The Rise of IPv4 Address Thefts: How Can IP Data Centers Ensure Better Security?

 
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Due to the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, the number of IP thefts is growing. The recent AFRINIC--IPv4 address heist case showed how severely it can affect the market Implementing advanced security measures, such as resource management, policies, and infrastructure transparency can help IP address providers to reduce IP address thefts.

IPv4 addresses are becoming scarce, which emerges in thefts and scams. Due to the lack of tangible evidence, it's challenging to investigate IP address thefts and find the source of a crime. The most significant IPv4 address theft case of the decade was the South African address heist when millions of IPv4s were stolen from the AFRINIC organization and sold on the second-hand market. The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is responsible for ensuring IP address distribution and security within the region. The crime cost around $54 million and severely affected the IPv4 address market in the region and overseas.

After the investigation, researchers found that the case was an inside job, and many corporation employees were responsible for illegal IPv4 address allocation. Investigators found evidence leading to the members of the organization, showing that some of them were involved in the IPv4 address heist.

The multimillion theft might have been predicted and controlled if the AFRINIC organization would've reacted quicker and taken the issue more seriously. Now, we can only learn from past mistakes and try to understand what has to be done to avoid such scenarios in the future.

What Can Be Done to Avoid IP Address Thefts? IPv4 addresses are in decline, which accelerates the transition to IPv6 addresses. Yet due to difficulties to shift to a new Internet Protocol, companies try to use and obtain as many IPv4 resources as possible. IPv4's shortage surges in thefts and corruption, therefore it's necessary to increase the IP market protection.

More attention to resource management can prevent unnoticed data leaks or tampering. Transparent IP address infrastructure and attention to...

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