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Is it possible to trace my IP address when I am chatting with others (with gtalk or Facebook)? If so, how could someone do that?

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"What can a hacker do with this ip?" is a separate question. Chatting using what service (or protocol)? AIM? gChat (or some other XMPP based service)? IRC? You need to narrow down the question. –  chao-mu Jun 29 '12 at 16:58
    
gtalk or Facebook chatting –  messi fan Jun 29 '12 at 17:03
    
See the first of the three suggestions I give. –  chao-mu Jun 29 '12 at 17:10
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"gtalk or Facebook chatting" This information belongs in the question itself, not just in a comment. So, I have edited your question. –  curiousguy Jun 29 '12 at 17:57
    
That would be illegal, but you would need to upload some sort of virus into it and redirect people via the link to it. Such thing can go to you also over email, via post on DVD, SMS to your phone, wifi to your router, even the home xbox, company printer whatever you can catch all sorts of stuff if you are expecting this. –  Andrew Smith Jun 29 '12 at 20:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Set up a web server and send them a link to something on it. Once they click the link, their IP address will be logged in your web server's access logs.

You could also host an image on said web server and trick a user into loading it through a third party's website. Some social networking sites allow you to upload snippets of HTML including image tags.

Note, when I say "their IP address" I am referring to whatever the address is after any NAT and proxying.

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It depends on the protocol. If its ICQ/AIM style instant messaging, communication is done through a direct TCP connection to the other server [1]. Hence, you can turn on wireshark or another packet sniffer on your local machine and observe the IP address of everyone you are chatting with easily in ICQ/AIM.

If its Gchat style instant messaging (based on Jabber/XMPP protocol), when you send an instant message to someone the message first gets sent to one of google's servers, and then that server sends the message to the other computer [2] [3]. Their IP address does not seem to be recorded in any way in the logs google provides to the user. Thus, unless you work at google and have access to their internal logs you can't observe their IP address from chatting with them.

Granted as chao-mu mentioned, you can try asking them to directly connect to a server you control or have access to the logs (and then you can find their IP address). Also, that the IP address could be through a proxy (e.g., they sit at computer 1.2.3.4 but route all outgoing traffic through a proxy server 123.124.125.126) or could be be NAT, e.g., their cable modem has IP 1.2.3.4 is connected to a router that assigned their machine 192.168.1.100 (and the router can assign several other IP addresses 192.168.1.101 to other computers), but will look to the outside world as 1.2.3.4.

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The ICQ source is 14 and half years old. I am going to guess that unofficial specification was never correct. –  Ramhound Jun 29 '12 at 18:48
    
@Ramhound - Wish there was an RFC -- sigh proprietary protocols. Haven't used AIM since the late 90s and pretty sure you could find out IPs back then. Can you find a clear specification for modern AIM that specifies how messages are currently sent (e.g., peer-to-peer or through an AIM server)? I couldn't. I did see that AIM did try moving to XMPP at some point and then abandoned the attempt. –  dr jimbob Jun 29 '12 at 21:13

If the protocol uses P2P communication (directly from you to him) then you can see each other's IP address. Otherwise, you'll see the address of the server that is acting as the intermediary. You can view the addresses of all your current connections with the netstat command.

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