What is IP Spoofing?

IP spoofing, or Internet protocol address spoofing, is the method of creating an Internet protocol packet or IP packet using a fake IP address that impersonates a legal and legitimate IP address.

A spoofed IP is a fake IP address that does not belong to any computer in the network. IP spoofing exploits the stateless communication of IP protocol, and the primary purpose of IP spoofing is to conceal your original identity while communicating with a server or another computer.

IP spoofing is achieved by modifying the contents in the header section of an IP packet. The header of an IP packet contains the source address and the packet’s destination address.

To accomplish an IP spoofing, the numerical value of a source address is modified. Similarly, a packet intended for a specific IP address can be redirected to another node or server by simply changing the destination address. There is no mechanism in IP protocol to verify the proper delivery of a packet to a destination.

Spoofed IP packets will never reveal the actual identity of the sender. Because of this, IP spoofing is primarily used to engender denials of service (also known as DoS attacks), cybercrimes, hacking, and phishing.

Hackers usually use IP spoofing to contravene network security and gain access to a protected network.

By using IP spoofing, an attacker can impersonate a computer inside the network and, by doing so, can use the services a network is providing without giving the username and password that a network requires. There are different kinds of IP spoofing, including:

  • Non-blind spoofing
  • Blind spoofing
  • Man-in-the-middle attack