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Fraudsters capitalising on IPv4 address shortage

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 27 May, 2019

Fraudsters capitalising on IPv4 address shortage

The dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses is creating a booming grey market for second-hand addresses, which in turn is contributing to an increasing number of instances of fraud.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers this month won a precedent-setting legal cases against IPv4 address fraud, with an individual found guilty of using 11 shelf companies to defraud the registry of around 735,000 IPv4 addresses.

With prices of IPv4 addresses rising due to exhausting supplies, there will be more incentive than ever for fraudsters to target the market, according to Heficed, an IP address, cloud and dedicated server solutions provider.

Heficed CEO Vincentas Grinius said fraud in the IPv4 market is a symptom of a more complicated problem. As of today, only the African regional registry has IPv4 resources available in its pool, with all other registries having run out of free resources over the last decade.

“As with every resource in high demand and low supply, various legal and illegal practices are being deployed to obtain and resell IPv4s,” he said.

“The current state of the IPv4 market urges IP address buyers to be aware of their IPv4 supplier’s reputation. Reputable companies don’t take abuse control lightly to protect the assets they are leasing. The seller must guarantee the legitimate origin of their supply and the buyer must not use the assets in illicit ways.”

Grinius said it is important for anyone interested in leasing an IPv4 address to take the time to investigate the broker to ensure they can be trusted. There are also tools available to check the history of a given IP address to ensure it has been legitimately obtained by the prospective broker.

Image credit: ©

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