Network Reconnaissance in IPv6 Networks

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (opsec WG)
Authors Fernando Gont  , Tim Chown 
Last updated 2014-12-16 (latest revision 2014-06-14)
Replaces draft-gont-opsec-ipv6-host-scanning
Stream IETF
Intended RFC status Informational
Expired & archived
pdf htmlized (tools) htmlized bibtex
Stream WG state WG Document
Document shepherd Gunter Van de Velde
IESG IESG state Expired
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active.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. An IPv6 subnet of size /64 can (in theory) accommodate approximately 1.844 * 10^19 hosts, thus resulting in a much lower host density (#hosts/#addresses) than is typical in IPv4 networks, where a site typically has 65,000 or less unique addresses. As a result, it is widely assumed that it would take a tremendous effort to perform address scanning attacks against IPv6 networks, and therefore brute-force IPv6 address scanning attacks have been considered unfeasible. This document updates RFC 5157, which first discussed this assumption, by providing further analysis on how traditional address scanning techniques apply to IPv6 networks, and exploring some additional techniques that can be employed for IPv6 network reconnaissance. In doing so, this document formally obsoletes RFC 5157.


Fernando Gont (
Tim Chown (

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