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Is exploiting an Internet IP address as simple as exploiting a LAN IP address? i.e.:

  1. Scan that IP for vulnerabilities and open ports using tools like nmap or nikto
  2. Use a vulnerability and set the RHOST for that IP and exploit (using Metasploit for instance)
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More or less, yes. Some things that might be different:

  1. You will not be able to use layer 2 scans (like ARP scans).
  2. If I would give you my public IP address, that would be the address of my router, and not my PC. Depending on the port forwarding settings on my router, you will most probably not be able to scan my PC directly, but only my router. That would limit the ways you could attack me and what exploits you could use.
  3. Chances that you will be blocked by an IPS/WAF/Firewall are higher when doing scans on internet addresses than on local addresses, although it does not necessarily have to be like that.
  • 2
    Don't forget that even if you're attacking a host that you legally own, using the ISP infrastructure to conduct an attack might be violating their ToS or even be plainly illegal depending on your ISP/country. – Dillinur Aug 31 '15 at 11:31

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