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How a small Florida company now has more IP addresses than most.

Let’s lead with a weird one.     As reported in the Washington Post, Florida based Global Resource Systems LLC started managing a large portion of unused IP addresses that were previously owned by the US military.     The company, founded in September with no publicly reported federal contracts and no obvious public facing website, now manages nearly 175 million IP addresses.    This is a larger block than most of the largest internet providers.   

And, as of Friday, is connected to the Defense Digital Service, which reports directly to the secretary of defense.  Positioned as a SWAT team of nerds, it is tasked with solving emergency problems for the department and conducing experiments to focus on bigger technological leaps.

This pilot effort is about publicizing the IP space owned by the Pentagon, and will assess, evaluate, and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space, and may identify potential vulnerabilities.   This IP range allows large amounts of data to be collected and analyzed for threat intelligence, among other uses.  

Why do we care?

The DoD is running a massive data collection effort on the internet?    That’s why we care.  Tactically, many listeners who manage data networks will be noting a new active IP block that hadn’t been there before.    That’s new.   

Strategically, the serious investment in cyber by the DOD is why we notice .    Couple this with the stories we have about the changing tone of lawmakers, and we see a major shift in US strategy playing out.  

I’m not going to put much stock in the timing of this – the service went active in the last few minutes of the Trump administration, but this wouldn’t be lit up last minute.  It would have been going on for significantly longer.