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Cogent & FDCServers: Knowingly aiding and abetting fraud and theft?

Hi Ronald,
APNIC has contacted the custodians of and and brought this matter to their attention.

Member Services Manager, APNIC

From: Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg at tristatelogic.com>
    Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 6:30 PM
    Subject: Cogent & FDCServers: Knowingly aiding and abetting fraud and theft?
    To: <nanog at nanog.org>

    Few of you here probably know about this, but nearly a week ago now
    an article appeared in South Africa's largest and most popular online
    tech publication, MyBroadband.co.za.  It detailed many, but certainly not
    all of the results of my multi-month investigation of a massive and
    ongoing fraud involving the theft of large numbers of large (generally
    /16 or larger) abandoned legacy blocks, taken from the AFRINIC region
    and beyond:


    For various editorial reasons, the article that was published actually
    downplayed the magnitude of the of the thefts quite dramatically.  The
    totality of the IPv4 space that has been stolen or squatted, primarily
    but not exclusively, from South African companies and South African national
    goverment agencies and departments is actually at least 5x bigger than what
    was reported in the MyBroadband.co.za article.

    The overwhelming majority of this stolen and squatted IPv4 space has
    been helpfully routed by Cogent (AS174), to their customer, FDCServers
    of Chicago, and then on to the prefered destinations of a certain Mr.
    Elad Cohen of Israel, and his company Netstyle Atarim, Ltd.  (I have
    saved traceroutes up the wazoo that prove the involvement of FDCServers,
    in particular, in all of this.)

    Mr. Cohen has been exceptionally prolific in his IPv4 theft and squatting
    activities, basically grabbing everything that wasn't nailed down, both
    within the AFRINIC region and also within the APNIC region.

    In order to try to legitimize all of these thefts and squats, Mr. Cohen
    created quite a sizable number of fradulent route: objects within the
    Merit/RADB data base which, as most here should already know, has
    essentially zero authentication of any kind before it allows J. Random
    Luser to add pretty much any any route: object he wants to the RADB.

    Here's a full listing of all of Mr. Cohen's RADB route: objects as they
    existed as recently as August 17th:


    And here is the short summary version showing just all of the prefixes/CIDRs
    that Mr. Cohen was effectively claiming rights and/or title to as of that
    same date:


    Plese do note the numerous blocks of size /16 or greater.

    The bottom line is that this one tiny little Israeli company was effectively
    claiming rights to a total of no fewer than 1,015,808 IPv4 addresses as of
    August 17th, 2019.  (Not too shabby for one lone guy who teaches programming
    classes as a side job!) Vitrually all of the space is "legacy" IPv4 space,
    and generally consists of blocks having sizes of /16 or larger.

    Some of Mr. Cohen claims in his RADB entries are as humorous as they
    are pathetically fradulent.  For example, Mr. Cohen has effectively
    claimed rights to which unambiguously belongs to the Port
    Authority of the City of Melbourne, Australia.  But hell!  That's merely
    city property!  Mr. Cohen's limitless appetite for other people's IPv4
    space is more vividly on display in his claims to ownerhip over the block, which actually belongs to the Department of Finance
    of the Australian national government.  And I haven't even mentioned yet
    another of Mr. Cohen volumous IPv4 acqusitions, the block,
    which he did not see fit to create an RADB entry for, but which he's
    been squatting on for for quite some time now, quite clearly with the
    aid and assistance of both Cogent and FDCServers.  That one belongs to
    th City of Cape Town, South Africa.  That city's engineers have been
    struggling to regain control of their block back from Cogent, from
    FDCServers, and from Mr. Cohen for some time now.   I know because I've
    personally spoken to them about it.  Cogent, in its infinite wisdom, is
    continuing to fight the city for control over property that clearly and
    righfully belongs to the City of Cape Town, even as we speak:


    When asked for LOAs attesting to his legitimate authority to route at
    least a few of these blocks, Mr. Cohen has produced blatantly forged
    documents, many of which appeared in the MyBroadband.co.za story.  And
    when I say "blatant" that's a gross understatement.  Any half-way decent
    forger would consider these documents an embarrasment.  The documents all
    bear identical signatures, and identical and vaguely official looking
    stamps, and purport to actually be sales reciepts attesting to the
    alleged purchases, by Mr. Cohen's offshore Seychelles Islands shell
    company, Afri Holdings, Ltd., of various /16 blocks from a mysterious
    company called Afrivestment, Ltd., which may actually exist in some
    faraway galaxy, or in Mr. Cohen's active imagination, but which both
    Google and OpenCorporates.com seem to agree exists exactly noplace on
    this planet.  Here are the manufactured LOAs supplied by Mr. Cohen:


    Recently, Cohen started to move some, but not all, of his stolen and squatted
    IPv4 blocks off of Cogent/FDCServers and onto a friendly little bullet-proof
    hosting company in the Netherlands named IP Volume, Inc. (AS202425) and/or
    to its several sister networks, e.g. AS204655 - Novogara Ltd., all of which,
    coincidently, just happen to be owned by the exact same pair of Dutch
    gentlemen who previously owned the notorious Ecatel, follwed by the notorious
    Quasi Networks.  (IP Volume, Inc. appears to have intherited all or nearly
    all of its legitimately assigned IP space from its predecessor entities,
    Ecatel and Quasi Networks.)

    Despite these relocations, many of Mr. Cohen's stolen and squatted blocks
    are still helpfully being routed to Mr. Cohen's preferred desitnations by
    his good friends at Cogent and FDCServers, even as we speak.  The current
    set of such routes that Cogent is maintaining, at the moment, apparently on
    behalf of their customer, Mr. Cohen, consists of the prefixes listed here:


    When I noticed two days ago that all of these routes were still up I was
    deeply confused.  Did both Cogent and FDCServrs not get the memo??  Do
    they not know yet that Cohen is stealing stuff, left, right, and sideways?
    Did nobody even tell them about the MyBroadband.co.za article which was
    published this past Sunday?  I decided that it was incumbant upon me to
    find out.

    Thus, more that 48 hours ago now I sent the following polite but firm
    inquiry to Cogent, and a separate nearly identical one directly to the
    CEO of FDCServers, Mr. Petr Kral (petr(at)fdcservers.net).


    A full forty eight hours later, I have received no reply whatsoever from
    either Cogent or FDCServers, not even a "Go pound sand" type of response.

    More importantly, most of the stolen IPv4 space that I called out, very
    specifically, to both Cogent and FDCservers two+ days ago now is still
    being routed by Cogent/FDCservers to their fun-loving and, I'm sure,
    promptly paying customer, Mr. Cohen.  If neither Cogent nor FDCServers
    still do not know now that Mr. Cohen is a crook, and that he has glommed
    onto quite a lot of stolen and squatted IPv4 space... which they have
    been helpfully routing for him, no doubt in exchange for some handsome
    payments... then I am foreced to say that it appears to be a reasonable
    conclusion that it must be because neither Cogent nor FDCServers really
    wants to know what sort of a character Cohen is, or what he has been up
    to, specifically with their ongoing and material assistance.

    But you all be the judges.  What does it look like to you?

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