What is IP Spoofing and How Can You Protect Yourself?
As time goes on, greater portions of our lives are part of the internet, be they professional or personal. There is a vast network of data and communications systems out there, and with that comes the risk of security breaches.
Cyber attacks are no joke and can be more common than you think. One such type of attack is IP spoofing. A greater understanding of what this means and how you can ward off such attacks is the first step to preventing this nuisance from happening to you.
IPs and Their Importance
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique address that identifies a specific device or network that is connected to the internet. IP addresses allow information to be sent between devices on a network, ensuring information is delivered to the proper place. These provide a very important framework of communication for the internet at large.
The data transmitted through the network is broken into packets that are sent independently and put back together at the endpoint. Each of these packets contains information such as the source IP address and the destination IP address.
What is Spoofing?
Spoofing is a type of cyber attack in which the attacker aims to trick another network or device in order to gain access to said network or device. This is done by presenting as a legitimate entity, and the end goal is to utilize the taken-over device or network to gather sensitive data or completely shut a system or device down in order to use it maliciously, like launching a wider-scale cyber attack.
Therefore, IP Spoofing is the act of creating data packets with a false source IP address, impersonating another computer system that is seen as a trusted source. This allows hackers to get into networks in a way that is not obvious tampering.
How to Protect Yourself
The first step to protection is monitoring networks for odd activity so early detection can occur. You can also set up a firewall to authenticate IP addresses and filter out strange traffic.
Authenticating IP addresses is important to protection. You can use an IP lookup service to check if the originating IP address is one that is legitimate.
You can employ packet filtering, wherein each IP packet is examined to confirm the IP address matches the source and stops any packets that look strange.
PKI, or public key infrastructure, is another method for authenticating users and devices. It utilizes a private key that encrypts communications and verifies a device’s authenticity, and a paired public key that decrypts these communications.
Each key is different from the other in its pair, making it harder for hackers to spoof IPs.
Training for Prevention
One thing that can be done to address the problem on a human level is proper security training for network users.
This can include educating users on what dangerous emails with fraudulent links can look like or what steps to take if malevolent activity is detected on a device.