A shadowy company created last September and linked to a DARPA contractor who pushed an internet spy device to agencies ten years ago, took over a large portion of the Pentagon’s internet space on inauguration day, according to an investigation by the AP.
The internet real estate has since gone up to 175 million IP addresses, which were previously owned by the US DOD – about 1/25th of the total internet, and over twice the size of what is actually used by the Pentagon.
“It is huge. This is the biggest thing in internet history., said network operator Doug Madory.
The DARPA-linked company which performed the takeover, Global Resource Systems, was created by a California attorney, and now has its headquarters in a location over a Florida bank.
The company does not answer emails or phone calls and has no web presence, though it does own the domain grscorp.com.
According to an explanation from Brett Goldstein – head of the Pentagon department running the project, the military wants to “find, evaluate and stop unauthorized use of DoD IP addresses” and “identify possible vulnerabilities” in order to defend against hacks by global threats who routinely infiltrate American networks – sometimes using unused internet ip blocks.
Explanations for what the IP space could be used for include “honeypots” – machines with vulnerabilities created as bait to attract hackers, “Or it could be seeking to create dedicated infrastructure — software and servers — to scour traffic for activity.”
“This greatly increases their ability to monitor the web., said Madory.