I recently filed a bug report with Scapy, and while posting screenshots of Wireshark captures for reference, I decided to blank out my private addresses because I'm just getting into InfoSec, and am trying to be mindful of leaking potentially sensitive information:

Redacted IPs

In retrospect though, this seems overly paranoid.

I understand that private addresses aren't routable, or unique. In theory though, if someone were to gain access to my home network illegitimately, either remotely or by getting into my router via some exploit, would not knowing what subnet all the hosts exist on realistically hinder them?

My thinking is probably no, because that information could likely be found easily; either on the infected computer used as the entry point, or by some other means.

Is there any value in hiding private IP addresses in a public setting?


1 Answer 1


There is reconnaissance value, but not immediate "plunder" value. A private IP would tell me that there is a high likelihood that you are using a network firewall. We can also make assumptions based off the private network range. Generally, addresses are common in home environments. or are more common for enterprise environments, due to their larger ranges. Unless you require the highest levels of operational security, I would not bother hiding it, especially for personal usage.

I would be more cautious about a MAC address. A MAC address can reveal what NIC you are using. Theoretically, an attacker could then determine if your NIC is vulnerable to something like Ripple20. Alternatively, if an attacker is able to get the records from the manufacturer, they might even be able to trace your MAC to your real world, physical mailing address.

  • 1
    Can you tell me more about the last part, how an attacker would be able to trace a MAC to a geographical area?
    – reed
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 9:13
  • That last line is a complete stretch. The number of records that would need to be obtained and then correlated makes the last sentence so unlikely as to be closer to fiction.
    – schroeder
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 9:31
  • It is certainly a lot less likely, but not out of the realm for APT or state sponsored attacks. You can bet your behind that the FBI would be able to do it with a national security letter!
    – Saustin
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 13:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .