Millions of IP addresses of African firms stolen – AFRINIC

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If you are thinking that stealing IPs pertains to the Western world, then you are mistaken. AFRINIC (African Network Information Centre) recently reported after an internal audit that over 4.1 million IP addresses were stolen from African firms, were used inappropriately and allotted to other organisations (IP addresses of African firms).

This kind of theft is one of a kind, since the IP addresses were stolen under the nose of AFRNIC from its own pool of resources, the Mauritius based RIR (Regional Internet Registry) reported. This incident is termed as “The Internet Heist”, as the ‘Bank of IP addresses’ itself was robbed by AFRINIC’s hostmaster (an employee) who had abused his rights and privileges. This employee has been reported to the Mauritian Central Criminal Investigation Division and on-going enquiry is being conducted (IP addresses of African firms).

IP addresses of African firms

 

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When the incident came to light, investigations by AFRINIC’s Board of Directors was commissioned and began in July 2019, with help from APNIC, AFRINIC’s sister RIR. After the investigations, AFRINIC found that internal employees of the RIR may have colluded with third-parties in the misappropriation of IPv4s.

According to the AFRINIC WHO IS Accuracy Report, published on January 21st 2021, the following findings were made:

Dormant companies were targeted (those who did not appear in the routing tables).
Along with selling IPv4 addresses, email domains were also transferred.
This made impossible to contact the initial source owner of the IPs.
Subsequent buyers were even given maintainer passwords.

What steps did AFRINIC take since the heist was found?

AFRINIC has been very busy trying to do damage control. Since February 2020, it is successfully reclaimed and deregistered nearly 1,060,864 IPv4 addresses from the ‘WHO IS’ database of AFRINIC. It has also initiated ‘quarantine’ of these IP addresses for a time period of 12 months. After the ‘quarantine’ period of the IP addresses is completed, the IPs will be given new allocations by AFRINIC.

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AFRINIC however acknowledges that the process of reclaiming and registering has been painfully slow.
There are still 1,799,168 legacy IPv4 addresses that were compromised, but the source-holders have been contacted.
394,496 legacy IPv4 addresses were integrated at the request of organizations’ holding company under which the resources were registered (IP addresses of African firms).
Another 1,310,720 IPv4 resources are yet to be reclaimed as thorough investigations are underway.

AFRINIC has taken strict disciplinary actions against all the employees that were involved in the theft. AFRINIC may have to lay down stricter regulations for its staff as well as heighten its security protocols, so that such thefts do not happen in the future.

How to purchase IPs of IPv4 addresses legally?

One can lease / buy / conduct sale IPs of IPv4 addresses legally, the best and safest place to go is the Exchange Platform for IPv4 that is registered with the RIRs. One of the best and trusted Exchange Platform for IPv4 is IPv4.deals. It is operated by Alpha InfoLab, an IPv4 Broker Service Provider.

IPv4.deals provides transparent IPv4 auction where IPv4 sellers and buyers conduct bidding for IPv4 at fair IPv4 Market Price according to guidelines of RIRs – ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, LACNIC.

Benefits of selling, leasing or purchasing IP addresses:

The best part about going through a reputed IPv4 Broker like Alpha InfoLab are:

Every buyer and seller is thoroughly vetted.
Any organization that comes under any RIR can purchase IP block or IP addresses, meaning inter-RIR transfer of IPs is also possible.
The broker has resources and the knowledge to navigate in the IPv4 Marketplace to locate and source IP addresses that belong to unused IP blocks.
The overall cost of IPs is considerably reduced since Brokers make sure that continuous demand and supply of IPs is met by connecting with buyers and sellers.

What is the role of Alpha InfoLab in IPv4 Marketplace?

Alpha InfoLab is not just a broker, but it facilitates between buyers, sellers and the RIRs, and plays a very big role and has earned itself an excellent reputation in the Marketplace.

It also advises buyers and sellers of IPv4 on:

Ways to accrue benefits by selling IPv4s. 
Various methods to upgrade to IPv6.
Smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

For more information on Alpha InfoLab and how their IPv4 Exchange Platform, IPv4.deals can help you get a fair deal when you sell / lease / buy IPv4s, connect here.

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