Here’s how to hack a cell phone using its IP address:
Ultimately, a hacker can use an IP address to set up a more sophisticated attack that can do any number of things to a phone.
But with only an IP address, there are severe limits to what you can do to hack a phone.
You can monitor traffic, try to get on the phone’s network, and even find the physical location.
So if you want to learn exactly how to hack a cell phone using its IP address, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get right into it!
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What Is an IP Address?
The answer to this question starts with an understanding of IP addresses.
In general, an IP address is a serial number that computer systems use to identify each other across networks.
You can think of it like a phone number for a computer. If a computer knows another’s IP address, they can talk directly.
But, IP addresses are a bit more complicated than phone numbers.
That’s because a computer can change its IP address under a bunch of different circumstances.
On top of that, any communication you do via the internet is going to involve multiple computer systems, so there are a lot of IP addresses floating around.
As a simple example, here’s what happens when you send a single email to another person.
First, you write the email and hit send.
Your computer connects with an email server in order to upload and send the contents of that email.
That email server then connects with a destination server and shares the contents with the second server.
After that, the second server can connect with the computer of the person you are actually trying to reach.
In total, this one example involved four different devices, each with its own IP address.
In reality, that single email might go through multiple servers before it reaches its destination.
The point of telling you all of this is that there are a lot of different IP addresses involved with computer communication.
Why Does an IP Address Matter?
In terms of hacking, IP addresses matter for two potential reasons.
The first might be obvious after that previous explanation.
If a hacker knows your IP address, they can try to communicate with your phone directly.
If they’re good at hacking, that line of communication can be used to create all kinds of problems (which I will cover in detail in a bit).
The second issue comes in the form of physical IP addresses.
For the most part, IP addresses are digital identifiers that help manage traffic across networks and the internet.
It doesn’t matter where a device is located; the IP address routes information accordingly.
But, some aspects of digital communication require a physical element.
In order for your home network to receive information, the internet company needs to know which cables to send it along.
For this aspect of networking, there are things known as physical IP addresses.
These IP addresses are much like house numbers and mailing addresses.
A physical IP corresponds with an actual location.
So, if a hacker knows your physical IP, then they know where the device is located, and that can have a big impact on what kind of hacking they do.
What Can Hackers Do With an IP Address? (4 Risks)
Now that you know a little more about IP addresses, let’s talk about hacking.
Can a hacker ruin your life with just an IP address? Not exactly.
In most cases, getting an IP address would only be one step in many along the route to a sophisticated hacking scheme.
It’s kind of like knowing someone’s safety deposit box number.
If you know the number, you know where they might be storing something valuable.
But before you can steal the items in the box, you need a key (or the right tools to force your way in).
IP addresses are a lot like this for hackers.
They can help a hacker target you, but unless other tools or keys are involved, that limits the range of attacks.
So, below, I’ll list some things that a hacker can do with only an IP address.
#1 Send Malicious Packages
If they have your phone’s IP address, then they can request direct communication with the phone.
With those communication requests, they can send malicious software or apps to your phone.
If you accept the requests and install the malicious packages, then things get ugly.
Malicious software sent in this way can steal data, give them direct control over your phone, and basically empower them to do all of the scariest things a hacker can do.
But, it depends on you accepting and installing the software.
Already, we’ve gone beyond what a simple IP address enables.
So really, the IP address just provides the means to set up a more advanced attack.
#2 Try to Join Your Network
Something that is a little different is that an IP address can potentially let a hacker know what network you are using.
In the case of phones, they would need to figure out the IP address you use for Wi-Fi.
If you’re only using cellular data, things are way harder.
It’s not technically impossible, but for all intents and purposes, you don’t have to worry about IP hacks through a carrier network.
There’s just too much to deal with (unless you’re important enough to merit all of that time and attention).
Back to Wi-Fi, if a hacker gets your Wi-Fi IP address, then they can try to join your network.
The methods range, but if they are able to do this successfully, then they can then stage more powerful attacks.
Having an IP address is one thing.
Having your IP address while on your network is another entirely.
I’ll get into this more in a later section, but you don’t want a hacker on your network.
#3 Deduce Your Physical Location
I already mentioned that there are such things as physical IP addresses.
If they get ahold of your physical IP address, it becomes an easy task to figure out where you are.
There are public directories that match IP addresses to locations. It’s not challenging at all.
#4 Spy on You . . . Kind Of
This is a little weird, but we’re going through it anyway.
With an IP address, a hacker can log your connectivity events.
This isn’t the same thing as seeing exactly what you send or receive on the phone.
