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Network Reconnaissance in IPv6 Networks (RFC7707) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245435D
Original Publication Date: 2016-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2016-Mar-10
Document File: 76 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

F. Gont: AUTHOR [+2]


The main driver for IPv6 [RFC2460] deployment is its larger address space [CPNI-IPv6]. This larger address space not only allows for an increased number of connected devices but also introduces a number of subtle changes in several aspects of the resulting networks. One of these changes is the reduced host density (the number of hosts divided by the number of addresses) of typical IPv6 subnetworks, when compared to their IPv4 counterparts. [RFC5157] describes how this significantly lower IPv6 host density is likely to make classic network address-scanning attacks less feasible, since even by applying various heuristics, the address space to be scanned remains very large. RFC 5157 goes on to describe some alternative methods for attackers to glean active IPv6 addresses and provides some guidance for administrators and implementors, e.g., not using sequential addresses with DHCPv6.

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                           F. Gont Request for Comments: 7707                           Huawei Technologies Obsoletes: 5157                                                 T. Chown Category: Informational                                             Jisc ISSN: 2070-1721                                               March 2016

                 Network Reconnaissance in IPv6 Networks


   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 fewer unique addresses.  As a    result, it is widely assumed that it would take a tremendous effort    to perform address-scanning attacks against IPv6 networks; therefore,    IPv6 address-scanning attacks have been considered unfeasible.  This    document formally obsoletes 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.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is    published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force    (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has    received public review and has been approved for publication by the    Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents    approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet    Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,    and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Gont & Chown                  Informational                     [Page 1]
 RFC 7707                   IPv6 Reconnaissance                March 2016

 Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the    document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal    Provisions Relating to IETF Documents    ( in effect on the date of    publication of this document.  Please review these documents    carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect    to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document...