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IPv4 addresses hit black market

By Chike onwuegbuchi
01 July 2016   |   2:24 am
Cyber criminals are looking to cash in on the fast running out IPv4 addresses. IPv4 is still popular because it routes most Internet traffic today despite the ongoing deployment of successor protocol IPv6.
Cyber criminals

Cyber criminals

Cyber criminals are looking to cash in on the fast running out IPv4 addresses. IPv4 is still popular because it routes most Internet traffic today despite the ongoing deployment of successor protocol IPv6.

IPv4 uses 32-bit, which limits the address space to 4 294 967 296 addresses. This limitation stimulated the development of IPv6 in the 1990s, and it has been in commercial deployment since 2006.

The newer IPv6 addresses are 128-bits in length, vastly enlarging the size of the usable address space.

Data released by Google shows the uptake of IPv6 has grown considerably.

It notes 10.09% of all traffic to its Web sites was made of IPv6 connections as of January 2016, nearly double that from the same time last year when the number was 5.47%.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), a non-profit that oversees the allocation of IP addresses in North America, in September last year confirmed the available pool of the 32-bit network addresses is totally depleted.

APNIC, which allocates addresses in Asia-Pacific, more or less ran out of available IPv4 addresses in 2011; RIPE, which oversees Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, was running on fumes by 2012; and LACNIC, which manages Latin America and the Caribbean, hit rock bottom in 2014.

All that’s left is AFRINIC, which oversees Africa, and is expected to run out of IPv4 addresses in 2019.

Leslie Noble, senior director of global registry knowledge at ARIN, says criminals are swarming to hijack, clean and resell IPv4 addresses. “The need for IPv4 is still great.