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IPv6: The Four Horsemen of the IPcalypse

War, famine, pestilence and death.

They fought for the last IPv4 addresses, hoarded and sold them at outrageous prices, traffic and commerce came slowly to a halt… Pestilence invaded the internet…

Bandits roam the lands. A retired general told recently that the internet looks like the North German plains, easy to invade. Cyberwar and Cybersecurity are becoming mainstream subjects and have increasing Government attention.

In France an ultra secure lab was set up in Nancy to handle and find antidotes for the most dangerous of these viruses to avoid a E-bola type pandemic. They manipulate these viruses in a network completely isolated from the rest of the internet. As isolated and sterile as a P4 lab for infectious diseases.

Nasty IPv6 strains? Masquerading as some-one else was supposed to be more difficult with IPv6 as address abundance would result in much less Network Address Manipulation. But the NAT remains a source of possible pestilence. And will privacy options in IPv6 making it easier still for bad guys to hide?

In the meantime the reality of the paucity of IPv4 addresses sinks in. Five percent of the space left and the IANA granaries will be empty in 300 days or so.

The world notices. The Renesys reports which provide the pulse of the internet to all its serious practitioners noted that over the late July 10 day period, 440 new IPv6 prefixes were registered compared to 1449 IPv4 prefixes. 23% of all registrations are now IPv6. This proportion will certainly continue to rise quite rapidly.

The white, red, black and pale stallions will remain in their stables.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications

(Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

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