Clusters in the expanse: Understanding and unbiasing IPv6 Hitlists

Oliver Gasser, Qasim Lone, Quirin Scheitle, Maciej Korczyński, Pawel Foremski, Stephen D. Strowes, Luuk Hendriks, Georg Carle

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)
    181 Downloads (Pure)


    Network measurements are an important tool in understanding the Internet. Due to the expanse of the IPv6 address space, exhaustive scans as in IPv4 are not possible for IPv6. In recent years, several studies have proposed the use of target lists of IPv6 addresses, called IPv6 hitlists. In this paper, we show that addresses in IPv6 hitlists are heavily clustered. We present novel techniques that allow IPv6 hitlists to be pushed from quantity to quality. We perform a longitudinal active measurement study over 6 months, targeting more than 50 M addresses. We develop a rigorous method to detect aliased prefixes, which identifies 1.5 % of our prefixes as aliased, pertaining to about half of our target addresses. Using entropy clustering, we group the entire hitlist into just 6 distinct addressing schemes. Furthermore, we perform client measurements by leveraging crowdsourcing. To encourage reproducibility in network measurement research and to serve as a starting point for future IPv6 studies, we publish source code, analysis tools, and data.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIMC 2018 - Proceedings of the Internet Measurement Conference
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450356190
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018
    Event18th ACM Internet Measurement Conference 2018 - Northeastern University, Boston, United States
    Duration: 31 Oct 20182 Nov 2018
    Conference number: 18


    Conference18th ACM Internet Measurement Conference 2018
    Abbreviated titleACM IMC 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address


    • Aliasing
    • Clustering
    • Entropy
    • Hitlist
    • IPv6


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