Network Reconnaissance in IPv6 Networks

Document Type Replaced Internet-Draft (individual)
Last updated 2013-01-14 (latest revision 2012-10-22)
Replaced by draft-ietf-opsec-ipv6-host-scanning
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Expired & archived
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IESG IESG state Replaced by draft-ietf-opsec-ipv6-host-scanning
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


IPv6 offers a much larger address space than that of its IPv4 counterpart. The standard /64 IPv6 subnets can (in theory) accommodate approximately 1.844 * 10^19 hosts, thus resulting in a much lower host density (#hosts/#addresses) than their IPv4 counterparts. As a result, it is widely assumed that it would take a tremendous effort to perform address scanning attacks against IPv6 networks, and therefore IPv6 address scanning attacks have long been considered unfeasible. This document analyzes how traditional address scanning techniques apply to IPv6 networks, and also explores a number of techniques that can be employed for IPv6 network reconnaissance.


Fernando Gont (
Tim Chown (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)