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A Review on Network Security in IPv6

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Systems
Wordcount: 3555 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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The present age of IP, version 4 (IPv4), has been being used for over 20 years, since its beginning in 1980 and has bolstered the Web’s fast development amid that time. IPv4 has turned out to be hearty, effectively executed and interoperable. Notwithstanding, the present Internet has developed substantially greater than was foreseen. There are a few issues, for example, looming depletion of the IPv4 address space, setup complexities, and poor security at the IP level also, insufficient QoS bolster for ongoing conveyance of information. To address these and other concerns, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has built up a suite of conventions and norms known as IP version 6 (IPv6). The new highlights presented, for example, Auto-address setup, End to End network, compulsory help for security and portability represent an awesome test on security for future systems dependent on IPv6. This paper reviews what’s more, inspects security threats identifying with the new features presented in IPv6.

Keywords: IPv4, IPv6, IPSec, IETF, IPng


The Internet is a system of systems that connections billions of gadgets around the globe. Gadgets on the Internet have one of a kind locations, which are utilized for finding and finding them. Web Protocol variant 4 (IPv4) is a standout amongst the most broadly utilized conventions to build up Internet correspondence, the gadget’s location is called an IPv4 address. The IPv4 convention dates from the 1980s. It has given a powerful and interoperable condition for the Internet’s fast development since at that point. In any case, the 32-bit address space of the IPv4 convention is very little. The present rate of Internet development has depleted the 4 billion novel IPv4 addresses. To tackle this issue, Web Protocol form 6 (IPv6) was proposed in 1996. IPv6 intends to settle the location lack issue in existing IPv4 systems. The new convention expanded the Internet address space to 128 bits. The bigger location space not just backings an expanded number of associated gadgets yet additionally makes some observation strategies1 less effective in IPv6.

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As networks are mushrooming, the development and improvement of IPv6 is increasing more significance. The wide scale sending of this convention into operational systems raises certain issues with security being a standout amongst the most convincing ones. The next generation internet protocol (IPng) acquaints vulnerabilities also with thosecharacteristic in IPv4. While the current security foundation like IPSec, SSL, PKI, and DNSSec may be adequate for IPv4, the convention security related with IPv6 and relocation arranges should be surveyed and examined. Until the point that the time finish relocation to IPv6 happens, the web movement strategies should be secured. Whenever left unprotected, these techniques represent a genuine danger to networks.

At first amid the plan period of end-to-end model, internet was viewed as knowledge sharing environment with no intrinsic security design. Be that as it may, the present day internet has turned into an unfriendly domain with system vulnerabilities. The introduction of IPv6 into current operational systems is viewed as one of the greatest security challenges. With IPv4, the internet’s conclusion to end demonstrate has functioned admirably for as far back as three decades [1], however because of address space consumption, complex arrangement of setups and restricted security for exponential development of internet, the relocation to up and coming age of web convention i.e. IPv6 appears to be inescapable. Because of extensive scale arrangement of IPv6, security [2] has turned into a characteristic issue in advanced web based processing. In spite of the fact that introduction of IPv6 will bring forth new convention assaults, the current and known IPv4 dangers will unquestionably win in a polymorphic way in IPv6 [3]. Security system in IPv6 is like one in IPv4 [4] with IPSec being required, which was prior viewed as discretionary in the legacy protocol. IPv6 may be characteristically more secure than IPv4 in a perfect and very much coded application condition, however in all actuality the IPSec sending with IPv6 will confront same difficulties and issues as pervasive in IPv4-IPSec organization. Since a large portion of the security ruptures happen at the application level, the effective sending of IPSec does not ensure any network security. IPv6 is in this way typically conveyed with no cryptographic security making it defenseless against system assaults. The migration from IPv4 to IPv6 has its own security suggestions which can impact the certainty of partners who are prepared for transition.

