What is IP spoofing? Simply put, it’s when a user or program attempts to transmit packets with an IP address that they are not authorized to use. Also known as IP address spoofing, it aims at impersonating a legitimate source IP. While that’s the official definition, quite a few details can cause this to happen and be successful.
What Is IP Spoofing?
In IP spoofing, a hacker sends out fake IP packets via forged IP addresses created to mask their real identity. To do this, they use various tools to find the IP addresses of websites and networks. Then, they send out fake requests with these addresses.
IP spoofing can be done for several reasons. It’s often used for DDoS attacks or to hide the attacker’s identity. It’s also used to make phishing campaigns more effective and harder to detect because fake emails appear to come from legitimate sources.
When an attacker uses IP spoofing during a DDoS attack, they flood their target with fake requests that cause a server overload and crash. This tactic is effective because it prevents anyone from identifying where the attacks are coming from and allows them to remain anonymous while launching them.
Why Do Hackers Use IP Address Spoofing?
The following are some things that attackers can accomplish with forged IP addresses:
- Prevent authorities from finding out who they are and from linking them to the attacks
- Prevent targeted devices from delivering notifications about attacks in which they unknowingly take part.
- Avoid security software, hardware, and services blocking IP addresses associated with malicious traffic sources.
Types of IP Spoofing
A variety of attacks can be carried out via IP spoofing. Once they have your device’s trust, hackers can take advantage of that weakness to deliver a computer virus, ask for personal information, or even turn your device into a zombie to enable a massive bot attack on a target network.
The most typical methods of IP spoofing attacks are listed below:
- DDoS – Distributed Denial of Service attacks use IP spoofing to make it appear as an attack that comes from multiple sources. This can overwhelm servers and networks with too many requests, causing them to crash or shut down until they recover.
- Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack – An MitM attack occurs when an attacker intercepts traffic between two parties by impersonating each other and relaying messages. The attacker can then eavesdrop on letters sent between the two parties and decrypt them if necessary. A MitM attack is difficult to detect because there are no signs of anything wrong with the connection. It just appears like regular communication between two computers when it’s not.
- Masking Botnet Devices – Botnets are collections of computers infected with malware that can be controlled remotely by hackers or cybercriminals. These infected machines are called bots and can be used to perform tasks like spamming email inboxes, stealing passwords, and more. To hide their tracks from law enforcement, botnet owners often use IP address spoofing to disguise their activity from investigators.
How To Detect IP Spoofing?
IP spoofing is a method of maliciously disguising an IP address. It is a common technique used by hackers to send spam emails, as well as by spammers, to avoid being traced.
The best way to detect IP spoofing is through a network firewall. Firewalls are designed to alert users when an unauthorized connection attempt is made on their network or system. If the firewall detects an attack, it can block the offending source or allow you to take action against the intruder.
Several free tools also allow you to test your IP address against known malicious sources and determine whether hackers have spoofed it.
How To Protect Against IP Spoofing?
Several methods can be used to prevent IP spoofing:
1. Packet Filtering / Ingress Filtering
Every device or user attempting to join a network has its IP packets examined by packet filtering. This procedure examines each IP packet’s header, which includes the IP address, in great detail to ensure everything is in order and matches the source. If something appears wrong, the packet won’t be able to finish the connection as intended.
2. Egress Filtering
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent IP spoofing attacks, and it involves filtering outbound traffic based on its source address. Egress filtering helps prevent intrusions by restricting outbound traffic from an organization’s network to avoid external attackers from accessing internal systems that can be used for malicious purposes like data theft and system hacks.
3. IP Encryption
IP encryption ensures that both sides of an Internet communication exchange encrypted data using Public Key Encryption (PKI). This means that only one set of keys is used for encryption and decryption processes — public keys — while private keys are kept secret by the owner of those keys.
4. Use TCP
TCP includes built-in protection against IP spoofing. When two hosts establish a connection, they exchange SYN packets that contain their IP addresses for verification purposes. Once both hosts are confident that they’re communicating with each other, they send out SYN-ACK packets containing their source port numbers, which allows them to easily identify each other’s ports at any time during the session.
5. Use Strong Passwords
Ensure you’re using strong passwords for all accounts that give you access to the internet or your company’s internal network. Weak passwords can make it easier for hackers to log in remotely and fool other users into believing they’re legitimate or authorized users of your network.
6. Install Antivirus
Install antivirus software on all computers and servers running critical network applications such as email servers, databases, and web servers. This will help stop viruses from entering your network and detect any suspicious activity once it infects one of these devices.
7. Set Up a Firewall
A firewall is like a gatekeeper that screens all incoming traffic before entering your network. It can be configured to block traffic from an unauthorized source or with a wrong destination address, such as any IP address that doesn’t belong to your company. Firewalls also track what outgoing traffic leaves your network and log this information for future reference.
That wraps up our explanation, and now you know what is IP spoofing, how it works, and the different techniques that can be used to carry out this practice. We hope that you’re now more familiar with IP spoofing and its uses.
In a nutshell, IP spoofing is defrauding the recipient of transmission by altering the sender’s IP address and tricking the receiver into believing that communication originated from someone else. Businesses and individuals alike can suffer a lot from spoofing.