Deciding whose network block is whose?

Sean Donelan SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM
Mon Dec 29 15:17:29 UTC 1997

When some random person decides to announce a subnet, what do providers
accept as proof the person has authority to announce that subnet to the
global Internet?  Or the other side, when some random person calls up
complaining that someone else is announcing a subnet without authorization
what do providers accept as proof that the announcement is invalid?

For example, lets say a difficult to reach ISP on the other side of the
planet decided to announce a subnet DRA had assigned for use by one of our
customers.  Would major providers take my word a Hong Kong provider was
wrong?  Would major providers accept the registration information in WHOIS
and/or IRR the network block had been delegated to me, and to no one else.
Would major providers accept a statement from the APNIC that the HK ISP
had never been delegated any part of the network block?  What do you do
when a major provider's front-line customer service personnel don't
understand the problem, but says since the other person is a customer
they have to believe them?  Of course, the major provider can't get a
hold of the customer either.

Do providers normally just let customers announce any network, and only
review things after receiving complaints.  If so, how do such providers
expect people to complain when one of their customers is causing problems.
How many days, weeks, months is considered normal to reach a competent
person at a major ISP that has the authority to block such a bogus
announcement by one of their customers?  Since some (one) major provider
has a policy of not giving trouble ticket numbers when a non-customer
calls, how much ruckus must be caused to get their management's attention?

This can cause partial network outages lasting weeks in some cases.  I
hate the idea of needing to resort to things like filing formal criminal
complaints because of the dumb management policy at a major provider, but
it has been required in some other industries these providers operate
in.  Slamming is a prohibited practice for long distance carriers, and
the customer can more or less easily get their phone number switched back
to their original provider.  How does a customer do the same thing when
their IP network block gets slammed by another provider, or a customer
of another provider?

There seem to be major problems with several of the widely referred to
network registration databases.  I see Telstra (AS1221) is once again,
Dec 29, 1997, announcing  While its possible that General
Electric has an office in Australia, it seems an odd announcement.  Other
than Sprint's global default for 0/1 (and then SPRINT has the nerve to
complain when people point default at them) there is no information in
the IRR about valid origin ASNs for Net 3/8.  Although Mr. Bono spoke
up about some of GE's activities, other than James C. Shearer, who would
have authority over subnets from network 3/8?  And what to do when the
listed contact has left, or worse is a generic position name (e.g.
[email protected] or [email protected]).

Even going by company names isn't enough, because some companies have
very similar names, are merged, unmerged, sliced and diced. For example,
the various companies have "Data Research" in their name, but have
nothing to do with DRA.  Nor is the DRA in the UK isn't affliated with
the DRA in the USA.

Network blocks delegated to non-ISPs were fairly easy, because it is
uncommon to see subdelegations.  But if you look at net 12/8 (AT&T),
customer subnets are appearing in announcements from other providers.
How do you decide when network blocks can be delegated, or not?  In
net 12/8 case, the WHOIS database lists some delegations, but the IRR
shows different ones.

But with CIDR it is even complicated figuring out what type of delegation
was done for subnets.  Take the case of which is from a
network block delegated to MCS.  The history of this block is a bit odd.
It appears the block was first delegated on March 15, 1995
to NET99.  On March 29, 1995 was delegated to MCS.  At
some point later the delegation for was deleted, and AGIS
was delegated and  Something funny
happened to the database, because now MCS's registration date is
March 29, 2019 (a Y2000 problem?).  MCS registered a portion of their
CIDR block in the IRR(MCI),  Goodnet registered an
IRR(RADB) entry for  AGIS and PSI have overlapping
registrations in the IRR(RADB) for  And, of course,
there is the Sprint global default route in the IRR(RADB) for 192/2.
Karl complained about AGIS announcing, but not about which is also being announced by AGIS.

How do you tell the difference between a customer trying to move a
delegated network address when switching providers, and someone whose
announcement would cause problems.

The problem of bogus routing has been getting worse.  Is it going to
take a disaster to get the attention of various provider's management?
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
  Affiliation given for identification not representation

More information about the NANOG mailing list