Over time, IPv6 could move toward becoming (as analyzed to IPv4) a more helpful, more adaptable system for giving client interchanges on an end-toend premise. The overhauled header structure in IPv6 and the upgraded capacities of the new convention could likewise streamline the setup, what’s more, task of specific network and administrations. These improvements could deliver activities also, administration cost reserve funds for system executives. Furthermore, auto-setup what’s more, versatility highlights of IPv6 could make it simpler to interface PCs to the Internet and rearrange organize access for portable Internet clients. Be that as it may, alongside the new highlights are additionally new security concerns, which should be tended to. There are numerous gatherings world over, examining the security holes in IPv6. These security threats identifying with new features of IPv6 goals are examined in following segments. The security ramifications of new features of IPv6 are reviewed along with other legacy threats experienced in present IPv4 based inter-network. In [8], Chown et al. demonstrate that checking the whole IPv4 address space in a/24 subnet (255 IPv4 addresses) as it were takes 5 minutes, accepting a location examining rate of one address every second. Be that as it may, utilizing a similar examining rate in IPv6 systems, it will take in excess of 5 billion years to discover all the irregular IPv6 addresses from a/64 subnet. Along these lines, utilizing ping scope to scan the whole system for live has winds up wasteful in IPv6 systems.

In section 2, imperative features presented in IPv6 are laid out. In section 3, these features are talked about alongside the rising security issues and current work, assuming any, to deal with the threats. Atlast the report is outlined with the features of IPv6, which require reinforcing for security.


The successor of IPv4 isn’t intended to be in reverse perfect. Endeavoring to keep the fundamental functionalities of IP tending to, IPv6 is updated totally. It offers the accompanying features:

Larger Address Space

Rather than IPv4, IPv6 utilizes 4 times more bits to address a gadget on the Internet. This quite a bit of additional bits can give roughly 3.4×1038 unique mixes of addresses. This address can amass the forceful prerequisite of address distribution for nearly everything in this world. As per a gauge, 1564 addresses can be dispensed to each square meter of this world.

Enhanced Priority Support

IPv4 utilized 6 bits DSCP (Differential Service Code Point) and 2 bits ECN (Explicit Congestion Notification) to give Quality of Service yet it must be utilized if the conclusion to-end gadgets support it, that is, the source and goal device and basic network must help it. In IPv6, Traffic class and Flow label are utilized to advise the fundamental switches how to productively process the packet and route it.

Smooth Transition

Extensive IP address scheme in IPv6 empowers to apportion gadgets with all around exceptional IP addresses. This mechanism saves IP addresses and NAT isn’t required. So devices can send/receive information among one another, for instance, VoIP and additionally any gushing media can be utilized much proficiently. Other reality is, the header is less stacked, so switches can take sending choices and forward them as fast as they arrive.

End-to-end Connectivity

Each framework currently has one of a unique IP address and can navigate through the Internet without utilizing NAT or other deciphering segments. After IPv6 is completely executed, each host can straightforwardly achieve different has on the Internet, with a few confinements included like Firewall, association arrangements, and so on.

Simplified Header

IPv6’s header has been improved by moving all pointless information and choices (which are available in IPv4 header) to the end of the IPv6 header. IPv6 header is just twice as bigger than IPv4 gave the way that IPv6 address is four times longer.


Initially it was decided that IPv6 must have IPSec security, making it more secure than IPv4. This feature has now been made optional.


IPv6 was composed remembering versatility. This feature empowers has, (for example, cell phone) to meander around in various geological territory and stay associated with a similar IP address. The mobility feature of IPv6 exploits auto IP arrangement and Extension headers.


There are incredible assumptions regarding the features of the IPv6 protocol, one of which is better system security. IPv6 gives network level security by means of IPSec. While this is a self-evident change in security, its widespread ease of use is still flawed. Different features illustrated previously likewise open up windows of new threats. Following sections reviews in detail the features and security issues emerging because of them.

Larger Address Space

In the late 1970s when the IPv4 address space was composed, it was impossible that it could be depleted. Be that as it may, because of changes in innovation and a distribution practice that did not anticipate the recent explosion of hosts on the Internet, it was clear by 1992 itself that a replacement for IPv4 would be fundamental. The 128-bit address will take care of location space issue for in any event next 50 years even with the present hazardous development of Internet.

