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Pentagon Explains Odd Transfer of 175 Million IP Addresses To Obscure Company

Tuesday April 27, 2021. 05:30 AM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The US Department of Defense puzzled Internet experts by apparently transferring control of tens of millions of dormant IP addresses to an obscure Florida company just before President Donald Trump left the White House, but the Pentagon has finally offered a partial explanation for why it happened. The Defense Department says it still owns the addresses but that it is using a third-party company in a 'pilot' project to conduct security research. 'Minutes before Trump left office, millions of the Pentagon's dormant IP addresses sprang to life' was the title of a Washington Post article on Saturday. Literally three minutes before Joe Biden became president, a company called Global Resource Systems LLC 'discreetly announced to the world's computer networks a startling development: It now was managing a huge unused swath of the Internet that, for several decades, had been owned by the US military,' the Post said.

The number of Pentagon-owned IP addresses announced by the company rose to 56 million by late January and 175 million by April, making it the world's largest announcer of IP addresses in the IPv4 global routing table. The Post said it got an answer from the Defense Department on Friday in the form of a statement from the director of 'an elite Pentagon unit known as the Defense Digital Service.' The Post wrote: ''Brett Goldstein, the DDS's director, said in a statement that his unit had authorized a 'pilot effort' publicizing the IP space owned by the Pentagon. 'This pilot will assess, evaluate, and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space,' Goldstein said. 'Additionally, this pilot may identify potential vulnerabilities.' Goldstein described the project as one of the Defense Department's 'many efforts focused on continually improving our cyber posture and defense in response to advanced persistent threats. We are partnering throughout DoD to ensure potential vulnerabilities are mitigated.''

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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