North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Clarification: List of AS names by ASN?

  • From: George Michaelson
  • Date: Mon Jul 23 19:30:34 2001

I probably didn't word that last posting well. I don't accuse AS stats people
of being spammers, its more that in an operational sense, grazing the whois
database for AS information is probably going to look much like grazing the
whois database for SPAM information, so our logfile checks may well block
this class of access.

That, and that there are substantive scaling and policy issues in how we
make reliable, trustable, consistent data about AS and other address 
information accessible to the community when we have a small number of
whois servers, all of which may be taking load.

I doubt if NANOGers are capable of being suprised by anything, but it
suprised me that whois is actually very heavily used. It didn't occur
to me that firewall and spamblocking s/w would assume whois was able
to answer their questions about where the source of the badstuff was
coming from, and that this was automatable. That they ask both the wrong
whois server (I hate to think about the load ARIN takes in respect of APNIC
and RIPE data) and the wrong questions doesn't help much.

In short, whois is a very limited use tool in this context, and automatic
grazing of whois to mail back spammers is pretty broken right now and
probably for the forseeable future, at least as long as whois data is
semi voluntary. I don't see the kinds of trends in Internet governance which
can help the data accuracy problem.

What we can do is make the service more widely available, replicated, reliable
at a machine level. I'm sensitive that APNIC has had more than its share
of problems lately. We do realize its not (yet) a HA service, we do realize
this is impacting on what people (including NANOGites) want to do.


George Michaelson       |  APNIC
Email: [email protected]    |  PO Box 2131 Milton QLD 4064
Phone: +61 7 3367 0490  |  Australia
  Fax: +61 7 3367 0482  |