First category of security assault identifying with address is Reconnaissance [5], by which an enemy endeavors to learn however much as could be expected about the victim network. Observation is completed by Ping sweeps and Port outputs. While this is moderately less demanding on account of IPv4 where the quantity of subnet addresses are in the range of hundreds or thousands, the undertaking is made extremely troublesome on account of IPv6 since the subnet addresses on which check are to be done are of the order 264. For instance, if the filtering rate were one million address for each second, for an adversary it would take over 500,000 years to scan the subnet. Subsequently the bigger address space is an impediment for surveillance. Expansive address space can make crafted by a gatecrasher hard; it might meddle with countermeasures.

Elimination of NAT

At the point when IPv4 addresses were assigned for the internet it was done in such a way, to the point that North America had enough, while Europe and Asia had less address. At the point when the address lack was understood a workaround called Network Address Translation (NAT) was characterized in which NAT gateways would change the addresses in packets and along these lines have the capacity to stow away a system behind a solitary authority address. While NATs advance reuse of the private address space, they don’t bolster measures based network layer security.

NAT breaks end-to-end availability, so it has drawbacks. The task of NAT has the security side-effect of concealing the internal network system and keeping association endeavors from outside. This is likewise considered as leeway of NAT.

IPv6 does not support NAT. IPv6 with this huge 128 bit address space IPv6 can offer endto- end (E2E) availability to all hosts. Despite the fact that this component is an aid it is additionally a bane at the equivalent time from security perspective. The present internet makes utilization of NAT which gives a single point entry into systems and security instruments, for example, Firewalls can be set up at entry. Firewalls ensure a not really anchor point inside an edge from the rest of the (huge awful) world. Firewalls uphold uniform strategy at border, prevent outsider from performing risky tasks and give a choke point which is versatile and with concentrated control. End-to-end connectivity, tunnelling, and encryption may strife with this strategy. Traffic that can’t be checked at the firewall can convey upsetting things to work areas in the network. With E2E network, there will be no such entry point security and the onus of security will lie with the hosts. All hosts may not have the required resources for giving security.

Address Space Managemnt:

The generally vast size of the IPv6 address is intended to be subdivided into progressive steering spaces that mirror the topology of the nowadays Internet. The utilization of 128 bits permits for different levels of chain of command and adaptability in outlining various leveled tending to and directing that is right now missing on the IPv4-based internet. An IPv6 host and switch can have different unicast and multicast addresses. At the point when the utilization of these location ranges is joined with the directing framework, the network designer can constrain access to IPv6 end nodes through IPv6 tending to and steering. For example, the network designer can appoint worldwide unicast tends to as it were to gadgets that need to speak with the worldwide Internet while allotting website nearby addresses to gadgets that need to convey just inside the association. Moreover, if a gadget needs to convey just inside a specific subnet, just the connection residential address required. Moreover, the utilization of IPv6 security augmentations likewise turns into a restricting variable for any single IPv6 deliver to be open and uncovered to a security risk.

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IPv6 supports new multicast tends to that can empower a foe to distinguish key assets on a system and afterward assault them. These addresses have a hub, connection, or site-particular space of utilization as characterized in RFC 2375. In spite of the fact that this setup plainly has an authentic utilize, it is basically giving the enemy an authority rundown of frameworks to additionally assault with basic flooding assaults or something more complex intended to subvert the gadget.

Easier TCP/IP Administration

With IPv6, ARP is gone, and stateless autoconfiguration and additionally Neighbor Discovery is incorporated with ICMPv6. The reason for IPv6 Neighbor Discovery (ND) [6] is to give IPv6 nodes with a way to find the nearness and connection layer address of the other nodes on the neighborhood interface. Moreover, it gives strategies for finding switches on the neighborhood interface, for identifying when a neighborhood node moves toward becoming inaccessible, for settling copy addresses, furthermore, for switches to educate nodes when another switch is more fitting.

