What is an IP Address?

01 February 2010

Discover what is an IP address and how hackers could do their job by only obtaining these row of numbers.

Just a short information post for computer illiterates...I'll make it simple.

Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label that is assigned to any device connected to a computer network that uses Internet Protocol for communication. An IP Address is like your home address, it is your location and your computer's identity.

IP Addresses specify the location of a source and destination nodes. This shows where packets of data will be sent to and received.

How Hackers Get Your IP Address?
Actually they're called crackers, but we'll just use hackers since everyone seems to have that understanding. Hackers normally obtain IP Addresses through websites, e-mails and basically anything you can connect to. However, they won't normally be doing this. Normally, their targets are mostly random and normally obtained through port sweep or some other method which effectively gives them vulnerable computers to attack.

What Hackers Can Do With Just Your IP Address?
Of course, if you have a good firewall, you do not need to worry about anything. After the hacker obtained your IP Address, he will run a port scan (to find all open ports) to find a way in. If they have the easy way in, they'll connect to your computer through that port and can upload their own trojans and viruses, eventually taking over your computer.

While your ports may not be open and well managed with good firewall protection, hackers do have ways to break through a firewall. They do not have to directly hack through your firewall, but they could pretend as an allowed server or something your firewall will omit.

Of course this post is not actually to talk about hacking, it's just to let you know what IP Address is. Well, it's just like your postage address in real life, and it's like letting burglars know your address. But whether burglars can get in or not is another thing.