Security and IP address

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by ejr, Mar 27, 2006.

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  1. ejr

    ejr Registered Member

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    Is it critical to keep your IP address unknown to others? I have noticed that years ago message boards would post your IP address with your post. Now, most don't.

    How dangerous is it for someone to know your IP?

    Also, if someone REALLY wants your IP address and are computer savvy, can they get it?

    The reason that I ask is because I have a certain forum that I frequent (a message board related to football) where each member is supposed to have one handle and one handle only. Each person that visits the board is limited to 30 posts per day.

    I'm fairly certain that certain people have more than one handle based on writing style. But without seeing the IP address you can't know for sure. I have asked the board moderator to post IP addresses but he says that this would be a security risk.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I wouldn't say it was 100% Critical. It depends on what you're doing, and who the others are that may know it, and what they may do if they had it !

    If you sent someone an email for eg, they would see the IP it came from and could misuse that info if they were that way inclined, but only if you have a static IP.

    The forum Mods etc will know the IP's of Everyone posting, so if the're not bothered ?


    StevieO
     
  3. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Having your ip address revealed isn't that big of a deal. So what if a hacker knows that you are located somewher in the southern USA? As long as all of your computer's ports are either closed or stealthed, no hacker is going to gain entrance into your pc through your ip address.

    Alphalutra1
     
  4. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    The IP is simply the current address of your computer on the Internet and is allocated by your ISP when you connect. Depending on your ISP, it may be a static IP address (ie, you always get the same one) or a dynamic IP address (ie it can change from time to time).

    It is not necessarily dangerous for someone to have your IP address, BUT if someone wants to attack *your* machine (as opposed to a random target) then they need your IP address to target you from the outside (assuming that they're going to come rattle your windows, rather than trick you into executing a trojan, or get at you by other means).

    If you connect to a service on a machine they control, then usually, yes. So, if you connect to my webserver it will know your IP. If you try to send me a file over an IM client, then, depending on the IM client I will have your address. If you use a P2P system and connect to multiple peers, then each peer has your address - and they need it in order to communicate with you. This is all normal, and nothing to be scared about.


    Well, a list of IP addresses is not a risk itself.

    However, lets play a game. Suppose that you and I are "enemies" and I want to "get you". If the forum shows the IP addresses, then I can wait until you post, note your IP address and then I know where your machine currently is.

    From there, I could portscan your machine, or use tools to try and pry for vulnerabilities.

    If your IP address is not shown, I somehow have to discover it before I can rattle your windows (again, assuming a dumb, straight out attack/probe, rather than something sneakier).

    A second issue with IP addresses could be that the ISP may log which IP it allocates to which person at which time. So, if you were harassing someone, and your IP was posted - I could contact your ISP and say "the user with this IP address at this time is hassling me". The ISP could then ignore that message, like they ignore anything else that doesn't relate to sales :D
     
  5. PCJohn

    PCJohn Registered Member

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    Once a forum suddenly decided to display the ip numbers at all the postings.
    That`s not a good thing.
     
  6. ejr

    ejr Registered Member

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    Thanks for the information. The particular message board used to be a very enjoyable site. However, when they stopped posting IP addresses people began signing up for multiple accounts and then used their multiple handles to "gang up" on other forum members. The immature posters that have done this have taken a lot of the enjoyment out of what used to be a very fun site to visit.
     
  7. PCJohn

    PCJohn Registered Member

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    Not posting ip numbers is much safer.
    In a bar you don`t have your phone number on your shirt too.
    I know what you mean, people can behave badly on forums.
    They don`t want to talk but only want to win or preach.
     
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