This reminds me of an experiment I ran about 12 years ago.

I set up a fresh Debian box with not very much on it, and exposed it to the interwebs (back then it was just called “the web” I think) with a DynDNS address that I casually listed on USENET (which the kids these days call “Yahoo! Answers”).

It didn’t take long for people to start knocking on port 22. Some of the points I remember from that experiment:

  • At least 70% of the attempts at login came from China.
  • There were some predictable guesses at login credentials, but my favourite was a pretty random one: login “david”, password “beckham”.
  • Someone tried to get in from a Korean elementary school.

It would have been fun to keep it going, but I must have actually needed that box to do something. VMs were still a few years away from mainstream.

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