Category Archives: IP Geolocation

How to Protect Your Streaming Content from VPN & Proxy Traffic

As more and more TV, music, and movie content has moved online, a veritable industry has grown up around helping people to circumvent location based broadcast restrictions. Demonstrating the scale of the issue, GlobalWatchIndex reports that as many as 29% of VPN users globally accessed Netflix in one recent month. Tutorials for how to access this and other streaming services abound.

Streaming providers are required by content licensors to geographically restrict access to the content they license. Providers risk losing content licensors’ trust and ultimately risk losing their ability to license content from studios and other licensors if they are not able to restrict access based on where their customers are accessing this content from. This post describes the ways restrictions are being bypassed and offers some advice on solutions. Continue reading

Building Your Own MMDB Database for Fun and Profit

If you use a GeoIP database, you’re probably familiar with MaxMind’s MMDB format.

At MaxMind, we created the MMDB format because we needed a format that was very fast and highly portable. MMDB comes with supported readers in many languages. In this blog post, we’ll create an MMDB file which contains an access list of IP addresses. This kind of database could be used when allowing access to a VPN or a hosted application.

Tools You’ll Need

The code samples I include here use the Perl MMDB database writer and the Perl MMDB database reader. You’ll need to use Perl to write your own MMDB files, but you can read the files with the officially supported .NET, PHP, Java and Python readers in addition to unsupported third party MMDB readers. Many are listed on the GeoIP2 download page. So, as far as deployments go, you’re not constrained to any one language when you want to read from the database.

Following Along

Use our GitHub repository to follow along with the actual scripts. Fire up a pre-configured Vagrant VM or just install the required modules manually.

Continue reading

manual review data inputs

How to Use Geolocation to Identify Higher Risk Transactions

In our last blog post, we discussed how you can use a risk score to automate fraud screening, saving you time and money.

In this blog post, we begin our discussion of manual review best practices.

Studies show that, in North America, one in four orders on average receive extra scrutiny through the manual review process. The goal is to prevent the expense of chargebacks and customer issued credits associated with fraud. At the same time, you need to ensure that legitimate orders are not rejected unnecessarily, and estimates suggest that this is the case with up to 10% of orders. Rejecting good orders negatively impacts the bottom line, and drives away good customers.

During manual review, fraud analysts examine data associated with an order to assess how likely it is to be fraudulent. One key area of data points to consider is that of geolocation. Continue reading

Reverse Geocoding for the Masses – Apache Nutch

The Apache Nutch community has been hard at work developing an open source web crawler. Nutch is a mature, production ready web crawler powering data acquisition, search and discovery for a broad spectrum of organizations over a broader spectrum of use cases. The Nutch 1.x branch enables fine grained configuration and relies on Apache Hadoop™ data structures, which are great for batch processing.

This post documents how reverse geolocation features were added to Nutch via MaxMind’s GeoIP2-java API, making good use of server IP addresses acquired within a Nutch crawl. Readers will take away:

  • insight into why geocoding is appealing in today’s markets,
  • practical code examples from the Nutch 1.x branch, showing how to use the GeoIP2-java API in order to geocode based on server IPs.

Continue reading

Apple Pay: What Does It Have in Store for Online Merchants?

In the world of accepting online payments, credit and debit cards are the industry standard. And for good reason– they’re convenient, and they’ve been around for decades.

But while they’re the go-to payment option, merchants continue to struggle with their vulnerability to fraud.

So that got us wondering– at some point, the credit card was a new invention and appeared to be the payment solution of the future. It was a paradigm shift from the written bank check, which was itself an invention over cash and hard currency. And each option has pushed us into a new era of thieves trying to crank out a payday– sometimes digital, sometimes physical.

So, what’s next for the digital age? Apple is hoping to introduce a new era with Apple Pay. Does it have the moxie to move us beyond the credit card and associated e-commerce fraud?

Mobile payment: Apple Pay
You can’t tap your scroll wheel without clicking through a headline for Apple Pay. And it makes sense– digital-physical hybrid payment options have been trying to take hold for several years now.

While Google and Microsoft have tried their hand at mobile payment methods, Apple’s recent release of Apple Pay is the first to show encouraging signs of nascent adoption. With the smartphone now ubiquitous, the ease of use at the cash register for this type of payment method becomes more compelling.

Apple Pay has immediate benefits for merchants taking CNP payments as well. Apple Pay incorporates fraud detection technology such as TouchID biometric sensors, NFC, and geolocation data. Apple is banking on these features to make Apple Pay more attractive to merchants, and is even going so far as to assume some of the risk of fraudulent transactions themselves.

The future of payment security
Apple’s initial Apple Pay push covers 35 brick and mortar retail stores and provides a new opportunity for widespread use. But considering the amount of consumer data and financial information involved, consumers and merchants alike are sure to closely monitor what E-commerce fraud detection looks like as new payment options spread online within Apple apps.

NFC payment systems are incorporating unique digital signatures and Apple Pay is moving personal data off servers to thwart fraud. At the same time, Apple Pay and other mobile payment options are really no more than glorified credit cards. Is the new technology real progress, or will the fraudsters just step up their game? Adaptation of the new payment methods will be slow, so it will be some time before we can tell.

Who Has the Most Accurate IP Geolocation Data?


When it comes to choosing between the multiple IP geolocation data providers out there, our customers have told us they are most interested in one thing – accuracy. The question is, who provides the most accurate data?

Continue reading

Access MaxMind’s Web services via IPv6

We’re happy to announce that MaxMind’s roll out of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) access for our GeoIP2, Legacy GeoIP, Proxy Detection, and minFraud web service endpoints is complete. This update means each service is queriable at an IPv6 address in addition to existing Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses; no API updates are required. Your development team will be happy to know that MaxMind is IPv6-ready as Internet users transition to IPv6.
Continue reading