In the IP of the Beholder: Strategies for Active IPv6 Topology Discovery

Robert Beverly, Ramakrishnan Durairajan, David Plonka, and Justin P. Rohrer
Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement (IMC 2018) Conference,
Boston, MA, November 2018 (to appear).

Existing methods for active topology discovery within the IPv6 In- ternet largely mirror those of IPv4. In light of the large and sparsely populated address space, in conjunction with aggressive ICMPv6 rate limiting by routers, this work develops a different approach to Internet-wide IPv6 topology mapping. We adopt randomized prob- ing techniques in order to distribute probing load, minimize the effects of rate limiting, and probe at higher rates. Second, we exten- sively analyze the efficiency and efficacy of various IPv6 hitlists and target generation methods when used for topology discovery, and synthesize new target lists based on our empirical results to provide both breadth (coverage across networks) and depth (to find poten- tial subnetting). Employing our probing strategy, we discover more than 1.3M IPv6 router interface addresses from a single vantage point. Finally, we share our prober implementation, synthesized target lists, and discovered IPv6 topology results.

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