North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Yet more hijacked space? -

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sun May 04 05:06:32 2003

An anonymous coward [email protected] wrote:
> Did everyone decide to move to arizona and start an ISP? or is this just
> another example of IP hijacking that we all find ourselves taking a look
> at.

Is it any more unusual than a tiny ISP in originally headquartered
in Phoenix Arizona moving to Massachusetts and taking over AS Number 1
previously registered to BBN, now registered to Genuity?  Or who would
believe a multi-billion dollar corporation, Worldcom moving its
headquarters from Mississippi to Virginia and changing its name to MCI?
Why is MCI.COM registered to an address in Richardson Texas instead of
MCI's world headquarters in Virginia? And speaking about MCI, remember
InternetMCI's ASN 3561.  According to Arin 3561 is registered to an
address in Carey North Carolina to some outfit called Cable & Wireless.
But everyone knows that Cable & Wireless is really a UK firm; so isn't it
suspicious that InternetMCI's ASN is now registered to an address in
Carey North Carolina?

The world changes, but registry information isn't always kept up to date.
Companies often list the address of post office box for billing contacts,
or perhaps an address of a subsidary such as the NOC or their legal
department instead of their world headquarters.

I can create a conspiracy theory for almost any old network block or asn
on the Internet. Proving beyond a reasonable doubt seems to be impossible.
In the early days "proof" often wasn't more than a phone call or an email.
In the pre-CIDR days you didn't need to be a big company to get either an
ASN or a Class B network.  I don't have me e-mailbox from 14 years ago,
so I would have a hard time proving something from that long ago.

But it doesn't answer the basic questions.  How do you tell the difference
between a legitimate change and an illegitmate change?  If ARIN makes it
extremely difficult to update registry records, the records will get even
more out of date.  On the other hand if ARIN makes it too easy to update
registry records, the wrong people can make unauthorized changes.