The Star Wars traceroute

Last night there was a blizzard on the east coast of the United States, a network engineer got bored, and that boredom resulted in a delightfully whimsical hack using the traceroute utility.

Traceroute is a diagnostic tool built into pretty much every operating system that enables you to (stay with me here) trace the route from one location on the internet (yours) to another location on the internet (represented by an IP address). Traceroute also measures the time it takes for your packets to make each of the hops along the way, and returns each of the routers you pass through on your way to the target server.

If you run a traceroute to 216.81.59.173 and pay close attention you'll notice that the output is actually the crawl from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Each of the routers along the path to 216.81.59.173 has been assigned a domain name that matches a line from the famous opening crawl from A New Hope.

Star Wars traceroute

The network engineer behind the Star Wars traceroute is Ryan Werber.