May 20, 2019, By John E Dunn
A company accused of fraudulently obtaining 757,000 IPv4 addresses has been ordered to hand them back after the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) won a landmark judgment against it.
The dispute began in late 2018 when ARIN, which allocates IPv4 addresses in the US, Canada and parts of the Caribbean on a non-profit basis, discovered that a company called Micfo and its owner Amir Golestan had fraudulently tricked it into handing over the IP blocks.
IPv4 addresses are in incredibly short supply (see below), which means that getting hold of them involves waiting lists. Scarcity also makes them valuable on resale – between $13 and $19 each. That would make the IP addresses Micfo obtained worth between $9.8 million and $14.3 million.
Not surprisingly, cases of pocket-lining IP address fraud have risen, as ARIN’s senior director of global registry knowledge, warned about in a conference presentation in 2016.
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