Getting precise network node count

A long time ago (when running nodes at home was possible), I could get the network node count and add this information in a web page giving network statistics. I could even display a galaxy of stars representing all nodes in the XOR name space.

I relied on MessageContent::GetCloseGroup message to do that. This message was periodically sent to a set of uniformly distributed addresses and the corresponding responses gave the exact list of node ids in the network.

A new network is about to be launched and I see that this message has been removed. Could Maidsafe put back this message, so that this information can be computed again? (possibly with another name since groups have been renamed to sections)

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Could this not also be used by bad actors to map out the network as a whole. Security issues, not to mention attacks. Or have I misunderstood the functionality of the message (from what you wrote)

No IP address is revealed, only node ids are. A node IP address is scrubbed in first hop; this means that almost nobody knows a node IP address.

We know this information for the bitcoin network (about 5500 nodes) in a much insecure way because we can get the list of nodes with their IP address. On the safe network this information could be computed in a secure way, it would be a pity to not be able to do that.


I am also interested in this. I’d like - if I can - to replicate as closely as possible the existing droplet network so we can get on with some real life testing before home vaults become available.
Or in short - how many droplets and of what spec - will I need to get the same level of performance locally for our own forked instance of the alpha network?

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Maidsafe didn’t reply to the OP, but this is understandable because the answer could have been used by an attacker to spam the nodes.

I found by myself another message (MessageContent::RoutingTableRequest) that I could use to get the list of node ids for test networks 12c, 15 and 16. I used it to compute dynamic data of safe://galaxy and then safe://constellations(2) sites. My program sent about 20 messages of this kind per minute, so I hope I didn’t abuse of this message.

Now I can reveal it because, in turn, this message has been suppressed from current master routing repository and test16 has been shut down.

I don’t know if I will find another trick to get the list of node ids for next test network, so maybe safe://constellations2 was the last of this kind of sites (at least from me).