The road to IPv6 is generally smooth but contains a few potholes

Posted by    on   Apr 23, 2018

"The report of my death was an exaggeration," Mark Twain famously said in 1897. It was indeed: Twain went on to live for another 13 years but did eventually die.

The same is true for IPv4: reports of the pending 'ipv4pocalypse' have been doing the rounds for at least a decade (the most recent one is from a few days ago) and they have generally exaggerated the problem. Yet the fact that IPv4 addresses will eventually run out cannot be avoided.

The good news is that many devices support its successor protocol, IPv6, and that most devices and services can seamlessly switch between IPv4 and IPv6. The bad news is that this isn't true for everything.

A few years ago, I attended a conference where I connected my phone to the local Wi-Fi network. I activated my OpenVPN app, only to find a lot of traffic was bypassing the VPN. It turned out that the local network was supporting IPv6, as were many websites I was connecting to; OpenVPN at that time didn't support IPv6.

In other cases, IPv6 is supported, but works slightly differently. A blog post by Trustwave's John Anderson provides a good example of how this can be leveraged in a penetration test: access control rules for a Redis instance, which does support IPv6, were only configured using IPv4, thus allowing an attacker to connect without authentication.

Six years ago, I briefly looked at the security implications of the switch to IPv6. That article really only touched the surface and though I don't expect there to be an 'IPv6pocalypse', there will be many interesting and unforeseen edge cases, some of which may attract the attention of attackers. Don't panic about IPv6 and don't see this as a reason not to enable IPv6 – if only because you will eventually have to anyway. But do keep an eye out for the many subtleties that come with the change.

mark-twain-statue.jpgStatue of Mark Twain, Glascock's Landing, Hannibal, MO.

Copyright: brians101 / 123RF Stock Photo

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: The dark side of WebAssembly

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Symantec researchers Aishwarya Lonkar and Siddhesh Chandrayan on the security risks that come with WebAssembly.

The Virus Bulletin conference returns home: VB2019 to take place in London

In 2019, the Virus Bulletin conference is set to return home, with VB2019 taking place in London, UK.

Guest blog: The case for increasing transparency in cybersecurity

In a guest blog post, Kaspersky Lab's Anton Shingarev considers the case for increasing transparency in cybersecurity.

VB2018 preview: Workshops

Workshops make their VB Conference debut during VB2018, giving delegates the opportunity to learn the basics of kernel-level malware analysis, Android reverse-engineering and artificial intelligence.

New article: Through the looking glass: webcam interception and protection in kernel mode

Today we publish a short article by Ronen Slavin and Michael Maltsev, researchers at Reason Software Company, who dive into the video capturing internals on Windows, and explain how this can be used by a malicious actor to steal images recorded by a…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.