Community News

IPv6 addresses, security and privacy

According to Google’s statistics, between 17.5% and 21.4% of their web traffic is served over IPv6, though IPv6 usage varies significantly among different countries.

The principle driver for adopting this new Internet Protocol version is its predecessor’s shortage of addresses. In IPv6, addresses have been increased to a total length of 128 bits which are usually considered in two 64-bit halves: the first 64 bits are the network prefix and the latter 64 bits are the interface identifier (IID) that enables a subscriber’s identification on the local link. However this is not the only addressing schema available and many considerations need to be taken into account.

In particular, the choice of the IPv6 address format impacts a host’s security and privacy. This article on RIPE Labs discusses the impact, highlights how current address formats deal with matters of security and privacy, and pinpoints shortcomings in today’s addressing mechanisms.