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Abuse Contact Information in the AfriNIC service region - AFPUB-2010-GEN-006

Ref. Name AFPUB-2010-GEN-006


Date 24 Nov 2010
Author(s) Tobias Knecht
Organisation abusix UG
Policy Affected  

1.) Incentive:

This is a proposal to introduce a reference to a specific and dedicated object which shall be used in future as the one and only place to publish abuse contact information within the AfriNIC region. The mentioned object can be referenced in the inetnum, inet6num and aut-num objects in the AfriNIC Whois Database. It provides a more accurate and efficient way for abuse reports to reach the correct network contact.

2.) Summary of current problem:

Network owners increasingly operate dedicated abuse handling departments, distinct from the basic operations department.

More and more network owners and other institutions are also starting to exchange data about abusive behavior with each other, to more quickly allow networks to identify internal abuse, external abuse, and other security problems.

Currently within the AfriNIC region, the growing amount of abuse reports are sent to e-mail address specified in the e-mail field, as encouraged on the AfriNIC website.[1] These addresses are used because the AfriNIC Whois Database currently has no specialised contact object for abuse departments. Instead, all abuse reports are sent to contact that is has broader responsibilities or different responsibilities.

3.) Situation in other RIRs:


APNIC found consensus on introducing a mandatory IRT Object for all inet(6)nums and aut-nums at APNIC 29 in Kuala Lumpur March 4th 2010. Further information about the APNIC policy proposal can be found at [2]


An abuse-POC exists for Organizational ID identifiers.[3]


An abuse-c exists for aut-num, inetnum and inet6num objects.[4]


An optional IRT (Incident Response Team) object can be linked to inetnum and inet6num objects.[5]

4.) Details of the proposal:

It is proposed that the technical staff of AfriNIC finds a way to create a new or uses an already existing object, which implements the following qualities:

4.1 Can be referenced only once by inetnum, inet6num and aut-num
4.2 Contains 2 email address attributes:
4.2.1 "e-mail:" for personal communication
4.2.1 "abuse-mailbox:" for automatic report handling

4.3 Can be queried via
4.3.1 classic whois
4.3.2 Abuse Finder Database [5]
4.4 AfriNIC publishes a Best Practice Paper and a Documentation, which encourages all members to use the new object to publish abuse contact information.

5.) Advantages and disadvantages of the proposal:

5.1 Advantages

  • Networks will be able to supply their own, direct contact information for abuse departments.
  • Abuse complaints will not be sent to the "wrong" contact any more.
  • This permits greater administrative and operational flexibility, and faster abuse handling will be possible.

5.1 Disadvantages

This object, like all other existing objects, will face the data accuracy problem. This proposal aims to address the issue of a missing place for abuse contact information and will not improve data accuracy in the whois database. Nevertheless it is suggested to AfriNIC to offer a way to receive reports about not working or not accurate objects. But this is part of another proposal.

6.) Effect on AfriNIC members:

There will be no immediate affect for AfriNIC members with existing resource registrations already in the AfriNIC Whois Database. The only effect is the opportunity to publish a dedicated abuse contact object and profit by the advantages.

7.) References:

  1. Finding contacts for an IP address
  2. prop-079: Abuse contact information
  3. Introduction to ARIN's Database
  4. There is no formal documentation on abuse-c in inetnum and inet6num objects, but for documentation on the abuse-c in ASN records, see LACNIC Policy Manual (v1.3 - 07/11/2009)
  5. RIPE Abuse Finder Database
21.09.2010 Author posts new version to rpd, reference now AFPUB-2010-GEN-006
03.06.2010 Proposal fails to reach consensus at AfriNIC-12 in Kigali - Rwanda, thus returned to the mailing list
07.04.2010 Proposal first posted to mailing list.
24.11.2010 Proposal finds consensus during AfriNIC-13 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Previous Versions
  1. AFPUB-2009-v4-002

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