Filling the gaps in whois

By on 3 Dec 2019

Category: Tech matters

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On 1 October, APNIC introduced a special type of inet[6]num (that is, either an inetnum or an inet6num) record, called a whois stub record, into the APNIC Whois Database. It aims to fill in a few gaps in the data and improve query results, as will be demonstrated later in this article.

When APNIC receives IP resources from IANA, corresponding inet[6]num records are created in the APNIC Whois Database and subsequent delegations to Members from these resources trigger the creation of new inet[6]num records, having the former record as a parent.

Previously, when those delegations were transferred to other regions (different RIRs), the corresponding inet[6]num records were removed. This meant that when a user queried for these delegations, whois would return their parent block since it would be the most relevant result available in the database. This response would lead clients to inadvertently interpret that the resources are still held by APNIC.

With the introduction of whois stub records, these queries will now return the best information available in our registry. Queries for these blocks will now return an inet[6]num record stating that the block has been transferred to another region. Similarly, queries for blocks that were transferred from other regions and were subsequently deallocated will also result in a stub record.

The following inetnum object is an example of a stub record for a block that was transferred to another region:

inetnum:        43.225.112.0 - 43.225.115.255
netname:        STUB-43-225-112SLASH22
descr:          Transferred to the RIPE region on 2018-12-04T08:38:56Z.
country:        ZZ
admin-c:        STUB-AP
tech-c:         STUB-AP
status:         ALLOCATED PORTABLE
mnt-by:         APNIC-STUB
mnt-irt:        IRT-STUB-AP
last-modified:  2019-09-30T00:15:22Z
source:         APNIC

Once the resource has been transferred out of APNIC’s region, APNIC can’t assert its economy, so the country code ‘ZZ’ is used to denote ‘UNKNOWN’.

The description field contains the region to which the resource was transferred. With this information, users may query the whois server of the transfer recipient’s region and obtain the most up-to-date registry record for the resource.

If you would like your queries to be automatically redirected for resources outside APNIC’s region, please consider using RDAP. Automatic redirection is just one of the many advantages of using RDAP over whois.

Read: RDAP: Whois for the Modern World

If you still want to use whois, JWhois also provides automatic redirection and can be accessed by setting your client to use jwhois.apnic.net as host.

If you have any feedback on this new feature we invite you to use the apnic-service mailing list or leave a comment below.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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