Things that shouldn’t be online

Slashdot is running a story about a researcher who scanned all Australian IP addresses and found a whole bunch of things that shouldn’t be online.

As interesting as it is, this comment to the thread offers a lot more:

Pffft Only one country?

At a defcon talk in 2014 (talk [] slides []) they scanned the whole IPv4 space live, looking for VNC instances. At least, anything that responded to a SYN packet.
Then they took a couple months to connect to each VNC instance, if no password was required, grab a screen shot.
Leading to a series of talks of things that shouldn’t be on the internet [].

I am still watching the video, but even in the first few minutes, you’ll see some crazy stuff. And let me get you started with a quick quiz question: if you had 7 servers, each connected to the Internet via a 1 Gb/s link, how long would it take you to scan the whole of Internet (all IP addresses), assuming 10 ports per IP?

Well, five years it took 12 minutes only, and it was done on stage at the conference! To me, this is somewhat mind-blowing. We keep hearing how huge and enormous the Internet is. So the idea of being able to scan all of it in just a few minutes sounds insane. Today, you’ll probably need even less time, with more better broadband and hardware.

And if you are curious about the tool that the guys used, it was massscan. It’s a lot faster than nmap for this kind of jobs, even though they are somewhat compatible.

How Many .com Domain Names Are Unused?

Here’s an interesting study of the .com domain names. It appears that only about 1/3 of the registered domains are in use by legitimate websites. The rest are either spam, email-only, empty, broken, etc.

Only about 100,000 domains were crawled to provide a representative sample. But to me, the numbers look quite realistic. If only, I would push the porn and gambling sites into the “in use” category, rather than have them separately.

Most of What You Read on the Internet is Written by Insane People

Most of What You Read on the Internet is Written by Insane People” is a nice little roundup of statistics from a several large sites like Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, Reddit, etc. These stats support the viewpoint that on these huge sites, most of the content is generated by a very small number of users.

Inequalities are also found on Wikipedia, where more than 99% of users are lurkers. According to Wikipedia’s “about” page, it has only 68,000 active contributors, which is 0.2% of the 32 million unique visitors it has in the U.S. alone.
Wikipedia’s most active 1,000 people — 0.003% of its users — contribute about two-thirds of the site’s edits. Wikipedia is thus even more skewed than blogs, with a 99.8–0.2–0.003 rule.

Some of these numbers are staggering. And the people who do the work, are indeed – insane. Not medically, but by deviation of how much they do and for how long, as compared to the rest of the user base, or even population.

By the way, pretty much all posts in this very blog have been written by one person. Me. Almost 10,000 posts over 19 years. So yes, I’m also probably a little bit insane.

Reading postmortems

Once in a while a seemingly straightforward article turns into a goldmine of links and resources. This happened to me today with this one – “Reading postmortems“.

Not only this article itself is a very nice roundup of common sources for system failures, but it also links to a couple of awesome references:

  • Simple Testing Can Prevent Most Critical Failures: An Analysis of Production Failures in Distributed Data-Intensive Systems. This is both a talk and a paper.
  • danluu/post-mortems – a GitHub repository with a collection of publicly available postmortems from a variety of organizations, like Google, Amazon, Facebook, NASA, GitHub, and more.

If you still have no idea what postmortem is, Wikipedia explains.

Living conditions in Europe – material deprivation and economic strain

Share of population living in households that have difficulty or great difficulty in making ends meet, 2016 (%)

Eurostat published the results of the survey studying the living conditions across European Union. The numbers are a couple of years outdated, but I don’t think things have changed dramatically during this time.

Cross-country comparisons (see Figure 5) reveal that in 2016 more than half of the population in Croatia (51.4 %) and Cyprus (59.8 %) reported having difficulty or great difficulty in making ends meet, while this share rose to more than three fifths of the population in Bulgaria (61.7 %) and to more than three quarters of the population in Greece (76.8 %); more than half the populations of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (55.5 %; 2015 data) and Serbia (63.9 %) also faced difficulty or great difficulty in making ends meet.
On the other hand, less than 1 in 10 persons in Sweden (7.6 %), Germany (6.9 %) and Finland (also 6.9 %) reported facing difficulty or great difficulty in making ends meet; this was also the case in Norway (5.4 %).

Found via