Consultation on Password Security for ARIN Online Accounts

Posted: Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Since October 2020, the ARIN Online system has been subject to a series of dictionary-based password guessing attacks. Because of the protective measures currently in place, some customer accounts were locked during these attacks. ARIN staff has been heavily engaged in mitigating these attacks, and we are seeking community feedback on potential steps ARIN can take to reduce the risk of future attacks and to help customers ensure they are using strong passwords. Password dictionary guessing attacks continue to be a problem in the industry, and this effort should help reduce the extent of previously exposed passwords for our ARIN Online user base.

Password Check Proposal

To help ARIN customers make sure they aren’t using a password that has been exposed and shared publicly online, when someone updates their password or creates a user account in ARIN Online, it is proposed that ARIN should check the database “haveibeenpwned (” to see if they are trying to use a password that has been compromised. ARIN will not send the password, but rather we encrypt the password and send part of the encrypted password to the Have I been Pwned (HIBP) Service ( to see if it matches a compromised password. Actual passwords are never sent or used in any query, nor is your user ID or email shared as part of this check.

How would it work?

  1. A user enters a password during Account Setup, Password Change, Password Reset or User Login in ARIN Online.
  2. ARIN encrypts the password and sends part of the encrypted password to the Have I been Pwned (HIBP) Service ( and returns all possible matches in their database. (Your actual password is never sent or used in any query.)
  3. We compare the full encrypted password to the results sent by HIBP to see if there is a match.
  4. If there is a match we will notify the customer.

Optional Outcomes

We are interested in the community’s thoughts on the possible outcomes when we identify a password that has been exposed in a data breach according to the HIBP service. There are three options:

  1. Issue a caution message but allow the password.
  2. Issue a warning message and notify the customer that they need to change their password within a defined time period, but not at the current point of login.
  3. Issue warning message that requires the customer to select and set a different password immediately.

The feedback you provide during this consultation will help inform how we move forward to increase security of ARIN Online for all customers. Thank you for your participation in the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process.

Please provide comments to You can subscribe to this mailing list at:

This consultation will remain open through 5:00 PM ET on 16 March 2021.


John Curran
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)