup and historical host data storage.

Censys Search 2.0 will offer a free community tier and paid professional tiers.

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