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I often see articles on the net or SO where someone posts an example but blurs/blocks out their IP address. Example:

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Is there any security reason to not show this info?

My un-informed thinking is that my ip addresses are public info already. They'll be sent to any machine I connect to. Maybe my ethernet address has some security issue?

Is there any security based reason to block them out what-so-ever?

  • There might be sensitive information connected to the hidden IP in the question, such as server configurations or vulnerabilities. You do not want to post that on the internet in a way that can be associated with you. – Anders Dec 15 '16 at 11:35
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    So you're saying you might have a security through obscurity server out there and you don't want people to know that IP address. Okay, that makes sense. What about home users though? Or to put it another way, should I always always always not post my IP address in public when asking for help on some forum or is it really no big deal? – gman Dec 15 '16 at 11:47
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    Since you're writing the article that IP is supposed to be yours, so you have given that information to the world. If you're also explaning something like the uname command, your distro and version are also known, plus the knowledge that the IP is active. Any possible threat that may be witnessed in your explanation will be disclosed. Massive attacks may scan your IP, but those attacks doesn't know anything about you. Writing an article may give valueable information to an attacker if your IP is also disclosed. – YoMismo Dec 15 '16 at 12:42
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IP addresses are the identity of your server (kind-of). Giving information about you IP address can be useful to someone that would try to directly attack you.

By looking up your IP address over the internet, one might find information you left there (server config files, availble services, hardware ...) that can be use to passively gather intel on your potential vulnerabilities. This can be done because the IP is tied to the information (over forums or others), or because you know tied your own identity to this IP. Then one might get more information by tracking you instead of the IP.

Furthermore, this increases your 'visibility' by giving up a valid target in the open.

IP addresses are indeed public, and intel can be gathered many ways, but this is not a reason to make it easy for attackers to learn more about your infrastructure.

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In an online community, your IP address is revealed to the servers, but not normally to other participants in the community - it is only partially public. It has some personal info: your approximate location and ISP, and can potentially be used to correlate you with other web activities.

Many communities have a rule that you cannot post personal information. Even if the poster doesn't care about revealing their IP address, they may need to mask it to comply with community rules. (AFAIK, Stack Exchange does not forbid posting your own personal information).

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