After some legal wrangling, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) has reclaimed over 735,000 scarce IPv4 addresses that were fraudulently obtained by a businessman who is now facing wire-fraud charges in the US.
ARIN is the non-profit organization responsible for assigning IP address in the US, Canada and parts of the Caribbean. It doesn’t sell IP addresses but rather allocates them to members.
However, thanks to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses during the world’s transition to IPv6, there’s been a rise in attempts to fraudulently obtain IPv4 addresses from ARIN and then sell the rights to those addresses to others, according to ARIN.
ARIN announced this week that it has won a key legal case over 735,000 IPv4 addresses that it says were fraudulently obtained by Micfo, a South Carolina company run by Amir Golestan.
The company and Golestan are accused of running a scheme that used 11 shelf companies with fake executives at each firm to obtain the IPv4 address.
Prosecutors handling the fraud case against Golestan estimate the total value of the IPv4 addresses he obtained is between about $10m and $14m, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Krebsonsecurity.
In 2017 and 2018, Golestan is alleged to have used a third-party broker to sell the addresses for $13 each. In one transaction 65,536 IPv4 addresses were sold for a total of $851,896, and in a second transaction 65,536 were sold for about a total of $1m. Golestan also allegedly sold 327,680 IP addresses at $19 per address for $6.2m.
The fraud case is the tail end of an odd sequence of events starting in December 2018, after ARIN had asked the 11 shelf companies to produce and explain their conduct, according to ARIN general counsel Stephen Ryan.
Instead of producing the requested documents, Micfo filed an arbitration against ARIN and simultaneously filed for a temporary restraining order against it in a federal court in Virginia. The restraining order was denied because Micfo wouldn’t produce documents about its customers.
Ryan notes it was “the first ever invocation of ARIN’s dispute resolution mechanism”.
“In both the federal court and arbitration, ARIN exposed an intricate multi-year scheme to fraudulently obtain resources from ARIN,” he wrote in a blogpost.
ARIN won the arbitration case on May 1, clearing it to revoke all IPv4 addresses held by the firms and winning an order for Micfo to pay ARIN $350,000 for its legal fees.
John Curran, ARIN president and CEO, said in a statement that the organization is stepping up its fight against fraud.
“Fraud will not be tolerated. The vast majority of organizations obtain their address space from ARIN in good faith according to the policies set out by the community,” said Curran.
“However, ARIN detected fraud as a result of internal due diligence processes, and took action to respond in this particularly egregious case.
“We are stepping up our efforts to actively investigate suspected cases of fraud against ARIN and will revoke resources and report unlawful activity to law enforcement whenever appropriate.”
More on IPv4 and IPv6
The Feature That You Likely Didn’t Know Your iPhone Camera Had
If you’ve ever wanted to take photos while recording video without having to resort to screen captures of video stills, Apple has something for that in almost all of the new phones it’s released since September 2019. QuickTake is a built-in and easy-to-use feature that lets you record video and snap pictures using the same device, with no need to switch between camera modes or download any additional camera apps.
There’s a small catch, however. While the process is very simple when you know how to turn it on, it may affect the overall quality of your photos. In essence, if your photo settings are adjusted for higher-quality images, those settings won’t carry over to video. And since QuickTake uses video camera sensors rather than the regular ones, there’s not much you can do to change that. Newer iPhone models do support up to 4K video, which could yield better results.
Regardless, whatever your reasons for wanting to take photos while simultaneously recording video with your iPhone may be, it’s a very simple process.
How to use QuickTake
Making use of your iPhone’s QuickTake feature doesn’t require any special setup or settings changes — it’s already part of the default Camera app so long as you’re using iOS 13 or newer.
- Open the Camera app and leave it on the default Photo mode. You should see “Photo” highlighted in yellow, just above the Shutter Button.
- When you’re ready to record, press and hold the Shutter Button to begin recording video. Recording will stop if you release the Shutter Button.
- Slide your finger from the Shutter Button over to the Lock icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen (where the button for swapping between front- and rear-facing cameras normally is).
- The Lock icon will change to a small Shutter Button, and the video recording button will change to the regular recording icon. At this point, your iPhone will continue to record video if you remove your finger from the screen.
- While your video is recording, tap the small Shutter Button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to take photos.
- Tap the recording button (it will look like a Stop button while recording) to stop taking video.
The QuickTake video you’ve recorded and all of the photos you snapped will appear in your Photos app. Due to videos being added to the Photos app once recording stops (rather than when it starts), the new video will appear after your QuickTake photos.
The Science Behind The Deadly Lake
A buildup of carbon dioxide gas is not uncommon for crater lakes, with many of them occasionally releasing bubbles of it over time. Volcanic activity taking place below the Earth’s surface (and below the lake itself) will cause gasses to seep up through the lakebed and into the water. Something that generally isn’t a concern as deeper, colder water is able to absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, but if the concentration gets too dense it can create bubbles that float up to and burst on the surface of the water.
This in itself is common, and the volume of carbon dioxide usually released in this manner will dissipate into the air quickly. However, it’s theorized that Lake Nyos had been amassing an uncharacteristically large amount of gas due to a combination of factors like location, local climate, overall depth, and water pressure. Once that buildup had been disturbed, it all came rocketing out.
Whether it was due to a rock slide, strong winds, or an unexpected temperature change throwing off the delicate balance is still unknown. But whatever the catalyst was, it caused the lower layer of deep, carbon-infused water to start to rise. Which then began to warm up, reducing its ability to contain the gas. The resulting perpetual cycle of rising waters and gasses creates the type of explosion you might see after opening a carbonated beverage after it’s been shaken vigorously.
The Super Nintendo’s Secret Weapon
The Super Nintendo featured seven different video rendering modes, each offering a different level of display detail, shown in one to four background layers. Most of the Super Nintendo’s games utilized Mode 1, which could display 16-color sprites and backgrounds on two layers plus a 4-color sprite on a third layer. This little trick was the key to the parallax scrolling effect you’d see in games like “Super Mario World,” where background elements would scroll at different rates from foreground elements.
Mode 7, however, was the only one of these display modes that permitted advanced visual effects. In a nutshell, Mode 7 allows the Super Nintendo to take a 2D image and apply 3D rendering effects to it, such as scrolling, curving, stretching, and more. By switching to Mode 7, games could transform one of their background layers into an independently moving image, which could be used for gameplay modifications and simple spectacle. Plus, with a bit of creative warping, a 2D image could be changed into a pseudo-3D view, having 2D sprites move around in a flat 3D space. It’s kind of like rolling a ball on a treadmill.
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