About / FAQ by Ben from 6 November 2021

OpenSho is a free to use internet based machine crawler and reconnaissance platform. OpenSho is actively scanning the entire internet for online machines and open ports. The goal is to provide that information to everyone.

What is the purpose behind OpenSho? The purpose of OpenSho is to scan the internet for open ports and online machines and provide that information to users. Only by knowing what ports you have open can you figure out how to close them. This is true for your homes and businesses. You should know your exposure.

Why is it important to know what ports you have open? It is well known that criminals and other entities are scanning the internet constantly for machines to hack into. Anything this is connected to the internet is likely being scanned constantly by others without their owner's knowledge.

But how do they do that? They do exactly what OpenSho is doing. They find online machines with open ports. But unlike OpenSho, they then try to exploit the services running on those ports with well known publicly available vulnerabilities. Or alternatively they also try lists of well known passwords to login to the services running on those open ports. This is called bruteforcing.

What is an open port? In layman's terms, an open port on a network connected device is a way for other devices on that network to communicate with that device. A service of some kind will listen for incoming connections from other computers on a specific port number. Websites for example use ports 80 and 443. So when you go to google, your computer is communicating with their web server using port 443. The services listening on these ports can be anything, webcam interfaces, websites, VOIP phones... ETC ETC. Anything that has network connection could potentially be listening for connections.

How many open ports are there? Well, potentially 4.3 billion IPs are available on the IPv4 internet. Each device behind an IP can listen on up to 65535. So... that'd be 4.3 x 65536.. which is... big: 281,800,500,000,000..ish.

How could you possibly scan that many ports? I probably can't do it alone. But it is a fun challenge to tackle for sure.

How long will that take? Based on my current rate, going at it alone, about 10 years. But I am currently working on my scanners to increase their speed and accuracy. I plan on scaling laterally by putting up more scanning nodes. Eventually I would love to have a scanner that could match MassScan's speed. With multiple scanners going it may be possible to scan the entire internet regularly. We will see.

How can I contribute? You can donate to the cause with Bitcoin or CashApp. Additionally, soon you will have the opportunity to help with scanning. I am going to release the OpenSho Scanner as a free download for everyone. I'll need people to help if I'm gonna scan the whole internet.