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The Internet Of Things

Bottom Feeder

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter ++
Mar 31, 2010
The Atlantic (OCT 28, 2016)

The Internet can be a dangerous place. Hackers, bots and viruses are prowling the Web trying to turn your machines into zombies.

Last week, a massive chain of hacked computers simultaneously dropped what they were doing and blasted terabytes of junk data to a set of key servers, temporarily shutting down access to popular sites in the eastern U.S. and beyond. Unlike previous attacks, many of these compromised computers weren’t sitting on someone’s desk, or tucked away in a laptop case—they were instead the cheap processors soldered into web-connected devices, from security cameras to video recorders.

But the internet is huge! There are around a couple billion public IPv4 addresses out there; any one of those might have a server, a desktop computer, or a toaster plugged in at the other end. Even if the manufacturer of my gadget gave it a dumb and easily guessed password, wouldn’t it be safe in this sea of anonymity? How would the hackers find me?

I devised a test. Renting a small server from Amazon, I gussied it up to look like an unsecured web device. I switched on the server at 1:12 p.m. Wednesday, fully expecting to wait days—or weeks—to see a hack attempt.

Wrong! The first one came at 1:53 p.m. The next hacking attempt, from a different IP address and using different login credentials, came at 2:07 p.m. Another came at 2:10. And then 2:40. And 2:48. In all, more than 300 different IP addresses attempted to hack my honeypot by 11:59 p.m.

My experience matches what security firms have seen. It is now within the capability of hackers to literally scan the entire internet, looking for vulnerable servers with open ports. And every hacked computer adds another recruit to the search effort, shortening the time required geometrically.

So sleep safe, knowing that your computer is working hard — for someone else.

For IPv4, the address space is 32-bits (2^32) in size and contains 4,294,967,296 addresses.

The IPv6 address space is 128-bits (2^128) in size, containing 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses.


Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Platinum Bling
Mar 30, 2010
Cui bono?
The internet has displaced the information monopoly of teevee, newspapers and magazines. They have been the losers since the advent of the internet. Doesn't it stand to reason that they are the ones who gain the most by using viruses and hacking to try and regain their birthright to control more of the world's information?