Users querying the database can determine who is responsible for an IP address range or an AS Number.
The whois system originated as an online directory similar to the ‘Yellow Pages’. From this, it was converted into a tool that system administrators can use to search for other IP addresses or Domain Name administrators.
This helps in several ways, including supporting the security and stability of the Internet by providing contact points for network operators and administrators.
Internet number resources must be properly and accurately registered to fulfil the goals of addressing policy outlined by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).
This accurate registration of resource usage is a critical role APNIC plays in the operation of the Internet.
The APNIC Whois Database shows which organizations hold the rights to use which resources, where and when the resource allocations were made, and the contact details for the networks. Each organization that holds Internet number resources is responsible for updating its own information in the database.
As the database is used to assist with network troubleshooting and to help track network abuse, it is vital to ensure the contact details registered by resource holders are up-to-date and accurate.
For this reason, APNIC requires that previous resource allocations are all properly and accurately registered in the database before a request for additional address space will be fully processed.
The Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) is an alternative to WHOIS for accessing Internet resource registration data. RDAP is designed to address a number of shortcomings in the existing Whois service. The most important changes are:
- Standardization of queries and responses
- Internationalization considerations to cater for languages other than English in data objects
- Redirection capabilities to allow seamless referrals to other registries
Read more about the origin and reasons behind this work and the history of Whois in the APNIC News article, “The Future of Whois”, May 2012.
APNIC has an RDAP service available on the rdap.apnic.net host. An example response can be found at:
Replacing the network address portion of the URL will provide registration information for other network addresses, for both IPv4 and IPv6, and for single addresses or for CIDR network blocks. RDAP also supports autonomous system number lookups via the /autnum/ path prefix.
ARIN are hosting an open source community project for a command line tool to retrieve RDAP records, called NicInfo. This tool can be used to query RDAP services of both Internet number and domain name registries.
The APNIC RDAP service is implemented as a component of the open source RIPE database software. APNIC’s modifications to the RIPE software are also available as an open source project.
RDAP is specified as a suite Internet Request for Comments (RFC) documents.
- RFC 7480 – HTTP Usage in the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
- RFC 7481 – Security Services for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
- RFC 7482 – Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Query Format
- RFC 7483 – JSON Responses for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
- RFC 7484 – Finding the Authoritative Registration Data (RDAP) Service
- RFC 7485 – Inventory and Analysis of WHOIS Registration Objects
The APNIC Whois Database stores information as “objects“.
Objects in the context of “whois” means information relating to IP address ranges, routing policies, reverse DNS delegations, and network contact information.
Objects can store information about:
- IP address ranges
- Routing policies
- Reverse DNS delegations
- Network contact information
Sources of data in the APNIC Whois Database
The APNIC Whois Database contains information on the allocation of Internet resources in the Asia Pacific region. These resources are described in:
- Resource ranges allocated by APNIC
- APNIC resource guides
The APNIC Whois Database contains two types of data:
|Authoritative data||Authoritative data on IP address space or AS numbers is maintained by APNIC or its members. Authoritative data lists “APNIC” in the source field.|
|Non-authoritative data||Non-authoritative data is data mirrored on the APNIC site. This means that some queries on the database will return objects that have a source other than APNIC, for example JPNIC. This indicates that the data originated outside APNIC. APNIC mirrors these other databases on a weekly basis. For the most current records held in these databases, please see the original authoritative Whois server. The other Whois databases related to IP numbers available in the Asia Pacific region are listed in World Whois databases.|