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This article was published on December 15, 2015

ISIS is using IP addresses the UK sold to Saudi Arabia

ISIS is using IP addresses the UK sold to Saudi Arabia
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

IP addresses being used by ISIS and traced by teenage computer hackers back to the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions are likely to be among those sold to Saudi Arabian telecoms companies this year, the British government has claimed.

In a convenient admission given the charge levelled at the UK government by the VandaSec hacker team that someone at DwP has set up ISIS Twitter accounts, the Cabinet Office now says it’s been selling off IP addresses to make money for taxpayers.

The world ran out of IPv4 addresses completely in July of this year, raising the value of addresses significantly and triggering a land-grab for anything that’s available.

This has created a “bizarre second-hand market” and an internet which no longer has proper geography.

Investigators at the Mirror Online found the addresses do now appear to be based in Saudia Arabia but have a path leading back to London.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told them:

The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers. We have sold a number of these addresses to telecoms companies both in the UK and internationally to allow their customers to connect to the internet. We think carefully about which companies we sell addresses to, but how their customers use this internet connection is beyond our control. 

Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions [Mirror Online]