How Dynamic are IP Addresses

  • Yinglian Xie ,
  • Fang Yu ,
  • Kannan Achan ,
  • Eliot Gillum ,
  • Moises Goldszmidt ,
  • Ted Wobber

Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Conference |

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

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This paper introduces a novel algorithm, UDmap, to identify dynamically assigned IP addresses and analyze their dynamics pattern. UDmap is fully automatic, and relies only on application-level server logs. We applied UDmap to a month-long Hotmail user-login trace and identified a significant number of dynamic IP addresses-more than 102 million. This suggests that the fraction of IP addresses that are dynamic is by no means negligible. Using this information in combination with a three-month Hotmail email server log, we were able to establish that 95.6% of mail servers setup on the dynamic IP addresses in our trace sent out solely spam emails. Moreover, these mail servers sent out a large amount of spam-amounting to 42.2% of all spam emails received by Hot-mail. These results highlight the importance of being able to accurately identify dynamic IP addresses for spam filtering. We expect similar benefits to arise for phishing site identification and botnet detection. To our knowledge, this is the first successful attempt to automatically identify and understand IP dynamics.