29 December 2022 | by Xavier Bellekens
We have talked about intelligence in a variety of context, from threat intelligence to contextual intelligence with cyber deception. However, intelligence is about data and one of the easiest information to obtain is an IP address. Hence, the overview of IP Intelligence.
Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is an effective and cost-savings intelligence gathering approach that has become increasingly important in the modern digital landscape. OSINT relies on publicly available information, ranging from search engines to public records, to allow organizations to increase their awareness of potential threats. By leveraging such open sources of data, companies can gain valuable insights into their own environment, as well as the activities and strategies of their competitors.
Additionally, this type of intelligence gathering plays an important role for organizations in obtaining insights on international events. Thus, investing in tools and training for personnel skilled in collecting and sorting through relevant information can provide a distinct advantage for any organization looking to better understand the contemporary operating environment.
Any cybersecurity team, whether offensive or defensive, must include OSINT. OSINT will always include IP intelligence data because the Internet is based on IPs, thus it doesn’t matter if you use it to find sensitive information about your assets that has been inadvertently exposed or to gather information for penetration testing. At the network level, IP addresses power all of its services, protocols, and the products we use every day.
IP intelligence is a broad term that encompasses various purposes and technologies related to the use of an IP (Internet Protocol) address. From locating an IP address to learning information about a user’s internet behavior, IP intelligence capabilities are crucial for many aspects of modern digital communication. Some common applications for IP intelligence include providing enhanced analytics for web or mobile traffic, anticipating cybercrime activity, identifying unfair competition such as click fraud, developing targeted marketing campaigns and more. Basically, IP intelligence gives organizations the insight they need to make data-driven decisions and gain meaningful insights into online users.
In the context of cybersecurity, IP intelligence refers to the use of IP addresses and other related information to detect and prevent cyber threats. This can include identifying the location of an attacker or suspicious activity, as well as blocking malicious traffic from reaching its intended target.
One way that IP intelligence is used in cybersecurity is through the implementation of firewall rules. Firewalls are security systems that monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. These rules can be based on IP addresses, allowing administrators to block traffic from specific locations or block traffic to and from certain IP addresses.
IP intelligence can also be used to track the location of an attacker or suspicious activity. By analyzing the IP addresses of incoming traffic, cybersecurity professionals can identify the geographic location of an attacker and take appropriate action to prevent further damage.
Another use of IP intelligence in cybersecurity is for tracking the distribution of malware. By analyzing the IP addresses of infected devices, cybersecurity professionals can determine the origin and spread of a malware attack and take steps to prevent its further spread.
Overall, IP intelligence is an important tool in the cybersecurity arsenal, allowing professionals to detect and prevent cyber threats by analyzing and tracking the use of IP addresses. It is an integral part of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, helping to protect networks and devices from malicious activity.
In its purest form, IP intelligence is about obtaining information from one or multiple IP addresses.
Here is a list of metadata that can be used for IP intelligence:
A number of tools can help you obtain intelligence on an IP address. There are a many of services, scripts that allow you to access IP intelligence.
VirusTotal : One of our favourite tools, Virustotal is an online malware and virus scanner. The power of Virustotal lies in its ability to quickly scan a file using dozens of the best and most popular malware scanners available, providing users with comprehensive results for any type of threat. Its fast and accurate results can give valuable insight into the integrity of any IP, URL, program or file being examined – vital information that can be used to keep user data secure and protect against malicious files.
BGPView: One of the key activities security researchers undertake while creating an IP profile of any organization is performing an ASN lookup to obtain complete network information, and BGPView provides all that and more. ASN information consists of information about the country, the announced prefix, the prefix name, the prefix description, the ASN, the ASN description, and the entire ASN name.
Prowl : Prowl returns intelligence information on any given IP addresses, indicates if the IP is malicious or not, as well as information such as techniques tactics and procedures associated with the IP, indicators of attacks and indicators of compromises.
By looking at the IP information provided by Prowl, security teams can quickly determine the intentions of malicious users and block them accordingly.
For example, the IP lookup provides the country, city and postal code of any user attempting to access the network, allowing the team to not only pinpoint geographic locations but also identify if any user requests are coming from suspicious areas.
In addition, it can offer additional data which may indicate whether a user is a repeat offender or part of a larger cybercriminal collective. When used in conjunction with other security measures, such as automated rule-based blocking systems and proactive malware scanning software, IP intelligence can help bolster an organization’s security posture by automating IP blocking directly in a SIEM such as with Azure Sentinel.
IP addresses are an integral part of how the internet works, and as such, play a vital role in cybersecurity.
If you’re ever unsure about whether an IP address has been used maliciously or not, this post should help clear things up.
At Lupovis, we created Prowl, our enterprise-grade attack contextual intelligence tool for just this purpose – to help keep businesses safe from potential threats. Have you found this post helpful? If so, be sure to check out API website for more information on how we can help keep your business secure.