NIX4NetEng #5 – GeoIP tools

Sometimes in networking and security it becomes necessary to do lookups of location data on IP addresses and prefixes.
On my Mac I use homebrew to manage packages, but most of these tools are available with thetypocal apt, yum and port package management systems.

For this post, I’m going to shift gears and show the install on my mac:

sliver:~ buraglio$ brew install geoip
==> Downloading https://downloads.sf.net/project/machomebrew/Bottles/geoip-1.6.3.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> Pouring geoip-1.6.3.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz
sliver:~ buraglio$ brew install geoipupdate
==> Downloading https://downloads.sf.net/project/machomebrew/Bottles/geoipupdate-2.0.2.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> Pouring geoipupdate-2.0.2.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz

Once this installed we need to do a simple update:

sliver:~ buraglio$ geoipupdate
sliver:~ buraglio$

This really doesn’t yield any output, but I tend to do it pretty much every time I am using the tool so I know I have up to date information. So lets say that you are a service provider and your customers are calling complaining that they’re seeing www.weather.co.uk when going to weather.com or more realistically, they can’t get to netflix or amazon video, which tells them they don’t support srtreaming to the UK.

sliver:~ buraglio$ geoiplookup 141.142.2.2
GeoIP Country Edition: US, United States
GeoIP City Edition, Rev 1: US, IL, Illinois, Urbana, 61801, 40.109501, -88.212303, 648, 217

Nope, that looks ok, it must be something else [I have actually seen this problem in the past, it’s really no fun to run to ground]. As you can see, there is a good deal of information there, lat/long, area code, city, state, zip, etc. This data, specifically the lat/long, can be used to do really cool visualization stuff with things like google maps or google earth.

As a sanity check, here is a view of bbc.com:

sliver:~ buraglio$ geoiplookup 212.58.244.71
GeoIP Country Edition: GB, United Kingdom
GeoIP City Edition, Rev 1: GB, N7, Surrey, Tadworth, N/A, 51.283298, -0.233300, 0, 0

Yup, that looks right. The nice thing about this tool is that it can be automated to do all kinds of things with logs from syslog, Bro-IDS, Snort, whatever, and then act on the data or like I mentioned above, plot it out for visualization.

The one drawback I’ve found is that the IPv6 lookups are sparsely correct, for example:

sliver:~ buraglio$ geoiplookup6 2400:cb00:2048:1::681c:194f
sliver:~ buraglio$

Looking up 2400:cb00:2048:1::681c:194f which belongs to cloudflare yields me nothink, so there is some work to do there on the IPv6 front. Overall this is a useful tool for quick troubleshooting but it really shines when used in scripts and for visualization.

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Copyright 2016 Nick Buraglio, ForwardingPlane, LLC

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