IPv6 is More Than Addresses

Contributed by John McClain

Version 6 of the internet protocol (IPv6) is the designated successor for internet protocol version 4 (IPv4). The need for this new protocol version was driven by the depletion of IPv4 addresses. At this time there are no more IPv4 addresses available. The explosive growth of internet activity and mobile devices like smartphones created the perfect conditions to deplete the available IPv4 addresses. So, anyone designing a network must consider IPv6 during the discussion phase of the project. The explosive growth of internet activity and mobile devices created security issues for users and providers of computing services. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the reasons why IPv6’s security features are just as important as more addresses. This paper will go through a three phased approach to discussing IPv6 security. The first section of this paper will go through the planning process for implementing IPv6 on a network. It should be noted that most devices have IPv6 capabilities built into the devices now. The latest Windows systems have IPv6 capabilities. The second section of this paper will discuss the differences between IPv4 and IPv6. At some point during an upgrade IPv4 and IPv6 will need to exist together so knowing the differences is important. The last section of the paper will look at ways to exploit IPv6’s vulnerabilities. The hackers aren’t going let better security features stop their assault plans. Overall, IPv6 is more than additional addresses, the security features are extremely important.

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