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Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new tool that allows a single server with a gigabit Ethernet port to scan the internet so quickly that it can map 98 per cent of the world's IPv4 connections in under 45 minutes.Mapping internet nodes is nothing new – companies and researchers have been doing it for years. But the sheer scale of the internet's reach meant that full scans could take months, or require the setting up of a specialized botnet using cloud computing to get the job done. But the new tool, dubbed Zmap, uses smart programming and Ethernet efficiency to get the job done in minutes.In a paper delivered on Friday to the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium, the team claimed that Zmap operates up to 1,300 times faster than the popular network scanner Nmap, because of "stateless" searching. Whereas Nmap will keep a checklist of internet nodes that have responded to probes, Zmap dumps that time-consuming process and instead encodes the node's details in the packet that gets pinged back.The tool is also designed to get the absolute most out of Ethernet, and the research paper states that the gigabit connection could be used at 97 per cent efficiency to further speed scanning.Having access to this kind of speed is going to be a boon to internet analysts, and the team demonstrated how test scans revealed a host of hidden issues. For example, the researchers used Zmap to track the activities of Certificate Authorities (CA) and found the Korean government had misissued 1,300 certificates to schools and educational institutions.