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IPv6 Security Lab @ Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego

With the proliferation of IPv6, its adoption and deployment, there are new security concerns that apply only to IPv6. Some of these security concerns rely on protocol differences between IPv4 and IPv6 and others exploit the diversification that the two technologies offer. The result could allow malicious users the ability to deploy attacks or evade network threat defense, countermeasures, and controls.

Join us, this Monday (June 11, 2012) afternoon, at Cisco Live, San Diego 4-hour lab session LTRSEC-3033 – Cyber Aikidō (合気道) Academy: IPv6 Network Threat Defense, Countermeasures, and Controls, to become more knowledgeable about basic inherent IPv6 security features and techniques on Cisco IOS Software and the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). The students will acquire hands-on experience by configuring and testing these security features and techniques in simulated real world scenarios. The threats and protections that are presented apply to Local Area, Enterprise, and Service Provider networks. Students must correctly identify, classify, and deter or prevent the nefarious IPv6-specific behaviors by configuring network threat defense, countermeasures, and controls that will be implemented and deployed on infrastructure devices and validate their effectiveness.

At the conclusion of these labs, students will be more prepared to effectively implement and deploy basic inherent security features and techniques for identifying, classifying, deterring, and detecting attacks, threats, and nefarious behaviors specific to IPv6.

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The IPv6 Internet for the Next Thousand (Ten Thousand?) Years!

Today marks a huge milestone in the networking industry – the official launch by the Internet Society (ISOC) of the new IPv6-based Internet helps ensure its continued growth and impact on the world economy. This new Internet has been in the works for over two decades, including the publication of the first IPv6 standard (RFC2460) by Steven Deering of Cisco and Robert Hinden of Nokia. Since then the industry has made incredible investments in technology to reach this successful achievement including today’s official participation of over 2000 websites and 50+ network operators. According to some of our own calculations we’re estimating that 30% of the world’s web pages are now directly reachable by IPv6.

For us at Cisco on our Service Provider Marketing team, it’s been an exciting journey. We first sought to make the industry challenge imposed by the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses more widely understood by a non-technical audience. Hence our effort at some humor with Read More »

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Today is World IPv6 Day – Are You In?

Across the globe, organizations have come together today at the World IPv6 Launch to mark a milestone in unique fashion: Turning on and permanently enabling IPv6 networks for their products and services.

According to the recent CiscoVisual Networking Index (VNI), there will be nearly two-and-a-half  networked devices for every person on the planet – roughly 19 billion connected devices by 2016. It’s not only people that are being connected, but also machines. Two billion M2M (machine to machine) connections are expected by 2015. Not surprisingly, global IP traffic has increased eightfold over the past five years and will increase threefold over the next five. To support the proliferation of devices that are transforming businesses and lifestyles, enterprises and service providers are adopting IPv6-enabled networks.

Anyone who has taken the road to IPv6 knows it’s not about flipping a switch. Many things need to be in order beforehand, and it takes expertise and planning to understand the manifold contingencies and then ensure a smooth migration to IPv6 – while also preserving existing IPv4 investments.

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T-Minus Zero and Liftoff! World IPv6 Launch Has Begun.

The launch of the world’s new Internet Protocol, IPv6, has started. With official participation of over  3000 website operators, 50 network operators, and multiple home networking vendors, this is the largest concerted effort to move the industry towards IPv6 ever. Building upon the success of last year’s test run on World IPv6 Day, the Internet Society, with strong support from industry leaders, decided last January not merely to test IPv6 again, but to turn it on and leave it on.

The Apollo 11 Liftoff. Photo courtesy of NASA

As with a rocket launch into space, this is a moment where the herculean efforts of individuals from across the globe have converged to set off a chain reaction of events towards a common goal. The goal in our case is nothing less than retrofitting one of the largest operational systems mankind has ever created with a new foundation to help propel the Internet to the stratospheric levels of growth and innovation the world has come to expect.

