The Stack Archive

Shodan on Minecraft: IoT device search engine reveals best servers

Tue 24 Mar 2015

Shodan, the search engine most famous for locating hackable gas pumps, duplicate server keys, indiscreet home security cameras and other unsecured IoT devices, can also give an insight into the best servers available for players of Minecraft, Microsoft’s hugely popular world-building game.

In a post today, Shodan creator John Matherly outlines some of the procedures and searches which can give global insight into Minecraft server availability and disposition. Matherly also reports on which countries have the most Minecraft servers – and Germany is No.1 by a length or more:


Matherly found around 115,000 Minecraft servers on the default port 25565, and when the German predomination became evident, investigated the recurrent ‘Link11’ connection, the colocation mask for Nitrado, which seems to hold the Minecraft server crown currently.

Described as ‘The scariest search engine on the internet’, Shodan seeks, monitors and maps IP addresses on the global network, providing limited or extensive (for registered users) search results – some of which can give the casual server unexpectedly easy access even to critical systems such as traffic control.

Trawling Minecraft IPs unsurprisingly turns up a raft of default configurations – Matherly found that 42,000 servers max permitted players at 20, with 4 and 10 players respectively trailing. Four servers are configured to log in up to 1,000,0000 people, but none seem [login required] to currently have any players.

The post provides a number of command-line techniques to download information on Minecraft servers, and identifies the Minecraft server top 10 thus:

22824 1.8
18829 1.7.10
15512 1.8.3
14974 1.8.1
12177 Spigot 1.8
7046 CraftBukkit 1.7.9
3764 Spigot 1.7.10
3661 CraftBukkit 1.8
2803 CraftBukkit 1.7.2
1893 cauldron,craftbukkit,mcpc,fml,forge 1.7.10

Microsoft completed its purchase of Minecraft creators Mojang in November of 2014, in a deal worth $2.5bn. Though the average age of the Minecraft user is widely accepted to be between 13-15, the block-building game has also captured the imagination of older users – today a team of artists and scientists mooted the possibility of mapping Cambridge in Minecraft; and the head of an English community college is using the game to teach programming to 11-16 year-olds.


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