IP address geolocation

A new method for pinning down Internet clients to their geographic location was been developed by Yong Wang, a computer scientist at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

Every computer is connecting to the Internet through a IP Address, but there is no simple way to map the IP Address to a physical location. Today’s best method of determining the geographic is able to pin down your location within a range of 35 km. Wang, on the other hand, is using a (pretty cool) algorithm(based on pinging known Google Maps landmark servers and comparing RTT) is able to determine your location within an average of 700 meters – and as close as 100 meters.

Scary..

Even though Wang claims that this method will be helpful , to be honest, I see only bad things. This is a big the to the user’s privacy. I don’t want to Google or any other sites to know my physical location, unless I specifically say it.

And how about Lolita from Russia who is looking for a man from Denmark. Pretty soon she will start looking for a guy on my street. Not to mention spear-phishing.. I think those social engineers will be very happy to know the victim’s street address. My bet will be that they will sound more convincing.

Resources

An article from NewScientist
Wang’s lecture at USENIX Symposium

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About Stefan Fodor

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