Illuminating Large-Scale IPv6 Scanning in the Internet

ACM Internet Measurement Conference
Nice, France


While scans of the IPv4 space are ubiquitous, today little is known about scanning activity in the IPv6 Internet. In this work, we present a longitudinal and detailed empirical study on large-scale IPv6 scanning behavior in the Internet, based on firewall logs captured at some 230,000 hosts of a major Content Distribution Network (CDN). We develop methods to identify IPv6 scans, assess current and past levels of IPv6 scanning activity, and study dominant characteristics of scans, including scanner origins, targeted services, and insights on how scanners find target IPv6 addresses. Where possible, we compare our findings to what can be assessed from publicly available traces.