Network service providers are reporting the first IPV6 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, just a few months ahead of the new internet addressing scheme's official launch day on 6 June 2012,
The discovery marks a significant point in the arms race between cyber attackers and defenders, according to Arbor Networks' 7th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report. It also confirms that network operators must have sufficient visibility and mitigation capabilities to protect IPv6-enabled properties, the report said.
The study notes that while IPv6 security incidents remain relatively rare, reports of the first IPV6 DDoS attacks are a clear indication that as deployments advance, the latest version of the internet protocol will attract increasing attention from cyber criminals.
The switchover from the existing address protocol, IPv4, to IPv6 will create vast numbers of new internet addresses, just as existing addresses begin to run out.
But the transition could disrupt websites, e-mail communications and web services if businesses are unprepared, analysts have warned, as well as present several security challenges.
Organised by the Internet Society, and building on the World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch on 6 June 2012 represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6.
Major internet service providers (ISPs), home-networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services from that date.
Web companies participating in the IPv6 launch include Facebook, Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo.