What is IP spoofing, and how to prevent it?
An IP address other than the receiver’s sender address to hide the sender’s identity is known as IP spoofing.
During the delivery of messages and information to the destination address, the data is divided into several packets to transfer it over the limited bandwidth. Every pack contains a header file along with the requested information. This header file contains the source address, a destination address, routing protocols, and the route to be followed. In turn, this header file includes the IP address of the sender and the other details. If your IP address is 192.168.0.10, then use this guide for router login and password details. If, in any case, the actual source IP address doesn’t match with what is mentioned in the header file of the packet, then this whole scenario is IP spoofing.
Let’s take a real-life example: imagine a situation where you have ordered a product from a particular website. In your order summary, the vendor address is written as “A1,” but in reality, the product is coming from “A2,” and there is no mention of this second address in the whole delivery process. In this scenario, you don’t have any information about address A2. The product you got is the same, but we can’t trust the security and how long the product lasts as it does not come from the actual address you are not aware of. It can be a copy of the actual product.
So let’s try to link this example with the information which you requested from the server. The packets displayed on your screen as requested information may contain some malicious software, files, and even viruses.
Often spoofing is done to initiate DDoS (Distributed denial-of-service) attacks on the targeted computer. The denial-of-service attack prevents legitimate users from using the resources of their computers. The sender will flood the receiver computer with so much information and malicious programs such that authorized users can’t use its resources. DDoS attacks take advantage of spoofing by changing their address and sending messages to the destination. It’s difficult for the receiver to block this sender because the receiver doesn’t know the actual address of the sender. In many cases, these attackers change their address so frequently that you can’t even stop these attacks.
IP Spoofing is also used for hacking purposes.
Spoofing is also used to bypass IP authentication. In this method, the attacker tries to enter your network without following the predefined rules and checkpoints. Often attackers try to bypass the “Castle-and-Moat security” concept, i.e., anything outside the system is considered unsafe and whatsoever inside the network is safe. So these attackers would access your network and perform malicious activities, may steal confidential information, and use it without your acknowledgment.
In this spoofing method, during the transmission of packets along the channel, the third party other than the sender and receiver alter the packages in between and allow them to transmit along with the pack from trusted sources. In the “Man-in-the-Middle attack,” the sender and receiver are not aware of the IP address of this third party who changed the address.
How to prevent IP spoofing?
Usage of Firewall
Implementation of a firewall is a great option that governs incoming and outgoing traffic. It prevents any packet which is coming from unauthorized addresses. Nowadays, firewalls are coming with anti-spoofing property. You should also prevent the address that is outside of your valid range.
Ingress filters filter out the suspicious traffic entering the network. It prevents the packet from entering the network whose source address is other than what is written in the header file. Ingress filtering is configured over a router or firewall, which examines all the incoming traffic with some predefined protocols. Ingress filters also maintain the list of valid IP addresses.
Egress filtering can be considered as the opposite of ingress filtering. The packets are checked before leaving the network to ensure that no one from the inside network has done something malicious. Here all the outgoing packets are checked following their IP addresses so that no foul play would happen with packets or with the IP addresses inside the network.
Use of secure encryption protocol
HTTPS is a secure encryption model. It works on the transport layer of the OSI model. It depicts whether a connection is secure or not. It is recommended to use a website with a secure HTTPS connection. Http uses two types of encryption- Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption.
In symmetric encryption, the same key is used at both sides, i.e., sender and receiver, for encryption and decryption purposes.
In asymmetric encryption, two different keys are used. These two keys are public keys and private keys. The private key is used for encryption by the sender, and the public key is shared with the receiver. The receiver can only decrypt data encrypted by the sender.
Switch to IPv6
Most of the system uses IPv4, but this is a high time when everyone should decide to switch on IPv6. IPv6 is more secure, and it ensures encryption along with authentication. So it protects the system from IP spoofing.