Saturday, 17 December 2011

How to Detect Anonymous IP Addresses

As the fraudsters are now becoming more sophisticated in bypassing the Geo-location controls by using proxies (Anonymous IPs) to spoof their IP address, it has become very much necessary to come up with a means for detecting the proxies so that the authenticity of the users can be verified. Using a proxy (web proxy) is the simplest and easiest way to conceal the IP address of an Internet user and maintain the online privacy. However proxies are more widely used by online fraudsters to engage in cyber crimes since it is the easiest way to hide their actual Geo-location such as city/country through a spoofed IP address. Following are some of the examples where fraudsters use the proxies to hide their actual IP.

1. Credit Card Frauds
For example, say a Nigerian fraudster tries to purchase goods online with a stolen credit card for which the billing address is associated with New York. Most credit card merchants use Geo-location to block orders from countries like Nigeria and other high risk countries. So in order to bypass this restriction the credit card fraudster uses a proxy to spoof his IP address so that it appears to have come from New York. The IP address location appears to be legitimate since it is in the same city as the billing address. A proxy check would be needed to flag this order.

2. Bypass Website Country Restrictions
Some website services are restricted to users form only a selected list of countries. For example, a paid survey may be restricted only to countries like United States and Canada. So a user from say China may use a proxy so as to make his IP appear to have come from U.S. so that he can earn from participating in the paid survey.

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