"Internet scanning project" scans

Published: 2014-07-26
Last Updated: 2014-07-26 01:05:19 UTC
by Chris Mohan (Version: 1)
14 comment(s)

A reader, Greg, wrote in with a query on another internet scanning project. He checked out the IP address and it lead to a web site, www[.]internetscanningproject.org, which states:

"Hello! You've reached the Internet Scanning Project.

We're computer security researchers performing periodic Internet-wide health assessments.

If you reached this site because of activity you observed on your network:

We apologize for any concern caused by our network activity. We are not specifically targeting your network.

We have not attempted to unlawfully access or abuse your network in any way. We are exclusively accessing publicly available servers, we respect all authentication barriers, and (as you can see) we have made no attempt to hide our activity.

This effort is part of a research project in which we are engaged in with view to possibly contributing to public Internet health datasets. We believe research of this sort is both legal and beneficial to the security of the Internet as a whole.

However, if you wish to be excluded from our scanning efforts after reading the clarifying information below, please email us with IP addresses or CIDR blocks to be added to our blocklist."

It does not provide any information or assurances that this is a legitimate research project and I wouldn't be want to sending information to unknown people via an unattributable web site. The normal low level open source searching doesn't reveal anything of use or attribution either. It does, however, bring up a fair number hits of people asking what are these scans and the best way to block them.

It appears this scanning has been running for a couple of weeks and has being using multiple IP addresses (see https://isc.sans.edu/topips.txt for some examples). A curious point, for a "legitimate" scan, is that they have started changed the User Agent frequently and in some cases to some very odd nonsensical strings. The core scans are against TCP ports 21, 22 and 443 and the 443 scans may trigger alerts for probing on the Heartbleed bug.

Chris Mohan --- Internet Storm Center Handler on Duty

14 comment(s)


The same landing page can be found on http://extranet.cwdriver.com/

C.W. Driver is a building company in the U.S. and nothing on their website suggests that they have branched out into internet security.
We have not seen on our network yet but will try to dig deeper and will update here.
Been tracking this issue for three months. Finally reached out to provider and requested the process be discontinued. In the past it was background noise. Now lots of noise. Reviewing logs to verify activity has been stopped. Anyone else?
Captured on honeybot this activity has been increasing since mid July.

GET / HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: research-scanner/1.0 (www.internetscanningproject.org)
Accept: */*

Also have payloads from same sources on TCP 8443 referring to syndication.twimg.com
It appears this domain was purchased mid-July:

$> whois internetscanningproject.org
Domain ID: D173360519-LROR
Creation Date: 2014-07-19T23:06:53Z
Updated Date: 2014-07-19T23:20:08Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2015-07-19T23:06:53Z
Sponsoring Registrar:GoDaddy.com, LLC (R91-LROR)
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 146
There might be more IP's associated with it, but these are the ones that reverse resolve.

ip | hostname | last_seen
-----------------+-------------------------------------------------------+------------------------------- | research-scanner-24bbbd14.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 19:55:01.818701-05 | research-scanner-142c5a17.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 15:42:02.798173-05 | research-scanner-72293de2.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:52:00.845565-05 | research-scanner-42ed2812.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:58:00.699605-05 | research-scanner-781aa1b3.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:36:01.872817-05 | research-scanner-32a2f717.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 16:54:01.422038-05 | research-scanner-eebf1d7e.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 14:45:02.054302-05 | research-scanner-792f48cb.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 02:46:01.643971-05 | research-scanner-7b15a479.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:50:01.842861-05 | research-scanner-32fbd1ba.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 18:18:01.603766-05 | research-scanner-7cbfba81.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:30:01.948203-05 | research-scanner-4f0a6fc8.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 19:19:01.908154-05 | research-scanner-56e70800.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:56:01.175267-05 | research-scanner-12117663.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 19:49:01.428791-05 | research-scanner-3f821e5c.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-27 19:04:03.510175-05 | research-scanner-388c8368.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 15:04:02.606994-05 | research-scanner-4751ac6f.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 18:41:01.880492-05 | research-scanner-115c30bb.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 19:50:01.895319-05 | research-scanner-5fd0afaf.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-26 12:40:02.273331-05 | research-scanner-626a7484.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 13:28:54.776485-05 | research-scanner-4faed9b5.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:31:02.160961-05 | research-scanner-5af5641d.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 15:45:01.588531-05 | research-scanner-5661c4ee.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:10:01.500932-05 | research-scanner-794ef2a0.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 14:10:03.116174-05 | research-scanner-5b861793.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 19:58:01.669066-05 | research-scanner-16886a88.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 16:02:01.824553-05 | research-scanner-c81e151d.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 18:25:01.351594-05 | research-scanner-48139945.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 18:27:02.424728-05 | research-scanner-72ccbf15.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-25 14:10:03.119172-05 | research-scanner-573be186.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 18:24:01.376803-05 | research-scanner-68b27fa1.internetscanningproject.org | 2014-07-28 20:36:01.881438-05
Was able to find that it has a mail server also - internetscanningproject.org.mail.protection.outlook.com and IP is

It uses IPv6 and IPv4.
Dear internet scanning project, please blacklist my IP CIDR ranges and
We requested that they stop scanning us yesterday. Will post if we see any new scans.
CWDriver is a legit construction company. They had a stale DNS entry from awhile ago. It's been removed. They've nothing to do with 'internetscanningproject.com'.

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