AuthorsV. Giotsas, I. Livadariu and P. Gigis
TitleA first look at the misuse and abuse of the IPv4 Transfer Market
AfilliationCommunication Systems
Project(s)Antikraak, The Center for Resilient Networks and Applications, GAIA
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2020
Conference NameInternational Conference on Passive and Active Network Measurement (PAM)
Publisher Springer
KeywordsBGP, Blacklists., IPv4 transfers, Routing

The depletion of the unallocated IPv4 addresses and the slowpace of IPv6 deployment have given rise to the IPv4 transfer market, the trading of allocated IPv4 prefixes between organizations. Despite the policies established by RIRs to regulate the IPv4 transfer market, IPv4 transfers pose an opportunity for malicious networks, such as spammers and bulletproof ASes, to bypass reputational penalties by obtaining“clean” IPv4 address space or by offloading blacklisted addresses. Addi-tionally, IP transfers create a window of uncertainty about the legitimateownership of prefixes, which leads to inconsistencies in WHOIS recordsand routing advertisements. In this paper we provide the first detailed study of how transferred IPv4 prefixes are misused in the wild, by synthesizing an array of longitudinal IP blacklists, honeypot data, and AS reputation lists. Our findings yield evidence that transferred IPv4 addressblocks are used by malicious networks to address botnets and fraudulentsites in much higher rates compared to non-transferred addresses, while the timing of the attacks indicate efforts to evade filtering mechanisms.

Citation Key27455