 Neighbor Discovery begins with a Neighbor Solicitation (NS) multicast question to which anybody can react by Neighbor Advertisement (NA). A rebel node can send NA and cause disappointment of ND. ND can be assaulted in different courses by manufacturing ND packets. These parcels can meddle with neighbor disclosure, bringing about causing inaccessibility for certain nodes. Counterfeit answer to duplicate address detection(DAD) can result in fizzled DAD, and as an outcome, fizzled auto-configuration.

Auto-Configuration permits any maverick host to get an IPv6 address without confirmation or managerial design, in this way, giving IPv6 access to any framework with physical network access. The security ramifications of this are genuine in light of the fact that occasionally simply getting on a LAN suggests certain benefits, e.g., access to certain exclusive applications.

In any case, the way in which ND works; these attacks may just be performed by nodes on the same network section, which mitigates their impact. Administrators of such networks, where nodes are not trusted, ought to apply some sort of protection against these attacks. There are as of now schemes, for example, Secure ND ( SeND ) [7] which portray a procedure to counter the dangers to ND.

Better Support for Security

IPSec is required for IPv6 and it is certainly a security improvement in IPv6. IPSec gives IP level verification of the bundles also, encryption of individual bundles or movement. The cryptography calculations might be utilized in a module design in the IPSec system. Current IPSec usage are more qualified for burrow mode task, (for example, VPN) than for subjective end-to-end correspondence. The fundamental purpose for this is the issue of key administration. Activity assurance with AH or ESP  isn’t excessively helpful without key administration. Manual key conveyance does not scale well, so a mechanized framework, i.e., IKE, is required. IKE has constraints in that it is, starting at now, a unicast UDP convention. IKE isn’t helpful when the messages address ranges incorporate multicast and anycast.

Better Support For Mobility

IPv6 versatility highlight permits a portable hub to keep a similar IP address perceivability notwithstanding when moved to an outside system. This component is incorporated in IPv6. Portability is an intricate capacity of IPv6, including a few substances (portable host, home specialist etc.). Indeed, even the ordinary activity of portability brings up a few security issues, such as verification and approval of the versatile have in a remote system.

Since versatility employments alternative headers to store the “genuine” address of a portable host, while utilizing the “versatile” address in the IPv6 header, it might be associated with location parodying assaults. By providing false data to the home specialist, authentic movement might be occupied. IPSec puts a safe pipe between two secure focuses. It is hard for a firewall between systems to carry out its activity in the event that it doesn’t comprehend the application or can’t parse the payload.


To conclude, IPv6 has a few new features that affect network security. IPv6 does not give profoundly new security measures, however there are little upgrades, that, whenever utilized suitably, can change the security decidedly. Since IPv6 is still at the beginning periods on presentation, it is still too soon to tell, if IPv6, just without anyone else will upgrade IP security. The IETF is as yet chipping away at IPv6 security for ICMPv6, IPv6 firewalls, versatility, transition, and so on. On the long haul we anticipate that IPv6 will have a general better security at that point IPv4 has.


[1] BRADNER S. The End-to-End Security. IEEE Security & Privacy, vol., no. pp. 2006 Mar: 76-9.

[2] TREESE W. The state of security on the internet. Net Worker. 2004 Sep 1; 8(3):13-5.

[3] CAICEDO CE, JOSHI JB, TULADHAR SR.IPv6 security challenges.Computer.2009 Feb 1(2):36-42.

[4] CONVERY S, MILLER D. Ipv6 and ipv4 threat comparison and best-practice evaluation (v1.0). Presentation at the 17th NANOG. 2004 Mar; 24.

[5] Will IPv6 Bring Better Security? Szabolcs Szigeti, Dr. Péter Risztics Proceedings of the 30th EUROMICROmConference (EUROMICRO’04) IEEE computer society

[6] Neighbor Discovery for IPv6 [RFC-2461]

[7] [RFC3971] Arkko, J., Kempf, J., Zill, B., and P. Nikander, “Secure Neighbor Discovery (SEND)”,RFC 3971, March 2005.

[8] T. Chown and F. Gont, “Network reconnaissance in IPv6 networks,” IETF RFC 7707, 2016.


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