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22 Mar 2013

Catch a Hacker: How to Trace an IP Address

Cyber criminals are becoming a major threat to computer users throughout the world. Many of these criminals are very bold because they believe that they can hide behind the cloak of anonymity on the Internet.

how to trace an ip addressCyber criminals are becoming a major threat to computer users throughout the world.

Many of these criminals are very bold because they believe that they can hide behind the cloak of anonymity on the Internet.

Fortunately, computer hackers are not untraceable. You can identify them and help the authorities make a case against cyber criminals if you follow a few measures.


IP Lookup Location

Here are a few basic guidelines to help you trace computer hackers. Keep in mind that many sophisticated computer hackers will be more cautious about tracing their steps. Many hackers use proxies or darkweb sites such as Tor. They can still be traced, but doing so may be a bit more difficult. These guidelines may help you identify some hackers, but you may need the assistance of an expert to catch many in real life.


To Track a Hacker

You will need to identify the IP address of the intruder. There are a variety of Linux commands and tools that can tell you what the IP address is of any computer that is trying to make a connection. You can find the IP address of anyone trying to hack your own website on your hosting logs, Google Analytics or another analytics tool.You can try to use a tool such as NetStat to identify the IP addresses of anyone trying to connect to your computer.

What to do with the informationOnce you have an IP address you can find out where the connection is coming from. Keep in mind that these simpler tools won’t be able to tell you exactly where they are, but can give you a reasonable idea what city they are in and what hosting provider they are using.

You can use the traceart command to find the hostname of the IP address that the hacker is using to access your machine. You can also put the IP address on the trace-route tool on the Princeton website. Another alternative is to use the GEOIPTool to get a rough idea where the hacker is located.


Report the crime

You won’t be able to track the hacker’s exact identity when you try these techniques. However, there are a couple of ways that you can use it:

- You can turn them over to the authorities.
- You can report them to their hosting provider after learning their identity.

ip tracking

I would suggest the former in most situations. You will know which country’s jurisdiction to contact to report the crime.


Remain Vigilant Against Hackers

Some hackers are annoying pests that have too much time on their hands. Others are much more sophisticated and dangerous. You will always need to be on your guard to protect yourself.

The topics I covered above can help you learn enough about a hacker to report them to the authorities or their ISP. However, they will usually not be very effective against more sophisticated hackers who are trying to cover their tracks. You should always take the necessary steps to keep your computer safe and leave the harder work to the authorities. Above all, make sure that you don’t try to use any information you find to antagonize them. You don’t know what havoc they could wreak on your system if you aren’t so careful.

About the Author: Kalen is a technology and security writer who shares tips on identifying and stopping criminals.

3 Responses

  1. Shannon

    The article didn’t tell me where on the computer to go to give command to Linux or netstat to find the IP address of whoever is trying to hack into my computer.

  2. James

    Hi Shannon,
    According to forum users at Develop Websites, you can check the SSH (Secure Shell) network log to see which IP addresses have been logging into your server. If you don’t recognize any of the addresses, chances are you’ve been hacked. Looks like there are a couple of ways to check your SSH log. Read through the link above to see what works best for you. eHow gives other instructions, telling you to search in start menu (windows), and type “netstate b” to see which IP addresses are connected to your network. Hope this helps. Best of luck.

  3. Jack black

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