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Convince traceroute6 to resolve to arbitrary reverse DNS records.


Inspired from Karla Burnett's amazing talk at Bang Bang Con 2018.

Connect to (no longer up)

  • Try it out!

    On Mac OS:

    $ traceroute6 -I

    On Linux:

    $ traceroute -6 -I

Your machine will need to support IPv6. I use or to check.

How it works

traceroute6 works by sending a series of packets (could be ICMP, UDP or TCP) with a hop limit starting at one; and then increasing the hop limit by one until the packet reaches its destination (or gives up). Each line in the traceroute output represents a packet with an increasing hop limit.

When a router receives a packet, it checks what the hop limit is set to on the packet. If the hop limit is zero the router returns an ICMP Time Exceeded message back, notifying the sender that the router is not forwarding the packet onwards. If the hop limit is greater than zero, the router subtracts one from the hop limit and forwards the packet to where the router believes the packet needs to go to reach its final destination. This mechanism exists to identify loops in router's routing tables.

Traceroute takes these Time Exceeded messages and then displays the IP address of the router that sent them. By starting at a hop limit of one, traceroute can show every router on the way to a packets final destination (some routers may decline to send a Time Exceeded message). Traceroute can then do a reverse DNS lookup to display the hostname of the router sending the Time Exceeded message, rather than just the IP address.

scuttle6 works by pretending to be a router. When scuttle6 receives an ICMP packet (see Limitations below) scuttle6 matches the packet's hop limit to an IP that was provided to it. scuttle6 then sends back a Time Exceeded message to traceroute6 but spoofs the source IP address in the returning Time Exceeded message.

traceroute6 will get the Time Exceeded message with the spoofed source IP and believe the packet flowed through the spoofed IP before getting to its final destination. traceroute6 will then perform a reverse DNS lookup for the spoofed IP allowing you to render whatever hostname you would like.

In short you provide scuttle6 with a list of IP addresses who's reverse DNS records can match up to whatever arbitrary domain name you would like. scuttle6 returns a different, spoofed, IP address depending on the hop limit it gets from traceroute6. traceroute6 resolves those IP addresses to arbitrary DNS records you control.

Setup your own server

What you will need to have

  • You will need to find a host that supports:

    • IPv6 and gives you plenty of IPv6 addresses
    • modifying iptables rules to block the servers usual ICMP responses
    • CAP_NET_RAW to allow crafting and returning raw packets

    I personally use Note you'll have to ask their support to grant you a /64 block of IPv6 addresses, it's not automatic.

  • You will need to find a DNS nameserver that's willing to host reverse DNS records. I like Hurricane Electric's free DNS service.


  • Disable ICMP6 responses from the kernel with these two iptables rules:

    $ ip6tables -A OUTPUT -p ipv6-icmp -m owner --uid-owner 0 -j ACCEPT
    $ ip6tables -A OUTPUT -p ipv6-icmp -m icmp6 --icmpv6-type 129 -j DROP

    The first rule allows ICMP6 traffic from UID zero (root), if you're running your application under a different UID change it accordingly. The second rule drops all other outgoing ICMP6 type 129 (Echo Reply) messages from the host.

  • Download the latest release onto your host.

  • Create a newline delimited file with the IPv6 IPs to return. See the example in the docs.

  • Run the binary

    $ scuttle6 ips.txt
  • Try it out! From another machine (the client) traceroute to your host (the server).

    On Mac OS:

    $ traceroute6 -I <your host>

    On Linux:

    $ traceroute -6 -I <your host>

    Your client machine will need to support IPv6. I use or to check.

    If it works you should see the the IPs defined in ips.txt being returned in consecutive order.

  • Setup your reverse DNS records. This will map the IPs to a DNS name, allowing you to send messages. How to setup those reverse DNS records is dependent on your DNS name server. If you use Hurricane Electric, this completely undocumented script may be helpful.


scuttle6 makes use of Rust's env_logger crate. Changing the RUST_LOG environment variable between warn, info and debug will have the server spout out more information accordingly.

$ RUST_LOG=info scuttle6 ips.txt
INFO 2018-06-30T01:19:51Z: scuttle6: ICMP Echo Request from 2604:2000:14c5:c417:e9d8:422d:49a0:ef95 hop limit 13

Otherwise tcpdump and wireshark are going to be your best friends to work out what's being sent and what's being received.


You can grab the latest release from Github, or build it yourself.

To build it from scratch you'll need the Rust toolchain and Rust stable. From there it's a:

$ cargo build --release

You will also need the libpcap headers installed. Refer to the instructions in the rust pcap library. On Debian systems:

$ apt-get install libpcap-dev


  • Only supports ICMPv6, not TCP or UDP. Mainly because I don't want to break the either two on my shared host.


Convince traceroute6 to resolve to arbitrary reverse DNS records.



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