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IP hijacking

(also IP address hijacking, BGP hijacking)

IP hijacking definition

IP hijacking, also referred to as IP address hijacking or BGP hijacking, is a harmful action where an intruder assumes command over one or more IP addresses not officially assigned to them. This activity commonly encompasses redirecting Internet traffic with the intent of unauthorized data acquisition or causing interruptions to standard network functions.

See also: network security protocols, SSL encryption, IPv4, privacy policy, BGP

IP hijacking examples

  • Cyberattacks: In a typical IP hijacking scenario, an attacker might manipulate the routing protocol (BGP) to misdirect Internet traffic, potentially leading to data breaches or denial of service (DoS) attacks.
  • Internet censorship: IP hijacking techniques may be used by certain entities to block or redirect Internet users' access to specific sites or resources.

Advantages and disadvantages of IP hijacking


  • For malicious actors, IP hijacking can provide illicit access to data and the ability to disrupt network services.


  • Security threats: IP hijacking poses significant cybersecurity risks, including the potential for data theft, service disruption, or unauthorized control over network resources.
  • Trust issues: IP hijacking can undermine trust in the Internet's routing infrastructure.

Preventing IP hijacking

  • Regularly monitor routing tables to identify unauthorized changes.
  • Implement security measures such as Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) and Border Gateway Protocol Security (BGPsec).
  • Use a trusted VPN service to encrypt your Internet traffic, making it less susceptible to IP hijacking attacks.