A Survey Of IPv6 Address Usage In The Public Domain Name System

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University Research institute, Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Institute




Originally published in the Proceedings of the 12th Australian Information Security Management Conference. Held on the 1-3 December, 2014 at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Campus, Perth, Western Australia. Available here


The IPv6 protocol has been slowly increasing in use on the Internet. The main reason for the development of the protocol is that the address space provided by IPv4 is nearing exhaustion. The pool of addresses provided by IPv6 is 296 times larger than IPv4, and should be sufficient to provide an address for every device for the foreseeable future. Another potential advantage of this significantly large address space is the use of randomly assigned addresses as a security barrier as part of a defence in depth strategy. This research examined the addresses allocated by those implementing IPv6 to determine what method or pattern of allocation was being used by adopters of the protocol. This examination was done through the use of DNS queries of the AAAA IPv6 host record using public DNS servers. It was observed that 55.84% of IPv6 addresses were in the range of 0 to (232 − 1). For those addresses with unique interface identifier (IID) portions, a nearly equal number of sequential and random IIDs were observed. Hong Kong and Germany were found to have the greatest number of IPv6 addresses. These results suggest that adopters are allocating most addresses sequentially, meaning that no security advantage is being obtained. It is unclear as to whether this is through design or the following of accepted practice. Future research will continue to survey the IPv6 address space to determine whether the patterns observed here remain constant.



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