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Sequoia

Someone hacked into my computer and stole my IP address! Why can't they find the hackers?

I am so mad! What an imposition. What do they do with it? Why? How frustatrating!
Edward:

Lol, I know that can be very frustrating; however they system "cracker" did not "hack" into your computer and "steal" your internet protocol (IP) because in order to break into your computer, they would have had to have your IP already. Someone as little as having some sort of "Three-way-Hand-Shake" with you can scan your sub-net and see what your IP is, considering that an IP/TCP (transmission Control Protocol) revolves around the OSI layer. For example, if you and I are chatting on MSN, I can scan your sub-net and see what your IP is. Your IP is just like your street address... in simple terms!

Meri:

The colloquial term "stealing an IP address" in hacker-speak does not mean the same thing as the literal "stealing" as it would apply to someone stealing a candy bar.

What a hacker can do is find out what your IP address is (not too difficult at all) and piggy-back on it to use it for their own purposes (more difficult to do). Many times this means the hacker installs some kind of proxy application on your computer and then uses spoofing to make it appear as though their data packets are yours.

So, in a hacker lounge when the hackers brag about how many IP addresses they've stolen, they are bragging more literally about how many machines they have compromised and can use for spoofing attacks.

How do you protect yourself?

1. Try to figure out how it might have happened in the first place. You, or someone using your computer, had to allow something to be installed on your computer. If you're using a router/firewall, this mostly means clicking a link in an email, Messenger IM, or website, etc. Or, following a link returned by a Search Engine (like Live Search or Google) that took you to a Website that installed something on your computer.

Most of these attacks happen right away because the hacker wants to spread the malware as quickly as possible to other computers. That's why many times, once the malware is installed on your computer, it will use your contact lists to send messages to people who know you and are more likely to click a link in a message that appears to have been sent by you.

Although less likely, your router/firewall could have let in the attacker or the attack came from a file someone shared with you from a CD, USB drive, etc.

Think back to when this happened. You may remember at what time things starting acting flaky on your computer, and then you may remember what you (or someone else) did right before that.

2. Be caref

David:

No one can steal an IP addresses.

Sequoia:

Then you tell Msn that because someone did! That is the answer MSN gave me so it took several hours later to try to reinstall a new one and it ended up a friend was able to help me! Not MSN Support!

David:

Give me the name and the number for the MSN support personnel and I’ll get to the bottom of it for you.

Literally Speaking ™:

They probalby ran the ip renew command sometime after the ISP allowed it, but I concurr an IP can't be stolen, but a trojan can make good use of one if configured properly.

:o)

Sequoia:

Well tell them!

Literally Speaking ™:

Just get and run your firewall and make sure you have avast running to help keep those trojans out of your system, you can call your internet service provider and have them reset the IP addy for your pc in such cases, if your dial up no worries, that changes everytime you log on to the net.

Sequoia:

Oh I called my internet provider! I was on the phone with then from 4 until 9 last night and they still could not get my computer to take a new address. Finally a friend spent 2 hours on it to night and I am fine...I hope! Thank you for your answer!

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