[DBWG] Abuse contacts in the WHOIS

Mark Elkins mje at posix.co.za
Wed Oct 12 12:48:09 UTC 2016

When I run "whois -h whois.afrinic.net ORG-PS1-AFRINIC" I see no abuse
When I login to my.afrinic.net, Under my organisational Information - I

  mje at posix.co.za (Administrative)
  abuse at posix.co.za (Abuse)

i.e I have an "abuse" email address. I would have though that would be
the correct source of an abuse email address to be used whenever a
record that is associated with me needs an abuse address and there is
not one actually directly associated with that record. Its then easy to
manage this nice "default" source for the abuse email address.

On Wed, 2016-10-12 at 16:19 +0400, Michel ODOU wrote:
> Dear WG members,
> As you may have noticed, most of the time, the WHOIS does not display
> the abuse contact when you do a query for an inetnum or inet6num or
> autnum resource.
> $> whois -h whois.afrinic.net 196/8
> % This is the AfriNIC Whois server.
> % Note: this output has been filtered.
> %       To receive output for a database update, use the "-B" flag.
> % Information related to ' -'
> % No abuse contact registered for -
> inetnum: -
> netname:        ORG-AFNC1-AFRINIC-20050414
> ...
> How is this supposed to work? The WHOIS used to get the abuse mailbox
> attribute of the organisation referenced in the covering inetnums.
> However, looking at the WHOIS DB, we have 5 organisations that have a
> valid abuse-mailbox attribute (over 2081). There is worse:
> approximately 125 organisations have an abuse email address specified
> in a wrong attribute like notify or remarks. While it is interesting
> to have this information, it is almost impossible to parse correctly
> and to display it as a valid abuse email contact.
> There is more : the abuse-mailbox attribute is in fact present in 5
> objects: irt, mntner, organisation, person and role.
> It is not easy to determine which one to display as an abuse contact.
> To help solving this issue, since 2012, a policy encourages the use
> of the irt object to carry the abuse contact information, among
> others (http://www.afrinic.net/en/library/policies/current/698-afpub-
> 2010-gen-006). However, the policy does not force the use of this
> object and so far, only a few objects use it (125/130014 inetnums, 
> 5/14616 inet6nums and 13/1673 autnums).
> Our colleague Amreesh wrote a very interesting paper describing the
> issue with many details. You will find it here : http://afrinic.net/b
> log/component/content/article?id=6:afrinic-publishes-an-article-on-
> spam-from-an-rir-perspective
> ---
> The ideal situation would be, of course, to be able to retrieve the
> abuse mailbox every time it is necessary, which would for example
> help us having a webservice that would return the abuse contact for a
> given resource.
> From our perspective, the solution would be:
> Remove the abuse-mailbox attribute from the mntner, person and role
> objects.
> Make the abuse-mailbox mandatory in the organisation object. For the
> organisations that are already in the DB and that do not have a valid
> abuse-mailbox attribute, the e-mail attribute will be used.
> [Sanitize the DB to add abuse-mailbox attributes on the organisations
> that have an abuse contact email specified in a remark or notify
> attribute (this has to be done manually and would be an optional
> third phase)]
> For the query, the process would be:
> If the resource (inetnum, inet6num or autnum) has an mnt-irt, display
> the abuse-mailbox of that object.
> Else, display the abuse-mailbox of the referenced organisation.
> Please let me know what you think about this.
> Regards,
> Michel
> _______________________________________________
> DBWG mailing list
> DBWG at afrinic.net
> https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo/dbwg
Mark James ELKINS  -  Posix Systems - (South) Africa
mje at posix.co.za       Tel: +27.128070590  Cell: +27.826010496
For fast, reliable, low cost Internet in ZA: https://ftth.posix.co.za
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