Internet Protocol (IP) addresses reveal the location of internet-connected devices. When you connect to a website, the site will see your computer’s or device’s IP address. When other devices connect to your network, you’ll see their IP address. IP addresses, however, aren’t immune to manipulation. They can be changed via spoofing. What is IP spoofing exactly?

What Is IP Spoofing?

IP spoofing is a cyber threat that involves the manipulation of an IP address. It’s designed to trick hosts into thinking that a computer or device uses a particular IP address, when in reality the computer or device uses an entirely different IP address. Spoofed IP addresses are simply modified so that they don’t reveal the true location of the computer or device.

Spoofing is defined as the malicious and intentional changing of a piece of data. IP addresses, unfortunately, can be spoofed. IP address is a common cyber threat that can affect both consumers and businesses.

How IP Spoofing Works

Most cases of IP spoofing consist of editing Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) packet headers. HTTP packet headers are packages of structured data that are used to facilitate the communications between hosts and clients. When a user connects your network, his or her computer or device will send your network a request header. Your network will then respond with its own header, which is known as a response header. These HTTP packet headers contain certain types of information, including an IP address.

The Dangers of IP Spoofing

With IP spoofing, hackers can impersonate a legitimate user to gain access to your network or an otherwise protected part of your network. Access control technologies are often based on IP addresses. Unless a user has a particular IP address, he or she won’t be able to access your network or a protected part of your network. IP spoofing allows hackers to bypass access control technologies such as this by changing their IP addresses to that of a legitimate and authorized user.

IP spoofing is also used to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks are malicious cyber attacks that involve spamming devices or networks with a flood of requests. You can often protect against DDoS attacks by deploying IP filtering or IP blocking technologies. The problem with IP filtering and IP blocking technologies, though, is that they may not work in cases of IP spoofing. IP spoofing allows hackers to change their IP addresses, so they circumnavigate these safeguards.