IP spoofing definition
IP spoofing is a technique that allows an attacker to modify the source address of packets to make them appear as though they come from a trusted IP address. Cybercriminals use IP spoofing in various attacks, but the most known one is the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
Hackers use IP spoofing to:
- Hide their identity. By masking their IP address, cybercriminals can hide their location, making it more challenging to trace malicious activities back to them.
- Bypass security measures. Some network security solutions allow or block packets based on their source IP address. By spoofing a trusted IP address, attackers can bypass these security measures.
- Launch reflection attacks. During a reflection attack, a hacker sends packets with a spoofed source IP address to a third-party system. This system then sends its response to the spoofed address, which is the actual target. This can amplify the amount of traffic the target receives, overwhelming it and resulting in a denial of service.
How to protect from IP spoofing
One of the most notorious instances of IP spoofing in action was the DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn in 2016. The attackers used IP spoofing to amplify the attack, causing widespread internet outages.
Here are some ways you can protect your network from IP spoofing:
- Use routers and firewalls to filter out packets that have conflicting source address information.
- Set up cryptographic authentication for critical network services.
- Regularly monitor network traffic to detect strange behavior.