Open Letter to all University Presidents, Principals, Rectors, Chancellors and Vice Chancellors
20th December 2019
Justice Department investigates Sci-Hub founder on suspicion of working for Russian intelligence
A story in today’s Washington Post reports that the Justice Department has launched an investigation – with both criminal and intelligence-gathering elements – into Sci-Hub’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan. The article says that a former senior U.S. intelligence official said he believes Elbakyan is working with Russia’s military intelligence arm.
This confirms our worst fears. At PSI we’ve been investigating Sci-Hub for three years. It was inconceivable that Elbakyan, all on her own, could have funded and run a site the size of Sci-Hub, containing 76 million articles and providing 200 million annual downloads. We have been warning of the risks presented by Sci-Hub for some time, for example here.
From our research with academic institutions and publishers over the past three years, we discovered the scale and scope of the phishing at western universities to obtain the credentials has been truly industrial. We found that Sci-Hub had stolen log-in credentials for 373 universities in 39 countries, including more than 150 academic institutions in America alone. Leading research nations with a high number of compromised university systems include the UK, Canada, Australia and Sweden as well as technical universities in Germany.
The vulnerability of universities to cyber-crime has been apparent for some time and the authorities have been warning about the risks to such institutions in the US and the UK.
Following the Washington Post’s revelations about Alexandra Elbakyan, the question now is what actions should universities take to protect their sensitive research, their faculty and their students?
As a matter of urgency, here are some simple and immediate steps that can be taken to enhance your current security:
- Block access to Sci-Hub. Make your users aware that by attempting to download content from these illegal and dangerous sites, they are putting their university at risk.
- You can block access to these illegal sites by downloading the Outgoing Block List from theIPregistry.org.
- Download the Incoming Block List from theIPregistry.org (your academic library staff should already have access to this resource) and protect your university from harmful intrusions.
- Finally, universities must share information with each other about the source of attacks, so that they and other organisations can start to protect themselves and each other.
Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about any of the issues raised in this letter.
CEO and co-founder, PSI Ltd
25th February 2019
Important new EZproxy security feature calls out to PSI’s blocklist for validation
We are delighted to announce that OCLC is using PSI’s IP Intrusion Service block list to provide a new security feature for their latest release. EZproxy 6.5 contains an important feature that incorporates a real-time call out to a security API that validates the IP address of the requester and logs/denies access if the IP address is a known pirate/hacker. This greatly reduces the time-consuming and manual process of scanning log files for hacked credentials. The API calls out to a blocklist created by IP-intrusion.org and validated via theIPregistry.org giving libraries the power to ensure that their verified IP addresses are never included on the list. TheIPregistry.org is a repository that contains over 1.5 billion verified IP addresses from 60,000 content licensing organizations worldwide. Both IP-intrusion.org and theIPregistry.org are maintained by PSI Ltd.
The IPs on the list have been identified as the source of spamming, phishing, hacking, and other forms of cyber-crime. The list also incorporates the information identified on the P.R. Butler list. One major advantage of this block list is that it uses theIPregistry.org as a whitelist, giving libraries the power to ensure that their verified IP addresses are not included on the list. Keeping the IP addresses held within theIPregistry.org for your organisation up-to-date will ensure that these IPs are never included on the block list. We urge all libraries that haven’t already done so to register a user and confirm the IPs held for their organisation.
PSI is an independent third-party organization, which enables libraries, publishers and membership societies to work together securely and confidentially towards the common goals of facilitating legitimate access to scholarly content, eradicating IP misuse, eliminating subscription abuse, and combating cybercrime.
OCLC is a non-profit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation.
19th December 2018
For participating publishers Atypon Literatum uses theIPregistry.org to offer publishers IP address verification
Atypon is now offering participating customers on its Literatum platform integration with theIPregistry.org to validate IP’s and reduce the inefficiencies and inaccuracies inherent in the process of managing, updating and communicating IP address changes.
TheIPregistry.org is a single repository, pre-populated with data for over 60,000 content licensing organisations worldwide. The original data within theIPregistry.org was the result of a 4 year audit and clean-up of the data held by over 150 publishers. The results of this audit highlighted that 58% of the data held by publishers at that time was incorrect. TheIPregistry.org has now been live for 18 months and during that time has accepted an average of 800 IP updates each month. Each of these updates is checked and verified by the IP registry team in order to maintain the integrity of the registry. Approximately 20% of the updates received initially contain some form of error, this demonstrates the importance of the checking and verifying process. TheIPregistry.org is the only IP registry that checks and verifies IP addresses to eliminate the errors that commonly occur. There are now over 1.5 billion verified IP addresses held within theIPregistry.org.
Through this integration, Atypon is making it even easier for customers to save time and streamline processes by improving the accuracy of usage metrics, using APIs to further reduce the chance of introducing errors due to manual entry, and ensuring that the right content is made available to the right customers.
