What Is IP Spoofing, And How Do You Deal With It?

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Spoofing is a type of cyber attack in which a hacker tries to trick other computer systems by pretending to be a legal entity using a laptop, phone, or the internet. It’s one of the tools hackers use to get into a computer and search for personal information, turn it into a zombie, or launch a Denial-of-Service attack. IP spoofing is probably the most common type of attack that uses spoofing.

IP spoofing changes the source address of IP packets to hide the sender’s information and make them look like they came from another computer network. It’s a way for bad people to launch DDoS attacks against a system or network they want to hurt. This article will explain what Network/IP spoofing is and how to protect yourself from it. Keep on reading.

What’s IP Spoofing?

IP spoofing, also called Internet protocol spoofing, is a way to trick another computer network by sending IP packets with a fake source address. With IP spoofing, cybercriminals can launch harmful attacks without being caught. The goal could be to get to your private or business data, attack your device with spyware, or bring your server down.

Types of IP Spoofing

Most IP spoofing is done in three main ways:

MITM Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are used to stop two devices from talking to each other, change packets, and send them without the sender or receiver knowing. Hackers can read any part of a message if they fake an IP address and get into private communication networks. 

Getting information, sending people to fake sites, and doing other things is possible. Over time, hackers collect much information about people they can use or sell. This makes man-in-the-middle attacks more profitable than others.

DDoS Attacks

In a DDoS attack, hackers use fake IP addresses to send many data packets to computers and servers. It lets them hide who they are while slowing down or crashing a site or network with a lot of web traffic.

Masking Botnet Devices

IP spoofing can also get into a machine by hiding botnets. A botnet is a group of computers that one hacker can control. Every device has a bot that does terrible things to the attacker’s account. IP spoofing assists the hacker in hiding the botnet because each bot has a fake IP address. This makes it harder to find the bad guy. This can cause an attack to the last longer, which can help you get the most out of it.

IP Spoofing: How Does It Work?

Let’s start with some background: Before data is sent over the web, it is broken up into several packets, each of which is sent separately and then put back together at the other end. The Internet Protocol (IP) header of each package contains information about the packet, such as the source and destination IP addresses.

In IP spoofing, an attacker uses tools to change the address of the source in incoming packets so that the receiving computer thinks the box is coming from a trusted source, like another machine on a valid network, and accepts it. Because the changes are made at the system level, there are no apparent signs of tampering.

IP spoofing is used to avoid IP address confirmation in networks that depend on connectivity between computer networks. All the machines inside the connection are trusted, while those outside it are not. When a criminal gets into a network, it’s easy to check out the system. 

As a defense against this weakness, more robust security measures like multi-factor authentication (MFA) are being used more and more to replace simple verification. Hackers often use IP spoofing to commit fraud and theft online or shut down business data centers and websites, but it can also be used for legal reasons. 

For example, companies may use IP spoofing to test sites before they go live. It would take thousands of fake users to test how well the site can handle many logins without getting too busy. IP spoofing is not illegal when it is used in this way.

How to Spot IP Spoofing?

IP spoofing is hard for end users to spot. In the Open System interconnection Interconnection (OSI) communications model, these attacks happen at the network layer, layer 3. In this way, there are no outward signs of someone messing around. The fake attempts to connect look like the real thing.

But businesses can use network management technologies to look at networking devices’ traffic. Most of the time, packet filtering is used. Packet filtering technologies are often found in firewalls and routers. On ACLs, they look for differences between the IP address on the packet and the IP address it was meant for. They can also tell when a package is fake.

There are two kinds of packet filtering.

  • Ingress filtering looks at the IP header source of packets that are coming in to see if an IP address is allowed. Those who don’t meet the requirements or do other things that raise questions are turned away. This screening makes an access control list (ACL) with the IP addresses of the allowed sources.
  • Egress filtering looks at the data that is leaving the system. It seems for source IP addresses that are not on the corporate servers. With this method, insiders won’t be able to launch an IP spoofing attack.

How to Keep IP Spoofing from Harming Your Business?

There is no way to avoid fake IP packets. On the other hand, businesses can protect their computer systems and the systems that run them. Taking the following steps will help protect your company against IP spoofing:

  • Make the ACL for IP addresses.
  • Use packet filtering on both the way out and the way in.
  • Update network software all the time and manage patches well.
  • Do network analysis regularly.
  • Use strong authentication and verification for all connections from a distance. Don’t just use IP addresses to verify users and devices. Use other methods as well.
  • Use IP-level encryption techniques to protect communications from the corporate server. Because of this, attackers can’t read potential IP addresses and make them look like something else.

Firewalls and company routers must be set up with filtering rules that block packets that could be spoofed. This would hold private IP address packets sent outside the enterprise boundary. It also includes traffic that starts inside the company but uses a fake IP address from outside the company as its originating IP address. Launching spoofing attacks on external networks from the corporate network makes it impossible.

How to Keep Yourself Safe from IP Spoofing?

End users can’t stop IP spoofing on their own. But if you follow good cyber etiquette, you’ll be able to stay safe online. Some measures that make sense are:

  • Make sure your internet at home is secure.
  • Don’t connect to the free WiFi network in public. Learn more about it here.
  • You and your family should learn about phishing and not fall for it.
  • Only go to sites that start with HTTPS.
  • Put antivirus and malware-fighting software on your devices.
  • You should update the software on all your devices when a new patch comes out.

IP spoofing can only be stopped by taking the necessary security steps, learning more about it, and training your team.

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