Star Wars Traceroute Reborn on IPv6 After Skriptkiddies’ Attack


Last week I discovered one of the best networking hacks ever. Unfortunately the skriptkiddies killed it.

First the good news: just last week I learned about the excellent Star Wars Traceroute. This was a clever bit of network programming by “bored in the blizzard” network engineer Ryan Werber, that turned a simple traceroute into a Star Wars-style scroll:

Star Wars traceroute

And now the bad news. It got discovered by Slashdot, and then Mr. Werber’s domain came under a horrendous distributed denial-of-service attack, which at its peak reached over a gigabit per second of data. So he had to take it all down.

But there is good news: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” He is back with a new incarnation on IPv6. You can try it yourself by opening a terminal and entering this command, and then press the return key:

$ traceroute -6

If it works you'll see something like this snippet: [...] 14 Jabba.the.Hutt (2001:470:5:c77::19) 108.957 ms 15 Little.does.Luke.know.that.the (2001:470:5:c77::1e) 109.290 ms 16 GALACTIC.EMPIRE.has.secretly (2001:470:5:c77::21) 110.487 ms 17 (2001:470:5:c77::26) 107.286 ms 18 (2001:470:5:c77::29) 107.061 ms 19 more.powerful.than.the.first (2001:470:5:c77::2e) 107.298 mss 20 dreaded.Death.Star (2001:470:5:c77::31) 111.779 ms [...]

If IPv6 isn’t completely supported on your Linux PC, try one of the many good online network utilities sites, like or Thank you Ryan Werber for a splendid bit of fun, and thanks for sharing your code.