During the information gathering phase of a penetration test, we want to discover the netblocks, or ranges, owned by the target organization. This allows us to produce a list of potential hosts for further enumeration. For very large organizations, or ones that have been around since the birth of the Internet, it is possible that they are unaware of what they own or have lost track of it over time. They will often request discovery of their netblocks and hosts for internal documentation or validation of in-scope systems for testing.
In an effort to automate this process, I created a script to query the various entities for this information. Before we get into the operational details, let’s take a look at some background information and who it is that we need to ask for this information.
The primary organization responsible for the distribution of IP addresses and Autonomous Systems Numbers (ASNs) on the Internet is Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). They in turn assign blocks of addresses to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). The RIRs then further distribute address blocks to National Internet Registries (NIRs) in some regions, but mostly down to Local Internet Registries (LIRs). LIRs are primarily Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but can also be large enterprises or academic institutions. A breakdown of the IP addresses assigned to each RIR can be found on IANA’s website:
We are interested in querying the RIRs, each of which maintains a database of the address allocations, along with contact information and potentially re-allocation/delegation. There are five (5) RIRs responsible for IP address allocation around the world. A map of their respective regions and any associated NIRs is listed below:
Courtesy of https://www.caida.org/
In order to construct our queries, we need to know what is available from each of the RIRs. At the outset of this project, I primarily focused on ARIN, mainly because we are located within the United States. Of the five RIRs, ARIN’s RESTful API is the most extensive and is available via HTTP queries. The hierarchy of information is also not directly linked between the addressable resources. The primary resources that we are interested in are the Organization Name, Organization Handle, Customer Handle, and Point-of-Contact (PoC) Handle. Additionally, we are able to search for the email domain of the PoC, to further expand the possible allocations. Each of these will allow us to locate associated netblocks. The addressable resources and their relationships can be found on ARIN’s API website:
The other four RIRs have varying degrees of available information, ranging from an API to simple queries against netblocks or ASNs. The information is also not consistent between RIRs, where field names vary or even the listing of PoCs. Information for the other RIRs can be found on their respective websites:
The ASN information is best performed against BGP route servers. There are several publically accessible servers to performing these queries via Telnet on port TCP/23.
With the necessary information, I set out to build a script to do all the dirty work. As previously stated, it was initially for querying ARIN, but expanded to the remaining RIRs as needs arose from working with international organizations. So ‘hardCIDR.sh’ was born.
A note on LACNIC before diving into the usage. LACNIC only allows query of either network range, ASN, Org Handle, or PoC Handle. This does not help us in locating these values based upon the organization name. They do however publish a list of all assigned ranges on a publically accessible FTP server, along with their rate-limiting thresholds. So, there is an accompanying data file, which the script checks for, used to perform LACNIC queries locally. The script includes an update option [-r], that can be used to update this data on an interval of your choosing. Approximate run time is just shy of 28 hours.
hardCIDR is a Linux Bash script, but also functions under macOS. Your mileage may vary on other distros. The script with no specified options will query ARIN and a pool of BGP route servers. The route server is selected at random at runtime. The ‘-h’ option lists the help:
At the prompts, enter the organization name, the email domain, and whether country codes are used as part of the email. If answered ‘Y’ to country codes, you will be prompted as to whether they precede the domain name or are appended to the TLD. A directory will be created for the output files. If the directory is found to exist, you will be prompted whether to overwrite. If answered ‘N’, a time stamp will be appended to the directory name.
The script can be found at the TrustedSec GitHub page: https://github.com/trustedsec/hardcidr
Hope you find as much benefit in this script as we have 🙂
Author: Jason Ashton
Jason’s passion for security originated with physical security systems, where his duties included their engineering, deployment, and programming. While working at TrustedSec, Jason has provided additional perspective on these systems for their circumvention and ultimately better methods for secure installation. These interests carried over into Locksport, where he enjoys the challenge of lockpicking and physical lock bypass. In his spare time, he enjoys tinkering with all forms of technology and automation, to include a home lab environment.