About / FAQ by Ben from 6 November 2021

OpenSho is a free-to-use internet-based machine crawler and reconnaissance platform. It is actively scanning the entire internet for online machines and open ports, with the goal of providing that information to everyone.

What is the purpose behind OpenSho? OpenSho aims to scan the internet for open ports and online machines, making this information available to users. By knowing what ports are open, you can determine how to close them, securing your homes and businesses. Understanding your exposure is crucial.

Why is it important to know what ports are open? Criminals and other entities constantly scan the internet for machines to hack into. Any device connected to the internet is likely being scanned without its owner's knowledge.

But how do they do that? They employ a method similar to OpenSho: finding online machines with open ports. However, unlike OpenSho, they exploit the services running on those ports with publicly available vulnerabilities or try lists of well-known passwords to log in to the services running on those open ports. This is called brute-forcing.

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 listens for incoming connections from other computers on a specific port number. For example, websites use ports 80 and 443. When you visit Google, your computer communicates with their web server using port 443. The services listening on these ports can be anything from webcam interfaces to websites and VOIP phones, among others. Any network-connected device could potentially listen for connections.

How many open ports are there? Potentially, there are 4.3 billion IPv4 IPs available on the internet. Each device behind an IP can listen on up to 65,535 ports. So, the total number of possible open ports is around 281,800,500,000,000.

How could you possibly scan that many ports? While scanning that many ports alone may be daunting, it is a fun challenge to tackle. OpenSho aims to increase the speed and accuracy of its scanners and deploy more scanning nodes in the future. The goal is to develop a scanner that can match MassScan's speed, and with multiple scanners, it may be possible to scan the entire internet regularly.

How long will that take? Based on the current rate, scanning the entire internet alone would take about 10 years. However, by continuously improving the scanners and adding more scanning nodes, this time may be reduced.

How can you contribute? You can support the cause by donating Bitcoin or through CashApp. Soon, you will also have the opportunity to help with scanning. OpenSho Scanner will be released as a free download for everyone, and your help would be invaluable in scanning the whole internet.