So yesterday I had a conversation with a friend. Apparently he had an argument with an other user in a forum, and while both exchanged bad words the other guy told him.

I have your IP and mail and you will be in trouble.

Since then he is a bit freaked out. I told him that he probably said that to scare him and he can't get his IP. But let's say that the guy got his IP somehow. The only way he can find something about my friend is only through police right? And this will require a court-order right? Or is it more simple.

Like if the guy that "threatened him" is a cop or has a friend in the police, is it easy for him to check some logs and find his name, address or other information without a court order?

  • 2
    Maybe nothing more than the city you live in via Geocoding the IP, maybe everything about you if he runs a server that you log on to from that IP which contains a bunch of your personal data. Question is too vague / open ended.
    – alzee
    Dec 18, 2015 at 12:16
  • So if this guy is a admin or mod or anyway the guy who runs the site can find his name, address and more about him?
    – Alex
    Dec 18, 2015 at 12:21
  • 1
    Any answer would require to know the legal context, or in other words, where do you live,. Other ways there is no way to answer the question if a court-order is needed or even if police is needed. Even if we do, its probably a question for a legal expert not a security expert.
    – LvB
    Dec 18, 2015 at 12:30
  • Probabilities assuming he really has the IP and the IP is static (both likely): This guy is bragging 99%. This guy can and is willing to pay for a DOS attack 1%. This guy can take legal action 0%.
    – user13695
    Dec 18, 2015 at 13:24
  • 2
    He can find out basically everything, it all depends on how much effort he's willing to put in, what he has access to, how skilled at cracking or social engineering he is, and how illegal he's willing to get. As I said, your question is just too vague. Maybe he can't do anything, maybe he can ruin your friends life and yours as well.
    – alzee
    Dec 18, 2015 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


Legally normal users can look up to see who the IP address is allocated to. This is publicly available information. In most cases this will only list the residential ISP's address and contact information. Geo-location might point to, at best, a town.

If the target address has been used for spamming or suspected hacking you could report it to the owning ISP for further investigation or to the police. That is as far as you can go, legally.

The authorities can go further. They will be able to get a warrant against the ISP to release your billing details. They will only go this far if they deem the crime worthy of the time and effort.

Business IP addresses might have more targeted information listing the location of their head office.

If you are curious as to your own IP you can try this site: http://ip-lookup.net/


This isn't a very good question, as I pointed out in my comments, so this is as close as I can come to an answer. It's actually a story of something that happened to me personally almost twenty years ago now.

I was chatting on IRC, not using my real name or information, and connected through a university server using someone elses account. There was no personal information about me except in one place : My IP address in the logs of the university server I was logged on to.

At some point, I upset someone in the chat room I was in. I didn't think anything of it.

The next day when I came home from work, there was a message on my answering machine from the person I'd upset, reciting my name, birthday, address, and social security number.

THAT is what "can" be done, and anything else you can imagine could be done with that information. It all depends on how motivated the attacker is, and their knowledge and resources.

  • 2
    All that with just your IP address? Are you sure about that? It's not that i don't believe but some things doesn't add up. If you google now ''can someone track me with my ip address or email address'' every answer will be a strictly no. ISP provides a generic ip that doesn't contain neither your name or your actual address. An ISP won't provide any personal information without a court order. The emails does not contain any personal information (unless you put them). Maybe twenty years ago things were more simple but today things are different. Only way he can find out more is if he is police.
    – Alex
    Dec 18, 2015 at 13:59
  • I am absolutely sure about it. I used to be something of a black-hat a long time ago. Initially they did not even have my IP address -- just the IP address of the university server I had connected to IRC from, via an account that wasn't even mine. I was not a student of that university or otherwise affiliated with it in any way.
    – alzee
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:00
  • 1
    @Alex The admin at the university could do it. The NSA could probably do it. Dec 18, 2015 at 14:01
  • My suspicion is they broke into the server and used the logs contained on it to determine my IP, and went from there, attacking or social engineering my ISP, and so on.
    – alzee
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:11
  • Or he could try to use IRC CTCP to try to establish direct connection, which would give away the IP. Btw, I remember around 10 years ago at uni dorms, reverse DNS entry for our IPs resolved to a name which included the dorm name and room number.
    – domen
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:19

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