“Currently, the two protocols have equivalent security,” said Curran. “As a basis of comparison, IPv6’s best improvement is adding more bits for addressing (128 bits) over IPv4 (32 bits).”
There is a fly in the transition lube that is worrying security experts, however: large scale NAT (LSN), also called carrier-grade NAT (CGN). “For the security market, the changes IPv6 brings about are mostly good,” said Yeager. “The slow adoption rate, on the other hand, is not so good. Because the pressure from IPv4 address exhaustion is building faster than the cut-over can happen, technologies like LSN are being considered.”
Basically instead of one company or one household being behind a single IP address, LSN allows for literally thousands of customers to be behind a single IP address.
“Imagine you share the same identity on the Internet with thousands of random strangers,” said Yeager. Major websites such as Facebook and Google may have no other recourse after a malicious attack but to block that IP address, and thereby block you and the thousands of other people using it, he warned.
For a more complete explanation of the LAN issue, check out Facebook’s IPv6 day page.
A prolific and versatile writer, Pam Baker’s published credits include numerous articles in leading publications including, but not limited to: Institutional Investor magazine, CIO.com, NetworkWorld, ComputerWorld, IT World, Linux World, Internet News, E-Commerce Times, LinuxInsider, CIO Today Magazine, NPTech News (nonprofits), MedTech Journal, I Six Sigma magazine, Computer Sweden, NY Times, and Knight-Ridder/McClatchy newspapers. She has also authored several analytical studies on technology and eight books. Baker also wrote and produced an award-winning documentary on paper-making. She is a member of the National Press Club (NPC), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and the Internet Press Guild (IPG).