As the first Trumpian age came to its ignominious end at the hands of the Democrat-Socialist conspiracy to install the Biden-Harris regime, a very strange set of occurrences took place. On January 20th shortly, after President Trump left office and just before the statutory start of Biden’s occupation of the oval office, nearly 175 million IP addresses that had lain dormant for years, (nearly 6 percent of of the total IPV4 addresses on the whole internet) under Department of Defense ownership were suddenly announced to the world.
A relatively brand new company Global Resource Systems LLC sent a message to the internet and IP providers globally that that these IP addresses were now under their management. Global Resource Systems was founded in September 2020 and now it controls internet real-estate worth billions owned by the US Military. Global Resource Systems LLC now manages more internet space than China Telecom, AT&T or Comcast.
“The only announcement of Global Resource Systems’ management of Pentagon addresses happened in the obscure world of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) — the messaging system that tells Internet companies how to route traffic across the world. There, messages began to arrive telling network administrators that IP addresses assigned to the Pentagon but long dormant could now accept traffic — but it should be routed to Global Resource Systems.
TIME: 01/20/21 16:57:35 TYPE: BGP4MP/MESSAGE/Update FROM: 188.8.131.52 AS1299 TO: 184.108.40.206 AS6447 ORIGIN: IGP ASPATH: 1299 6939 6939 8003 NEXT_HOP: 220.127.116.11 ANNOUNCE 18.104.22.168/8
“The message above has a timestamp of 16:57 UTC (11:57am ET) on January 20, 2021, moments after the swearing in of Joe Biden as the President of the United States and minutes before the statutory end of the administration of Donald Trump at noon Eastern time.”
What Does All of This Strange Technical Stuff Mean?
Some light was shed by Madory and his team at Kentik, and the reporters at the Washington Post who recieved a predictably cryptic response from the Department of Defense which Doug translated for laymen.
First, the DoD gave a statement, regarding their DDS or Defense Digital Service (think Geek Squad but scarier) they handle emergency technical situations and critical experimental work in cyber space for the pentagon.
“Defense Digital Service (DDS) authorized a pilot effort advertising DoD Internet Protocol (IP) space using Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This pilot will assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space. Additionally, this pilot may identify potential vulnerabilities. This is one of DoD’s many efforts focused on continually improving our cyber posture and defense in response to advanced persistent threats. We are partnering throughout DoD to ensure potential vulnerabilities are mitigated.”
Now in english (approximately) Doug explained,
“I interpret this to mean that the objectives of this effort are twofold. First, to announce this address space to scare off any would-be squatters, and secondly, to collect a massive amount of background internet traffic for threat intelligence.”
The Associated Press contacted Madory and dug even further, discovering that GRS or Global Resource Systems may not be the first incarnation of this company.
“Deepening the mystery is Global Resource Systems’ name. It is identical to that of a firm that independent internet fraud researcher Ron Guilmette says was sending out email spam using the very same internet routing identifier. It shut down more than a decade ago.
“It’s deeply suspicious,” said Guilmette, who unsuccessfully sued the previous incarnation of Global Resource Systems in 2006 for unfair business practices.”
The only man linked to the company is alleged to have retired, and is a managing member of another company called Packet Forensics in Nevada, a firm with $40 million in Federal contracts that specializes in (Get this): “selling an appliance to government agencies and law enforcement that let them spy on people’s web browsing using forged security certificates.”
Oh and here’s the good part: Global Resource Systems’ business address is a group work-space in Plantation, Florida that doesn’t list them in the directory and Packet Forensics’ address…. is a UPS store in Virginia Beach…
Strange… really strange.. and kind of sketchy…
Timing is Everything
A confidential, source with over twenty-years experience within a Phoenix-Area Internet Service Provider gave a similar insight,
“My understanding is the DOD owns a large chunk of IP addresses but these addresses have not been advertised to the Internet. BGP is the way routes are advertised/broadcast. This is what we do so our addresses are routable over the Internet. My understanding is that there were bad actors using the addresses, broadcasting/advertising some and were using them for nefarious purposes. By advertising them it allows them to snoop and receive traffic on them. As far as timing and who won the contract… I don’t know. A private company received authorization to use them on behalf of the DOD under some contract, most likely. Maybe the timing is intentional to create the stir.”
As usual in the dark world of the military internet we’re left with more questions than answers:
- Who is Global Resource Systems LLC, really?
- What is the connection to Packet Forensics?
- Why didn’t the DoD announce the IP’s instead of a third party?
- Why did all of this happen in the mysterious overlap between President Trump’s term ending and the beginning of the Biden-Harris regime?
Perhaps we’ll never find out. Or maybe we’ll just have to wait until 2024 for a new administration to shed some light on it.