Spamhaus accuses Verizon of aiding spammers

The Spamhaus Project claims Verizon is aiding spammers by routing 4 million IP addresses that are currently in the hands of cybercriminals.

The problem that The Spamhaus Project is identifying is that to bypass and defeat increasingly effective spam blacklists and spam filters, spammers are spreading their operations across legal but dormant IP address blocks.

This is an effective technique for spammers as IP V4 addresses are now unavailable – the last block was assigned by IANA (Internet Address Numbers Authority) way back in February 2011. Consequently, spammers were finding it difficult to get their hands on new blocks of IP addresses from which to source their spam.

However, the spammers were in luck as although IPv4 addresses were stringently controlled in the last decade or so, it was not always the case. Indeed back in the early nineties, the IPv4 pool appeared to be inexhaustible and huge blocks of addresses were assigned on request with little questions asked. Furthermore, the uptake of IPv6 has been far quicker in Asia and non US and European countries due to the lack of IPv4 addresses, so many of the address blocks assigned to Asian ISPs go unused.

This of course is what the spammers have realised and are using dormant blocks of IPv4 addresses to source their spam. The problem is though that they need an ISP to advertise these addresses as part of their Internet routing updates. This is normally quite difficult as ISP’s demand proof that you are the actual owner of the address block, if not you could advertise Microsoft’s or Google’s addresses and create mayhem on the internet.

The Spamhaus Project is claiming that Verizon is advertising address block belonging to ISPs in Korea and other Asian locations that have been dormant for over a decade. It claims that Verizon is not performing due diligence when checking the ownership of these address blocks, and are aiding spammers as a result.

Image source: Shutterstock/Ken Wolter