In the era of technology where every data across the universe is available at a single click, the risk of data loss is emerging at its peak. Many companies secure their data transfer which prevents IP address spoofing and sniffing. Ever wondered what does IP spoofing or host file hijack means? The IP address is an internet protocol consisting of numbers that connect client and server for smooth internet accessibility. There is a source address and destination address. The source address is the one from where data is sent in the form of packets, and the destination address is the one that receives data packets. This data is usually not looked upon by the intermediate. Every source and destination has an IP address for the proper functioning of the system. This flow can be disrupted when someone camouflages the IP address to steal personal data or send larger packets (DOS/DDOS attack), making it difficult to process. This is known as IP spoofing on a larger scale. There are various types of IP SPOOFING
1) DDOS attack.
2) Nonblind spoofing.
3) Blind spoofing.
In a Distributed Denial Of Service attack, the server or website is targeted to lower its performance intentionally to crash the website. This DDOS or any other spoofing tool is illegal according to the Computer Misuse Act 1990, with imprisonment being its punishment. There are 3 types by which it can be performed: volume-based, protocol attack, and application-layer attacks. The most common DDOS attack tools are as follows.
1) Solarwinds SEM tool – effective mitigation and preventive software to stop DDOS attacks.
2) HULK – tool for web server used for research purposes
3) Tor’s hammer -testing tool for slow post-attack
4) Slowloris –used to make servers down.
5) LOIC-free and a popular tool for the attack.
6) XOIC- attack is made for small websites.
7) DDOSIM-simulator for DDOS attack for website and network.
8) RUDY – attack using long-form field submission through POST method.
9) PyLORIS-SOCKS proxies and SSL connections.
In Blind spoofing, the attacker sends larger packets from outer local network boundaries, which are usually unaware of the transmission occurrence on the said network. Similar to this, there is not a blind spoofing attack where several packets are sent within local network boundaries, helping them sniff packets according to the sequence. Man-in-the-middle attack involves the interception of messages or data between two communicating systems. This attack is commonly experienced when we connect to public wifi, which is unsecured. Linking to such wifi can lead to fake interaction, fake website browsing, unsecure URL, unsecure server connection, email hijacking, wifi connection, stealing passwords, and loss of personal data.
For example, a girl named Rita had her breakfast in a café now pays online by connecting to unsecured public wifi. Sometimes when she checks her account, the balance reflects zero money. The Man-In-The-Middle attack concept has just been demonstrated as all the data entered passes via the attacker rather than directly reaching the server.
Various tools are present to prevent these kinds of attacks that secure the IP address helping secure good internet surfing. The most commonly used tool for this VPN encrypts the data so that the middle person won’t decode the packets. This VPN help in location masking, bypass geo block, and internet censorship, providing overall internet security. The best VPN’s of 2021 are;
1) Surf Shark is a faster VPN with no data retention loss and features of the clean web, which protects from malicious ads, kill switch, multi-hop, no IP, and DNS leaks with military-grade encryption. With 3200+servers in 65+ countries.
2) Nord VPN that has no bandwidth limit and split tunnelling.
3) Express VPN
6) Pure VPN
Other tools used to reduce or prevent spoofing are as described below:
- Firewall is used as a filter to keep a check and lockout spoof IP, keeping attackers away.
- In the packets filtering system, fish out the spoofing headers that are effective in the mailing and caller-id systems.
- Self-tools like not opening dodgy emails, installing antivirus software, opening HTTPS websites only can prevent IP address spoofing and secure the data loss.
- Manual monitoring of the network for suspicious activity could help in bypassing spoofing earlier than the systems deployed. Intermittent checking can always keep us updated.
Simple steps like using a spam filter, checking for poor grammar, hovering the URL before clicking, confirming information with the source, setting up two-step authentication, and downloading cyber security software can always help protect from spoofing.
Never click on unfamiliar downloads, answer calls or emails from unrecognized senders, give up information to unknown sources, using the same passwords at multiple logins. Following these small steps can help save data and make the internet experience beautiful.
IP spoofing is not illegal unless we use it for malicious activities. Changing IP addresses for secure surfing and stress testing of websites are examples of when it is always used for the benefit of developers.
Many tools are available that can protect our data, but what is most important is taking charge of ourselves. Being responsible for what data we enter was being conscious and cautious at the same time—educating others regarding the same as many are not aware—helping others understand the basics by using posters, video demonstrations, and not indulging in malicious activities. Let us stand together to make the internet a happy place for all of us to surf on!