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Zambian domains update

27 December 2016 03:17:55 +0000

To update our earlier post, ZICTA finally contacted us on the afternoon of the 12th. Again — unbelievably — we had to explain basic networking concepts to them to help them understand why our client’s domain was not working.

However, they also explained or blamed part of the problem on Zamnet for not deleting the domain from their nameservers after they had hosted it previously. Zamnet are entrusted by ZICTA with the stability and security of two of the four nameservers that run the dot-zm ccTLD, and yet they apparently can’t perform basic nameserver maintenance. This is shocking to say the least.

Our client’s domain was finally back online again and stable and functioning properly by the 13th (after we contacted ZICTA on the 10th) … but for how long? It is only a matter of time before either our client’s dot-zm domain or another dot-zm domain goes down, again caused by mismanagement by ZICTA or one of the organisations they contract to provide name service.

Don’t register dot-zm domains. Seriously.

Christmas wishes and hours

25 December 2016 15:05:15 +0000

We’re a little behind this year, but we would like to wish you and those in your organisation and your families a Merry Christmas, and all the best for a prosperous New Year. We have appreciated your business in 2016 and look forward to continuing to serve you in 2017.

Over Christmas and the New Year our administrative side will be taking a break, and will be back on the job on Tuesday 3 January 2017. We will, of course, continue to monitor servers 24/7, and emergency support requests will be dealt with.

Thanks again for your continued business.

Zambian domains (.zm) are broken, don’t register them

12 December 2016 08:53:45 +0000

A little over a year ago we detailed the laborious process by which we managed to bypass an incompetent dot-zm domain registrar — Realtime Technologies Ltd. / Hai Alive Telecommunications — to speak directly to ZICTA (the Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authority) about a problem caused by ZICTA and misdiagnosed by Realtime/HAI.

You may or may not believe this, but the exact same thing is happening again, but with a different dot-zm domain registered through Realtime/HAI.

We contacted ZICTA and Zambia CIRT, through the same channels we used last time, early on the morning of Saturday 10 December. Over forty-eight hours later we still have not received an acknowledgement of our email, and the problem persists.

With the domain redacted to protect our client’s privacy, the evidence that is much the same as for the problem last year is presented below. What is particularly interesting about the information reported by one of the dot-zm nameservers (hippo.ru.ac.za) is that it is still reporting the pch.nic.zm and ns1.coppernet.zm nameservers as being authoritative for the dot-zm ccTLD. (See the IANA website for the nameservers for the dot-zm ccTLD.) The former was the problem nameserver last year, and was apparently promptly decommissioned after our report. However, I see that it is now back online at a new location. Ironically, this time it is actually reporting the correct DNS information for this domain. The latter belongs to the now-defunct Coppernet; although there is still an A record pointing ns1.coppernet.zm to 41.222.240.15, that nameserver simply does not respond at all.

We’ll post further updates when (or if) this problem is resolved. However, we really cannot emphasise strongly enough that you should not register dot-zm domains, and if you have one, you should transition away from it as soon as possible.


Update, 2016-12-27: Posted an update.


[00:00:05 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ whois zxxx.org.zm
Domain Name: zxxx.org.zm
Domain ID: 11559-zicta
WHOIS Server: whois.nic.zm
Referral URL:
Updated Date: 2016-11-29T11:40:45.292Z
Creation Date: 2015-05-12T09:27:15.528Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2017-05-12T09:27:15.611Z
Sponsoring Registrar: Realtime (Z)
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID:
Domain Status: ok
Registrant Name: REDACTED
Registrant Organization: REDACTED
Registrant Street: lusaka
Registrant City: lusaka
Registrant State/Province: lusaka
Registrant Postal Code: 10101
Registrant Country: ZM
Registrant Phone: +260.REDACTED
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Email: REDACTED
Name Server: ns1.niner.net
Name Server: ns2.niner.net
DNSSEC: unsigned
Additional Section
Sponsoring Registrar URL:
Sponsoring Registrar Country: ZM
Sponsoring Registrar Phone:
Sponsoring Registrar Fax:
Sponsoring Registrar Customer Service Contact:
Sponsoring Registrar Customer Service Email:
Sponsoring Registrar Admin Contact:
Sponsoring Registrar Admin Email:
>>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2016-12-12T07:31:46.321Z <<<

TERMS OF USE: You are not authorized to access or query our WHOIS database through the use of electronic processes that are high-volume and automated.  THis WHOIS database is provided by as a service to the internet community.

