IPv4: Hoarding and Black Markets and Fraud, Oh My!

IPv4: Hoarding and Black Markets and Fraud, Oh My!

Team ARIN has been talking a lot about IPv6, why you need it, how to get it, and how to deploy it: but what about IPv4? Ever wonder what ARIN is doing to protect this rapidly diminishing resource? As IPv4 runout approaches, we figure the likelihood of nefarious behavior will increase, so our community is taking action to use resources judiciously and limit abuses.

The ARIN community is very interested in making efficient use of the remaining IPv4 resources. That is why the community-developed policies that ARIN uses to determine eligibility for resource allocations and assignments have very specific requirements attached. When ARIN resource analysts review incoming requests, they look at the requestor’s current and planned utilization, check it against customer data, and verify that the business is a legitimately operating entity within the ARIN region. It is an exhaustive process.

ARIN has also created a Fraud Reporting Process so that community members can notify ARIN of any suspected resource abuse, including false utilization submissions or organization information, unauthorized changes to data in ARIN’s WHOIS, hijacking of number resources in ARIN’s database, or fraudulent transfers.

It’s important to remember that this process is NOT for reporting illegal or fraudulent Internet activity like network abuse, phishing, spam, identity theft, hacking, scams, and things of that nature. ARIN investigates all potential fraud reports and publishes results of investigations on a quarterly basis at: https://www.arin.net/resources/fraud/results/.

Sounds great, but who makes these rules? You do! The Policy Development Process is the vehicle for creating the rules that set the usage requirements to get resources from ARIN. This process is open to the public, not just ARIN members. Anyone can come to a meeting, participate on ARIN’s Public Policy Mailing List (arin-ppml@arin.net: to subscribe go to http://lists.arin.net/mailman/listinfo/arin-ppml - to view past archives go to http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/arin-ppml/), or propose a policy.

A great example of a recent policy addition that supports responsible IPv4 resource management is the Transfer Policy, which allows a company to return IPv4 addresses to ARIN and designate the intended recipient. ARIN isn’t involved in any transaction that may occur between the parties, and only promises the recipient that it can receive the addresses if it meets all necessary usage justification forms, the same as any other resource transfer. By facilitating a legitimate transfer mechanism, ARIN can maintain the accuracy of the data in the WHOIS directory service and eliminate the need for black market transactions.

To quote our very own Richard Jimmerson:

“With this policy, it’s more likely that people will transfer numbers out in the open and bypass any black market opportunities. The important thing is that IPv4 registration records accurately identify the registrant who has authority over each allocation.”

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