For further information regarding theIPregistry.org please visit the website at http://www.theIPregistry.org.
PSI is the developer of theIPregistry.org, IP-intrusion.org and the Due Diligence Bureau. For further information about PSI please see https://www.psiregistry.org
7th June 2018
TheIPregistry.org has partnered with Remote Xs to further remove barriers to access
In addition to their existing partnership with Research4Life, theIPregistry.org has also now partnered with Remote Xs. All of the IP addresses that Remote Xs have supplied to libraries are now loaded in theIPregistry.org ready to be used by publishers*. This information will allow publishers to provide access to libraries in parts of the world that have previously been “off limits” to many publishers.
All Remote XsIP addresses are denoted clearly within theIPregistry.org to provide publishers will the information they need in order to make licensing decisions.
Jatin Baraiya, CEO of Remote Xs says “Remote Xs is able to allocate IP addresses to institutions that do not have the technical ability to implement this technology themselves. To provide security for publishers providing content to these institutions, Remote Xs is able to place access limits by publisher, by institution and by user. Our partnership with theIPregistry.org is allowing details of these IP addresses to be shared with the growing number of publishers now using theIPregistry.org”.
TheIPregistry.org is the only pre-populated IP registry which now contains over 1.5 billion fully verified IP addresses for over 60,000 libraries. Libraries using theIPregistry.orgcan communicate IP updates to multiple publishers at the click of a button. theIPregistry.org is also the only registry that checks and verifies IP addresses to eliminate the errors that occur when distributing this kind of information. These checks and measures are clearly absolutely vital as an audit of the data held by over 150 publishers, carried out by PSI IPV Ltd, showed that over 50% of the IP data they held was incorrect. It is still the case that, on average, 20% of the new data submitted to theIPregistry.org is rejected due to errors. TheIPregistry.org is not content to simply store and share information regardless of its value, value is added to the data through the process of vetting, verifying and collecting supporting documentation.
Andrew Pitts, CEO of PSI IPV Ltd (the developer of theIPregistry.org) says “Remote Xs is a simple solution providing access gateways for libraries in parts of the world that have often been denied access to the latest research in the past. This solution also simultaneously provides publishers with the security they need in order to provide access to these institutions.”
The two companies will continue to work together with the aim of breaking down barriers to access and encouraging collaboration between the publishing industry and the academic library world.
* The growing list of publishers now using theIPregistry.org to coordinate updates includes:Springer Nature, JAMA Network, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, Brill, IOP Publishing, American Welding Society, ASTM, SAE International, ASME, The Royal Society.
22nd March 2018
SiQ and PSI Partner for Reporting the Great Unknown
SiQ and PSI Integrate COUNTER Analytics with IP Registry to Resolve Unknown Usage Issues
San Antionio, TX: SiQ and PSI are delighted to release a new integration of IP Registry data to COUNTER and publisher usage reporting and analytics, significantly resolving the issue in attributing institutional usage to unknown or expired sets of IP ranges.
Usage metrics are some of the most trusted and common measurements used to demonstrate the value relationship between authors, publishers, funders, librarians and researchers, however the provision of such measurements relies on the availability of associated data to match the usage to institutions. This is particularly challenging for Open Access publishers, repositories and for ‘Unknown’ usage where the publisher does not have database entries to match usage identifiers to identifiable institutions.
SiQ, leaders in providing COUNTER compliant usage reporting for over 15 years, has partnered with PSI to overcome this challenge and deliver COUNTER R5 reporting using PSI’s IP Registry database to assign institutional usage by IP address. theIPregistry.org is the only pre-populated IP Registry containing over 1.5 Billion fully vetted and verified IP addresses for over 60,000 libraries. theIPregistry.org contains data from over 170 publishers and has been tested by libraries all around the world.
“This collaboration between SiQ and PSI provides enormous potential for all publishers to attribute usage to, and understand engagement with previously unidentifiable accounts. The combination of PSI’s unrivalled dataset and SiQ’s analytics services will transform how publishers identify opportunities and deliver new evidence based acquisition programs.” Stuart Maxwell, VP, SiQ.
The service integrates theIPregistry.org data with COUNTER compliant usage data to enable reporting and analysis for previously unidentifiable institutions. These reports are delivered in the next generation of COUNTER 5 standard reporting, and via flexible publisher analytics to support internal business intelligence to report trusted, valued data and insight to further business stakeholders. The underlying business intelligence analytics provides click-level usage data that is configurable for reporting against any and all available dimensions including article, item, author, funder, source, topic, location, technical etc as well as attribution to institutional data in the IP Registry.
The COUNTER standard is recognised as the trusted, comparable, independent currency for usage reporting and SiQ has been supporting publishers in meeting these requirements and more since the inception of COUNTER. In addition to providing publishers with reporting supported by this official stamp of trust, including through independent audit, SiQ makes this data available throughout their organisation and to other stakeholders so that insights and decisions can be made on accountable and consistent data.