The data is for information purposes only. We do not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree to abide by the following terms of use: You agree that you may use this Data only for lawful purposes and that under no circumstances will you use this Data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail, telephone, or facsimile; or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes. The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or other use of this Data is expressly prohibited.
[00:00:14 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 51871
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1280
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; ANSWER SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		300	IN	NS	ns1.niner.net.
zxxx.org.zm.		300	IN	NS	ns2.niner.net.

;; Query time: 4627 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:00:28 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 85

[00:00:28 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.niner.net

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.niner.net
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 34521
;; flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 3
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; ANSWER SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		300	IN	NS	ns1.niner.net.
zxxx.org.zm.		300	IN	NS	ns2.niner.net.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
ns1.niner.net.		300	IN	A	65.61.166.128
ns2.niner.net.		300	IN	A	65.61.166.129

;; Query time: 97 msec
;; SERVER: 65.61.166.128#53(65.61.166.128)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:00:36 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 117

[00:00:36 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @hippo.ru.ac.za

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @hippo.ru.ac.za
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 51448
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 5, ADDITIONAL: 4
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
org.zm.			86400	IN	NS	ns2.zamnet.zm.
org.zm.			86400	IN	NS	pch.nic.zm.
org.zm.			86400	IN	NS	ns1.coppernet.zm.
org.zm.			86400	IN	NS	ns-zm.afrinic.net.
org.zm.			86400	IN	NS	ns1.zamnet.zm.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
ns1.zamnet.zm.		86400	IN	A	196.46.192.26
ns1.coppernet.zm.	86400	IN	A	41.222.240.15
ns2.zamnet.zm.		86400	IN	A	196.46.192.21

;; Query time: 347 msec
;; SERVER: 146.231.128.1#53(146.231.128.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:03:14 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 212

[00:03:14 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.zamnet.zm

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.zamnet.zm
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 5881
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 1
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns1.niner.net.
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns2.niner.net.

;; Query time: 330 msec
;; SERVER: 196.46.192.26#53(196.46.192.26)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:03:35 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 85

[00:03:35 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @ns2.zamnet.zm

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @ns2.zamnet.zm
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 27780
;; flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; ANSWER SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		604800	IN	NS	ns2.zamnet.zm.
zxxx.org.zm.		604800	IN	NS	ns5.zamnet.zm.

;; Query time: 337 msec
;; SERVER: 196.46.192.21#53(196.46.192.21)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:03:42 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 83

[00:03:42 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @ns-zm.afrinic.net

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @ns-zm.afrinic.net
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 43162
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 1
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns1.niner.net.
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns2.niner.net.

;; Query time: 324 msec
;; SERVER: 196.216.168.44#53(196.216.168.44)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:03:53 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 85

[00:03:53 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig pch.nic.zm any

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> pch.nic.zm any
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 261
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1280
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;pch.nic.zm.			IN	ANY

;; ANSWER SECTION:
pch.nic.zm.		81758	IN	A	204.61.216.73

;; Query time: 10 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:16:20 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 55

[00:16:20 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ whois 204.61.216.73

#
# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at: https://www.arin.net/whois_tou.html
#
# If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
# https://www.arin.net/public/whoisinaccuracy/index.xhtml
#

#
# The following results may also be obtained via:
# https://whois.arin.net/rest/nets;q=204.61.216.73?showDetails=true&showARIN=false&showNonArinTopLevelNet=false&ext=netref2
#

NetRange:       204.61.208.0 - 204.61.217.255
CIDR:           204.61.216.0/23, 204.61.208.0/21
NetName:        WOODYNET-204-61-208-0-21
NetHandle:      NET-204-61-208-0-1
Parent:         NET204 (NET-204-0-0-0-0)
NetType:        Direct Assignment
OriginAS:
Organization:   WoodyNet (WOODYN)
RegDate:        1995-01-26
Updated:        2012-03-02
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-204-61-208-0-1