Instead, the hacker can see communication logs.
That means they can see the timing and duration of convention events.
As an example, if you send an email, then your phone has to connect to the email server.
The logs will not when you establish that connection and how long it lasts.
It doesn’t tell the hacker what was in the email, so it’s kind of weird to think about why this matters.
And for an individual, it really doesn’t.
The value of doing this kind of spying is to look at a ton of different devices and build a database of internet activity.
That database has enough information in it that it might be worth selling to a tech company or any number of entities on black markets.
What Can’t They Do With an IP Address? (4 Ways)
It might make more sense to invert this idea.
Instead of talking about what can be done with an IP address, we can talk about what can’t be done with just an IP address.
Like before, there’s an important distinction.
If the hacker knows your IP address and login information for the phone, you could be in trouble.
But if they only have an IP address, the nature of attacks is actually pretty limited.
So, this list covers things that are outside of hacking until and unless they have more to work with than just your IP address (which they will have if you unwittingly install malicious packages).
#1 Log Onto Your Phone
Having your IP address gets them about halfway towards logging onto your phone, but it’s only halfway.
To finish this hack, they need to either be on your network or have port forwarding directly to your phone.
Now, I already mentioned that hackers can use your IP address to try to join your network.
That’s not exactly a simple process unless they’re physically in range of your network.
If that’s the case, the IP address is almost enough to fully hack the phone.
But, if they’re not nearby, then they would need to set up port forwarding directly to your phone, and that’s not easily done.
This is why I’m saying that they can’t log onto your phone with just an IP address.
The steps necessary aren’t easily covered.
#2 Steal Data
They can monitor network activity, but they can’t outright steal data.
With just an IP address, they can’t look at messages you send or see what websites you visit.
They can’t steal passwords or credit card numbers.
For any of those things, they need an IP address and additional access to the phone.
The malicious packages I mentioned before would be enough.
#3 Listen to Your Calls
If you’re worried about a hacker listening to your calls, an IP address alone won’t achieve that, but this is a little scarier than it might sound.
The IP address is necessary to try to intercept voice over IP data.
That’s how modern phones make calls (usually).
But, that communication is typically encrypted, and it’s really hard to get past the encryption.
There is an exception, though.
If the hackers get access to your account information, they can bypass encryption and listen directly to your phone calls.
So, giving up an IP address and account info is enough for this to be a real problem.
This is why it’s so important to keep your passwords and similar information secret.
#4 Read Your Messages
Messages largely work the same way.
Text messages and app messages can be sent as IP data (SMS messages are the exception).
Those messages are encrypted in the vast majority of cases.
So, an IP address would allow someone to try to intercept your messages, but they would be encrypted.
That means the content of the message isn’t really at risk.
But just like with phone calls, if the hacker has access to any of your account information, then they can get past that encryption.
Basically, they can log in as you, and then the system will automatically decrypt your messages for them.
How Do You Hack With an IP Address? (2 Steps)
Ok. Everything leading to this point explains the hacking risks related to IP addresses and cell phones.
It was a lot to cover, but we’re here.
Now, you might be hoping I’ll teach you how to do all of these things.
That’s not going to happen.
I’m not here to encourage hacking or teach people how to do it.
That’s a huge liability concern, and it’s not exactly an ethical practice.
So, instead of walking you through the detailed steps of hacking a phone with an IP address, I’m going to explain what is involved.
I’m going to keep this generic enough that this can’t become a hacking guide.
But as someone who probably owns a phone (you do, right?), knowing the general process can help you think about what risks might apply to you and what you might be able to do to protect yourself.
#1 Get the IP
To even get started in all of this, you need to know the IP address of the phone you are trying to hack.
That’s already a large barrier to entry, and it’s why you don’t exactly need to lose sleep over this stuff (unless you have dedicated enemies).
Most of the time, hackers obtain IP addresses by sending exploit packages to victims.
Spam emails and messages might contain links that you know better than to click.
Some of these links could include an IP-jacking exploit or tool.
If you take the link, the hacker now has your IP address.
Technically, you could try to convince someone to tell you their phone’s IP address, but most people don’t know this information.
So, that’s not entirely practical.
#2 Send Malicious Payload
Once you have the IP, you can send a direct communication request.
If that request is accepted, you can send a malicious software package.
If it is installed, it can do whatever it is designed to do.
That might include stealing data, remotely controlling the phone, and all kinds of other things.
That’s really it.
Obtain the IP.
Send the package and use the malicious software once installed.
Two easy steps to hack a phone.