Please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] if you would like more information about how SiQ and PSI can deliver you industry compliant, advanced analytics with verified usage attribution, even for institutional users that may not be currently included in your customer dataset.
About Scholarly iQ
Scholarly iQ provides independent, trusted eBusiness solutions to the academic publishing market. Leaders in usage reporting since 2002, SiQ services integrate and deliver meaningful data accurately and on time for better business decisions.
SiQ leverages leading technologies and has a solid team of professionals in online publishing, web analytics, database integration, and web site development, providing legendary client support 24×7 with energy, enthusiasm and commitment. This combination ensures that SiQ continuously provide exemplary customer centric solutions with industry leading people, processes and technologies.
In addition, SiQ actively supports the academic publishing market as a whole through community participation including NISO’s SUSHI Developers Group and Business Information Topic Committee (www.niso.org) , the Society for Scholarly Publishing (www.sspnet.org), UKSG (www.uksg.org) and COUNTER’s International Advisory Board (www.projectcounter.org). For more information, contact us.
PSI is an independent third-party, which enables libraries, publishers and membership societies to work together securely and confidentially towards the common goals of eliminating subscription abuse, eradicating IP misuse, and combating cybercrime.
PSI is the developer of both theIPregistry.org and IP-intrusion.org. With theIPregistry.org publishers and libraries can save time and streamline processes, eliminate errors, improve the reliability of usage metrics and ensure the right content is accessible to the right users. With IP-Intrusion.org publishers, and soon libraries, can join the community driven fight against cybercrime.
PSI is the brainchild of two veterans of the publishing world who hold over 40 years of STM publishing experience. It was while working for major publishers that they recognised the extent of IP misuse and subscription abuse, the damage it was causing to the community as a whole, and the need to identify a viable means of addressing these issues. Since then they have recognised the unique position that PSI finds itself in to encourage collaboration, communication and innovation among the various stakeholders of the academic library and publishing world for the benefit of the whole community.
Learn more here.
Oxford, UK 27th June 2016
Publisher Solutions International Ltd (PSI) launch The IP Registry, which will solve major authentication problems experienced by publishers and libraries.
PSI, the organisation which helps publishers eliminate subscription fraud and IP misuse, today announced the launch of a global registry of IP addresses.
On average, 58% of IP ranges held by publishers are inaccurate, PSI have found. Because of this, a significant amount of content is open to unlicensed access, and libraries and publishers are likely to receive inaccurate usage statistics. Until now, the systems for keeping the IP ranges accurate and up to date have been cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient for everyone involved.
The IP Registry will make it easier for libraries to communicate any changes in their authentication details to all publishers who sign up to use the service, saving them significant time and reducing errors. The registry already contains 1.5 billion validated IP addresses for over 60,000 content licensing organisations worldwide.
Andrew Pitts, Managing Director of PSI, said “We are the experts in this field as we have been working for over 10 years with leading publishers to identify IP misuse and abuse, cleaning up their authentication databases as we go along. As a result, we have a database of clean and accurate IP details for institutions all over the world. Given IP addresses are still the major method of authentication within in our community we know that this service will benefit publishers and their customers enormously. “
Diane Costello, Executive Officer, Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), when asked to comment on the original idea said “This product should be an acquisition librarian’s dream come true. PSI is constructing a reliable index of institutions’ IP addresses which we will also keep up to date. This will save both publishers and their subscribing libraries a whole lot of trouble. From the library perspective, every time their institution updates their IP addresses, the librarian must notify all those publishers and platform vendors with whom they have an electronic relationship. Now, with The IP Registry, they need only need to do it once.”
Keith Abbott, Special Projects Manager, John Wiley & Sons commented “PSI has been a tremendous resource for us and our industry peers in identifying and preventing the continuation of subscription fraud around the world. More recently, their ability to use aggregated publisher data to perform a global IP address clean-up has been extremely valuable and has provided us with the information needed to develop a more accurate data set in which we now and will continue to have significant confidence.”
PSI is inviting libraries and publishers to find out more and register their interest in the product at www.theipregistry.org. PSI will be available at all major events through 2016, and are inviting people to contact them to make an appointment to meet and discuss the registry.
Publisher Solutions International, Ltd. (PSI) is an independent third-party, which enables publishers and membership societies to work together securely and confidentially towards the common goal of eliminating subscription abuse and IP misuse.
PSI is the brainchild of two veterans of the publishing world who hold over 30 years of STM publishing experience. It was during their work for major publishers that they recognised the extent of IP misuse and subscription abuse, the damage it was causing, and the need to identify a viable means of putting a stop to it.
About The IP Registry
The IP Registry is a single repository of the validated IP addresses for over 60,000 content licensing organisations worldwide, accessible by both publishers and libraries and maintained for the benefit of the whole scholarly communication community by PSI, based in Oxford, UK and Boston, USA.
Contact Andrew Pitts for more information:
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 849 514
Email: [email protected]