what is project pipecheck

Project Pipecheck tracks availability for the public facing edges of critical infrastructure, offers alerts for citizens, and keeps a historical record.

Currently, this Proof of Concept is experimenting with monitoring web-based availability of public-facing edges of critical civic infrastructure. Can this be a proxy for overall availability?

Using Project Pipecheck, I'm exploring methods which we can use to be reliably notified when specific services become unavailable, and wider issues become more likely.

Information currently tracked includes:

  • uptime, and
  • average response time.

Average response time itself is not expected to be an indicator of degradation, as the metric is affected by latency between the monitored selections and GitHub's infrastructure (on which the Pipechecks rely). However, sudden changes in response time could be a possible relevant indicator of a developing incident.

What set of services are considered critical infrastructure?

Have a look at the Pipecheck page for Helsinki, Finland and use the symbols below to connect types of infrastructure with local providers.

When selections monitored by each Pipecheck have better alternatives, they will be updated.

Water supply

Most people do not store the recommended multi-day supply of water recommended by emergency services. Immediate deprivation may affect ability to function. Short-term deprivation leads to death.


A society that loses the ability to operate electronics loses a portion of capacity for wider cooperation.


A society that loses the ability to operate communications loses a portion of capacity for wider cooperation.


A society that loses ability to provide medical care partially loses resilience to damage and undermines societal cohesion.

Mass transportation

A society where individuals and groups must provision for private transport loses a large capacity of range required for large-scale cooperation.


A society that cannot transact loses a significant capacity for large-scale collaboration and organization.

Emergency Services

A society that cannot deliver emergency services loses its immediate response to physical damage and societal cohesion may deteriorate as individuals revert to a state of self-preservation.

Future direction

Critical components of critical infrastructure should be airgapped. But, whether airgapped components exist or not, society is largely moving towards more connectivity. The same connectivity that allows threat actors improved access to potential targets can also provide citizens the information to respond.

A monitoring project that is not limited to geographic regions opens up the possibility of response teams that are similarly distributed. Teams with members in multiple timezones can react faster to rapidly developing incidents, as folks with on-call experience in operations can attest.