Cisco has been preparing for some time and is proud to be among the founding participants of the World IPv6 Launch. Cisco has now permanently enabled IPv6 on  and has IPv6 enabled by default throughout our line of Linksys E-series home routers. We are rolling out IPv6 progressively across our own enterprise network, are leading the way in IPv6 Certifications, and our solutions for IPv6 deployment are in use by service provider and enterprise network operators across the globe. Most importantly, we will be continuing to work closely with our customers, Cisco Services, and development teams to ensure that any problems that may arise are addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible during this critical phase of deployment.

This is a giant leap forward for the Internet, but there is still much work to do in order to release our dependence on IPv4 and allow IPv6 to reach its full potential. While we now have websites representing a majority of Internet traffic advertising their IPv6 reachability to the entire world, the majority of new Internet connected devices shipping with IPv6 built-in, and more Internet Service Providers than ever before enabling IPv6 for their customers as part of normal business, we will have to fly with both protocols at the same time for several years before we get to the point where we can cut loose our first-stage IPv4 engines and soar to new heights without them weighing us down. We have certainly left the platform now though, and are on a clear trajectory toward significant and sustained growth of the Internet based on its widespread adoption of IPv6.

Congratulations to everyone who helped to make this historic launch happen. Because of your vision, dedication, and hard work, IPv6 has left the laboratory and entered the mainstream. The world has its new Internet Protocol.

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World IPv6 Launch: Impact on the Web

These days, I’m often being asked “how much content is going to be on IPv6 out there, June 6th onward”, or “what is the true impact of World IPv6 Launch?” So I scratched my head, and tried to come up with a meaningful way to answer. Consider this my best estimate so far:

Close to 30% of pages viewed on the Internet globally, will be reachable over IPv6 after June 6th 2012.

I based my calculation on two sources:

  1. The list of web sites that have publicly stated their participation in the World IPv6 Launch here
  2. traffic stats here with the estimated percentage of pages viewed on these very same sites  (averaged over last 3 months).

My estimate was based on analysis I did it for web sites among the Alexa’s TOP 500 participating in the World IPv6 Launch globally (indeed, the vast majority of the content) and estimated the other 2500+ smaller sites to add a very small fraction (the long tail if you will) .

Let’s do the math!

5.438% (Google) + 5.336% (Facebook) + 3.861% (YouTube) + 1.338% (Yahoo)…etc….etc…etc… = 27.2%

Boom! On June 6th 2012, the IPv6 pages “addressable market” went from 3% (as measured on May 20th) to 27.2%.  The reality… it will most likely be a larger number fairly quickly if one consider a lot of smaller sites did not bother registering on the Internet Society list of participating web sites.

What does this mean?

If such a thing as a “global IPv6 user” would exist, they would reach an IPv6 page roughly 30% of the time. Of course this avatar of a global average Internet user does not exist.

Internet users sit at home, in their office, at their neighborhood cafe and are geographically located by definition. Also they have different language, and a typical Russian Internet user is unlikely to look at the same pages or use the exact same sites, as an average American, Brit, Australian, Chinese or Italian.

It is important we find a reliable way of measuring the weight of each web site on a per country basis, so that each country builds their own model to assess “how much IPv6 stuff is out there”.
And make no mistake, I’m NOT predicting that as all of a sudden 30% of the Internet TRAFFIC will be IPv6 overnight.

In order to measure traffic, real users need to access this content and pull up these pages. Remember! as part of World IPv6 launch, a number of network operators have committed to enabled 1% of their subscribers and to make IPv6 a per default service for every new subscriber. They key point to realize is that these IPv6 subscribers are also going to have a destination in IPv6, too.

The IPv6 subscriber growth is going to be steady and it’s already started and accelerated across the globe, as can be seen here. For example we see on June 5th, 2012 that US is at .92% of IPv6 users, China .56%, France 4.7%, Romania 6.3%).

The good news: these users have (on average across the global Internet) 30% of the content available natively across IPv6. This is what the industry in an unprecedented collaboration effort has achieved through World IPv6 Launch. And it’s huge!