African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) has given tips on the best ways to avoid the theft of IPV4 Addresses, which it says is on the rise and can severely affect the Internet Protocol market.

According to AfriNIC, regional Internet registry (RIR) for Africa, implementing advanced security measures, such as resource management, policies and infrastructure transparency can help IP address providers to reduce IP address thefts, especially IPV4 that is gradually being exhausted and have become a scarce resource.

The recent AFRINIC – IPv4 address heist case has shown that due to the lack of tangible evidence, it’s challenging to investigate IP address thefts and find the source of a crime. But transparent IP address infrastructure and attention to third party networks, such as IP address marketplaces can provide security benefits and a better grip on resource management.

“While building a security infrastructure, such as firewalls, attack detection, DDoS mitigation makes resources less prone to outer attacks, IP address providers should additionally invest in information security to prevent illegal IP address allocation,” it said.

AfriNIC added that for instance, an immutable IP structure and transparency can help monitor resources and spot suspicious activity. To prevent thefts, IP address suppliers should filter addresses and record new buyers and their associated networks. A clear structure and visible links between provider, clients, and third parties (e.g. a marketplace platform) is key to ensuring data protection.

At the same time, an organization has to have clear policies and legal grounds that could be used in the case of illegal address allocation. Policies and legal preventative actions protect resources and help to handle the outcome in case of an actual crime happening.

The most significant IPv4 address theft case of the decade was the South African address heist when millions of IPv4s were stolen from the AFRINIC organization and sold on the second-hand market. The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is responsible for ensuring IP address distribution and security within the region. The crime cost around $54 million and severely affected the IPv4 address market in the region and overseas.

After the investigation, researchers found that the case was an inside job, and many corporate employees were responsible for the illegal IPv4 address allocation. Investigators found evidence leading to the members of the organization, showing that some of them were involved in the IPv4 address heist.

IPv4 addresses are in decline, which accelerates the transition to IPv6 addresses. Yet, due to difficulties to shift to a new Internet Protocol, companies try to use and obtain as many IPv4 resources as possible. IPv4’s shortage surges in thefts and corruption, therefore it’s necessary to increase the IP market protection.


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

Leave A Reply