To begin discussing IP reputation, it’s necessary to review the fundamentals of IP addresses. IP is an abbreviation for “internet protocol.” An IP address is a sequence of digits that is allocated to computers, routers, servers, and phones.
In other words, to anything linked to the internet, including websites. Similar to a physical address, an IP address is used to identify connected devices on the internet to facilitate communication between them.
If we continue to conceive of IP addresses as analogous to physical locations, the concept of reputation begins to make sense. For instance, a home or company may be located in a “good” neighborhood, that is, one with a favorable reputation, or in a “poor” one.
A neighborhood’s reputation is determined by a variety of factors, including crime statistics; proximity to schools, hospitals, grocery stores, or entertainment; the median age and condition of the buildings; the types of businesses located nearby; how the neighborhood has changed over time; and much more.
An IP address with a long history of benign activity and relationships — that is, one that has never been associated with malicious behavior or malware, has never been hijacked by cyber criminals but is otherwise just attached to mild domains, sites, and web objects — will have a positive reputation.
However, if the IP has previously been seen hosting malware or is related to domains known for hosting phishing sites, dumping malware, or engaging in other malicious activities, there is a significant likelihood that the IP poses a risk to internet users. The riskier the IP, the worse its reputation is.
How To Keep An Eye On IP’s Reputation
It is critical to check your IP reputation for changes. When you monitor your IP reputation, you may take immediate action to safeguard your system if necessary. To monitor the status, you must run an IP reputation check.
- Examine the message headers to determine the real IP address used to transmit your message.
- Utilize public IP check tools to determine your IP address’s repute.
- Make a habit of performing an IP reputation check frequently to keep an eye out for any changes. If you discover that your IP has a terrible reputation, contact your ISP to determine how it may be rectified.
Why Is It Necessary To Maintain An IP Reputation
A good IP reputation indicates that the device associated with that address is a reliable source of information and internet communications. For instance, if you are a business owner who wishes to send emails to clients, your IP reputation might have a significant impact on whether or not your emails are tagged as spam.
If your website is compromised or one of your servers is fraudulently utilized in a harmful spam operation, your IP reputation will suffer, and emails sent from your domain will be deemed untrustworthy. As a result, your email marketing efforts will be fruitless until your reputation improves.
IP addresses and their reputations are not static and may cycle numerous times between harmful and benign activity, or they may display a variety of nefarious behaviors. According to the most recent Threat Report, 98 percent of the top 55K IP addresses that appeared on our “malicious” list in 2020 had at least four separate risk characteristics, such as spam sources.
Almost half (48%) of the top 55K were observed performing harmful acts in at least two distinct months, while 25.8 percent were observed performing malicious acts every month.
Because the amount of danger posed by an IP address can change significantly, publicly available lists are far too static and out of the current to be useful. Dynamic, granular intelligence is one of the few methods for identifying difficult-to-detect malevolent individuals.
IP reputation intelligence helps safeguard internet users from known malware sources and harmful or questionable material on the internet, generally through network solutions like next-generation firewalls and network load balancers.
Disabling incoming connections from IPs known to be malicious, which have linkages with other dangerous internet objects, is a highly effective approach to keep networks safe.
Preventing Attacks Using IP Reputation
Following are a few techniques using which you can prevent assaults launched by malicious IPs.
- Phishing Proxies: IP addresses running phishing websites, as well as other crimes including such ad clicking theft or gaming scam.
- Vulnerable Web Attacks: are not as prevalent since knowledge and server security have risen, thus hackers and spammers go for simpler targets. There are still web servers and online forms that hackers may hijack and exploit to deliver spam. Such conduct is easy to identify and swiftly shut down or block using a reputation list such as Spartans.
- Centrally Managed and Mechanized Botnet. Assailants have grown in popularity for acquiring credentials since it does take that long when dozens of computers cooperate to decrypt the password. It is easy to initiate botnet attacks to find out passwords that use regularly used dictionary phrases.
- Virus-Infected Computer: Home PCs are the single greatest source of Spam on the internet. IP Reputation can detect the IP address that is sending unwanted requests. IP reputation can be extremely beneficial for stopping large-scale DDoS, DoS, or anomalous SYN flood assaults from known infected sources.
- Windows Exploit: including active IPs providing or spreading malware, shellcode, rootkits, worms, or viruses.
- Anonymous Proxies: IPs providing proxy and anonymization services including The Onion Router aka TOR
What IP Reputation Tools Are Available
Most IP reputation programs fall into one of two categories: they either permit manual IP reputation lookups or enable you to blacklist IPs with dangerous or dubious reputations.
IP Reputation Monitoring Services
If you’re a business, understanding your IP reputation can assist guarantee customers can come to your website, get your emails, see your website in search results, see your adverts throughout their surfing experience, and more.
Use a lookup service to verify your reputation. If it’s not where you want it to be or looks wrong, some services will enable you to argue their score or will even work with you to establish why or how the reputation harm occurred.
Google Postmaster Tools
With Google Postmaster Tools, you can get precise details about the communications Gmail receives from your domain. Beyond IP reputation, Postmaster Tools will provide your domain reputation, spam rates, encryption used, and email authentication success/failure rates.
IP Reputation Intelligence
IP reputation intelligence frequently comes in the form of static lists that may be incorporated into threat intelligence solutions, firewalls, and network appliances. But the dynamic nature of IP addresses means static listings are sometimes obsolete nearly as soon as they’re released.
The strongest solution is a real-time IP intelligence service that can give nuance and context to aid organizations and technology providers may better safeguard customers and end-users from IP-related hazards.
Validity Sender Score Service
The most common tool to assess IP reputation is undoubtedly Validity’s Sender Score service. You merely need to register a free account there to see adequate info. Any Sender Score in the 90s is good, but anything lower implies you’ll want to reach out to your ISP as soon as possible to investigate and resolve.
Talos Intelligence by Cisco
Another public lookup tool for IP reputation is Talos Intelligence by Cisco. You may utilize this site to look at other data points, but for IP reputation, refer to the “Web Reputation” grade. The IP reputation ratings include unknown, bad, neutral, and excellent.
Beyond reputation, you may also want to know whether the IP is currently on any significant anti-spam or blocklists. The quickest check for an IP is generally MultiRBL, and if you notice a listing there, make careful to follow the link to the list’s website to check again directly.
How Do You Determine An IP Reputation Score
As with the neighborhood analogy above, there is a multitude of characteristics that must be examined to obtain an appropriate IP reputation score.
Here are some of the parameters that may be utilized in measuring IP repute.
- IP category
- Website and/or network owner
- Domain reputation
- Previous relationship with harmful internet objects
- Presence of downloaded files or code
- Hosting location
- History of the IP
- Current relationship with harmful internet items
- Presence on any allow/blocklists
- Associated URL reputation
- Age of the IP
- Real-time performance
As with overall web reputation, evaluating the aforementioned sorts of indicators can generate a fairly precise estimate of the amount of danger associated with a certain IP address.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I fix my IP reputation?
Ways to Improve Your IP Reputation
- Separate your marketing and business transaction email servers. …
- Warm up the IP Reputation. …
- Check servers for malware infestations. …
- Review justifications for having a public proxy server. …
- Set public proxy server policies. …
- Implement authentication for proxy servers.
Why does my IP address have a terrible reputation?
In the area of spam detection and reputation, dynamic IP addresses have weaker reputations since there’s less responsibility. Any misbehavior you conduct on today’s given IP address might be difficult to track down if your IP address changes tomorrow.