What can a hacker do with an IP address?

  • I have an internet connection with a static IP address. Almost all staff in my office know this IP address. Should I take any extra care to protect myself from hackers?

  • Polynomial

    Polynomial Correct answer

    9 years ago

    It depends. Think of your IP address as the same kinda thing as a real address. If a criminal knows the address of a bank, what can they do? It completely depends on what security is in place.

    If you've got a firewall running (e.g. Windows Firewall) or are behind a NAT router, you're probably safe. Both of these will prevent arbitrary incoming traffic from hitting your computer. This stops most remote exploits.

    My suggestions:

    • Enable Windows firewall, or whatever firewall is available on your OS of choice.
    • Keep up to date with patches for your OS. These are critical!
    • Keep up to date with patches for your browser and any plugins (e.g. Flash)
    • Keep up to date with patches for your applications (e.g. Office, Adobe PDF, etc.)
    • If you're running any internet-facing services (e.g. httpd) on your machine, keep those up to date and configure their security appropriately.
    • Install a basic AV package if you're really worried. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a great choice for Windows, because it's free, unintrusive and not much of a performance hog.

    If the firewall is set up correctly, does not have deliberate holes, and if the NAT router is up-to-date with patches and does not allow admin logins from the Internet....

    @schroeder Sure, but most firewalls these days are point-and-click, so by default they just block everything. However, a hole might punch through to an internal service, which is why I said to keep everything up to date.

    Sorry for the additional question: What about DDos? Is it possible to become a victim of DDOS-Attacks? Perhaps someone forges requests with my IP as a recipient of Millions of requests, where the answers flood my IP?

    Sure, but again them having your IP isn't important. If they're angry enough to DDoS your home IP address with a huge botnet, then they're going to get to you somehow.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM