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Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 11, 2021 03:11AM
A secretive Pentagon program that started on Trump’s last day in office just ended. The mystery has not.
Control of a remarkable 6 percent of the Internet was handed over to a Florida company as part of a cybersecurity pilot project. Now the Pentagon has taken all 175 million IP address spaces back.


A Pentagon program that delegated management of a huge swath of the Internet to a Florida company in January — just minutes before President Donald Trump left office — has ended as mysteriously as it began, with the Defense Department this week retaking control of 175 million IP addresses.

The program had drawn scrutiny because of its unusual timing, starting amid a politically charged changeover of federal power, and because of its enormous scale. At its peak, the company, Global Resource Systems, controlled almost 6 percent of a section of the Internet called IPv4. The IP addresses had been under Pentagon control for decades but left unused, despite being potentially worth billions of dollars on the open market.


On the unusual timing of the start of the pilot program — which began the transfer of control of IP addresses at 11:57 a.m. on Inauguration Day, three minutes before President Biden took office — Goemaere added, “The decision to launch and the scheduling of the DDS pilot effort was agnostic of administration change. The effort was planned and initiated in the Fall of 2020. It was launched in mid-January 2021 when the required infrastructure was in place. Given the opportunity, maintaining low visibility was also desirable in order to observe traffic in its current state, allowing us to identify potential vulnerabilities and assess and mitigate potential cyber threats.”


Madory shared one more tantalizing fact: His analysis of traffic flowing through the Internet addresses once controlled by Global Resource Systems are still leading to the same place as they have for most of the year — a computer router in Ashburn, Va., a major hub of Internet connections for government agencies and private companies — despite the official resumption of Pentagon control.


Earlier story from April:


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