Internet Census Group

Web Name: Internet Census Group






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Internet Census Group

01About Us

Internet Census Groupseeks to analyze trends and benchmark security performance across a broadrange of industries.

We are committed to the education and long-term improvement of securitypractices across the Internet to provide an ever-stronger defense againstthe threat of security attacks.

The Internet Census Group is led by BitSight Technologies, Inc. and weencourageorganizations from industry, government or academia that would like tocollaborateon security projects to contact us.

02How We Collect Data?

Our data collection techniques involve making a series ofconnection attemptsto publicly accessible computers and devices on the internet.Specifically, we make a standard connection request to an onlinesystem, and – in the cases where the systems are responsive – wewill attempt a protocol handshake.

Wherever possible, we only collect security data that would bevisible to any entity that attempted to connect to a particularaddress and port. We will never attempt to change deviceconfigurations.

03What Data Do We Collect?

The purpose of our project is to evaluate the security posture ofinternet connected systems. Therefore, the data we collect is limitedto:Installed versions of network exposed services, applications and libraries(e.g. Wordpress, Apache, PHP, etc.)Metadata about exposed services and applications: Which ports are open, whatservices and applications are running, identification banners, TLScertificates, enabled features, etcVulnerability information for systems and services that exhibit vulnerablebehavior, such as a network service behaving in a way that stronglycorrelates to the presence of a specific vulnerability(e.g. a server vulnerable to the BlueKeep vulnerability will allow thecreation and communication through a dynamic virtual channel with the‘MS_T120’ reserved name).

04What Data is not Collected?

We want to be clear that we actively try to avoid collecting potentiallysensitive information. For example, if we encounter an exposed, unauthenticateddatabase, we will only collect a minimal amount of information that will allowus to corroborate the finding. In the case of an open (i.e. no authentication)SQL database available, we would only collect a sample of the informationschema, avoiding collecting the table’s contents.
When we suspect that some sensitive information might be collected inadvertentlyby our systems, we will store it in hashed format so that it can not be usedmaliciously.
We only intend to study and collect data about corporations and other entities.It is not our intent to collect or study the IP addresses of individuals as partof this project. Since we only collect and study IP addresses, we cannot tell ifan IP address is owned by a person or an entity (as we have no personal data totie it to). If you identify yourself to us as an individual via our opt outprocess (see “Opting Out” below), and request that we delete your personalinformation, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to delete any personalinformation about you from our scanning activities (other than information wemust retain to comply with your request to remain on our opt out list or asotherwise permitted by applicable law).

05How to identify Internet Census?

We want our research to be as transparent as possible. As such, we make effortsto allow everyone to associate our scanning activities to this project. In orderto identify an Internet Census scanning IP address one should perform a reverseDNS lookup of the scanning IP address and confirm that it belongs to domain, followed by a regular DNS lookup to the resultinghostname, and confirm that the latter result contains the initial IP address.


$ dig +short -x
$ dig +short | grep
06Opting Out

We are committed to upholding the security and privacy of the entire onlinecommunity.As part of that mission, we maintain a list of entities that havecontacted us and wish to prevent us from attempting to access theiraddresses or ports.

To have your IP address added to this list, provide us with the IP addresses you wishto remove via email to: continue to update us if your IP addresses or networks change so we cancontinue to keep you opted out. You will receive a confirmation email whencompleted.

Have a Question?

If you have further questions about us, please email us at

Contact Us
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