OrgName:        WoodyNet
OrgId:          WOODYN
Address:        2351 Virginia St
City:           Berkeley
StateProv:      CA
PostalCode:     94709-1315
Country:        US
RegDate:        2001-05-16
Updated:        2013-04-02
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/org/WOODYN

OrgAbuseHandle: BW1324-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Woodcock, Bill
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-415-831-3103
OrgAbuseEmail:  woody_AT_pch.net
OrgAbuseRef:    https://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/BW1324-ARIN

OrgTechHandle: BW1324-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Woodcock, Bill
OrgTechPhone:  +1-415-831-3103
OrgTechEmail:  woody_AT_pch.net
OrgTechRef:    https://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/BW1324-ARIN

#
# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at: https://www.arin.net/whois_tou.html
#
# If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
# https://www.arin.net/public/whoisinaccuracy/index.xhtml
#

[00:16:32 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig -x 204.61.216.73

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> -x 204.61.216.73
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 46703
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1280
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;73.216.61.204.in-addr.arpa.	IN	PTR

;; ANSWER SECTION:
73.216.61.204.in-addr.arpa. 900	IN	PTR	pch.nic.zm.

;; Query time: 1670 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:16:44 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 79

[00:16:44 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @pch.nic.zm

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @pch.nic.zm
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 10234
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 1
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zxxx.org.zm.			IN	NS

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns2.niner.net.
zxxx.org.zm.		86400	IN	NS	ns1.niner.net.

;; Query time: 11 msec
;; SERVER: 204.61.216.73#53(204.61.216.73)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:17:20 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 85

[00:17:20 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig ns1.coppernet.zm any

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> ns1.coppernet.zm any
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 4953
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1280
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;ns1.coppernet.zm.		IN	ANY

;; ANSWER SECTION:
ns1.coppernet.zm.	86375	IN	A	41.222.240.15

;; Query time: 11 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:36:07 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 61

[00:36:07 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ whois 41.222.240.15
% 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 '41.222.240.0 - 41.222.241.255'

% No abuse contact registered for 41.222.240.0 - 41.222.241.255

inetnum:        41.222.240.0 - 41.222.241.255
netname:        CUNET-LSK-01
descr:          Allocation to CopperNET Solutions, an ISP in Zambia.
country:        ZM
admin-c:        KWC1-AFRINIC
tech-c:         KWC1-AFRINIC
status:         ASSIGNED PA
remarks:        Please send abuse notification to abuse@coppernet.zm
mnt-by:         COPSOL-MNT
source:         AFRINIC # Filtered
parent:         41.222.240.0 - 41.222.243.255

person:         Kasopa W Chisanga
address:        Silicon House, Kantanta Street
address:        P.O Box 22149, Kitwe
address:        ZM
phone:          +260-212-245011
phone:          +260-212-245200
phone:          +260-212-245222
nic-hdl:        KWC1-AFRINIC
remarks:        CopperNET Solutions.
source:         AFRINIC # Filtered

[00:36:20 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig -x 41.222.240.15

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> -x 41.222.240.15
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 11716
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1280
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;15.240.222.41.in-addr.arpa.	IN	PTR

;; Query time: 1916 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Dec 12 00:36:30 PST 2016
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 55

[00:36:30 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ traceroute 41.222.240.15
traceroute to 41.222.240.15 (41.222.240.15), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1  192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1)  0.372 ms  0.780 ms  0.781 ms
 2  * * *
 3  * * *
 4  * * *
 5  * * *
 6  * * *
 7  * * *
 8  * * *
 9  * * *
10  * * *
11  * * *
12  * * *
13  * * *
14  * * *
15  * * *
16  * * *
17  * * *
18  * * *
19  * * *
20  * * *
21  * * *
22  * * *
23  * * *
24  * * *
25  * * *
26  * * *
27  * * *
28  * * *
29  * * *
30  * * *
[00:37:15 leftseat@wrathall ~]$ dig zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.coppernet.zm

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.10-Ubuntu <<>> zxxx.org.zm ns @ns1.coppernet.zm
;; global options: +cmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached
[00:38:21 leftseat@wrathall ~]$

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