strange observation on smartphone

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ZXH
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strange observation on smartphone

Post by ZXH »

I have a widget on my smartphone that displays its external and network IP addresses at all times on its home screen. My carrier is Sprint and the IPs shown in the network IP field have always been from an unroutable address block. For example, my current Sprint network IP is a 172.16.xxx.xxx series address.

Now for the bizarre part. When I rebooted my phone this morning I noticed a peculiar IP within the app's currently connected network IP field. The IP only remained visible for about 30 to 45 seconds. Strangely, it seems to be an externally routable IP and it renders no PTR host name upon rDNS lookup (so no PTR record for it). This particular IP's whois registration record shows that its address block is owned by "DoD Network Information Center (DNIC)". The precise numerics of the IP (concealing the last octet) are 30.195.167.xxx

I am somewhat puzzled by why this IP was seemingly and briefly able to insert itself onto Sprint's network and my connection. Are my cell phone connections being intercepted by DoD? Are everyones? My only guess would be that this 'usually hidden' interaction (and, again, just guessing here) may be an interception system utilized by DHS for communication screening. That is, a government practice consistent with the ones I occasionally see featured on the television show, 60 Minutes. I suppose, though, that I didn't think such government surveillance measures would produce any obvious indicators like this.

All thoughts or opinions, and certainly any answers will be appreciated.

Thanks
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Chrispcritters
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Re: strange observation on smartphone

Post by Chrispcritters »

I think it's more likely a network configuration issue than government spying as there is no need for them to change your IP address for them to monitor traffic to/from a specific IP.
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ZXH
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Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:54 pm

Re: strange observation on smartphone

Post by ZXH »

Chrispcritters wrote:I think it's more likely a network configuration issue than government spying as there is no need for them to change your IP address for them to monitor traffic to/from a specific IP.
I see. I suspected that might be the case. I did some further testing... It seems to be some sort of a routing event that occurs when I reset the provisioning parameters on my phone. That's why I usually don't see it. But when I do a reset, one of the DoD IPs is there each time. Another thing I've noticed is that the temporary IP is different each time. During the most recent instance it was a 28.146.* IP... and the time after that it was a 30.199.* IP. And the last octet is always the same as the dhcp-assigned external IP that my phone has received. So for example if 28.146.214.243 is the DoD IP that appears, my external WAN IP will as well end with .243

I'm still unclear as to why they would need to use government IP blocks for provisioning cell phone Internet connections. But considering that we're all virtually vulnerable to being monitored/spied upon by the US government (and perhaps other entities) anyway, the IPs I've been seeing aren't very important I suppose ;)

Thanks for the reply.
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