Network Scanning Traffic Observed in Public Clouds

Tracking network scanning activities can help researchers understand which services are being targeted. By monitoring the origins of the scanners, researchers can also identify compromised endpoints. If a host belonging to a known organization suddenly starts to scan a part of the internet, it is a strong indicator that the host is compromised.

This blog summarizes our findings over a four-month period, from May-August 2021. On average, we identified 75,000 unique scanner IP addresses globally that enumerated more than 9,500 different ports every day. On an internet-facing endpoint, we observed 1,500 unique scanner IPs targeting 1,900 ports daily. Because not every scanner scans the entire IPv4 address space, the number of scanners observed on each endpoint is lower than the total number of scanners observed globally.

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Source: Palo Alto/Unit 42