I have the occasional need to send log files to Microsoft and other vendors from customers who have strict IT security requirements. These customers usually require all files be de-identified before they leave the premises, removing all host names and IP addresses.

This can be quite a tedious process, so I’ve created a small script file that edits a provided text file and:

  • uses a “find/replace” CSV file to replace all instances of sensitive text with replacement values.
  • obfuscates any unchanged IP addresses, replacing them with dummy text in the format “”, where the “nn” is the same number where-ever that IP address is encountered in the document. (e.g. the third IP address that’s found in the file will be renamed “”).

At a minimum, you only need to provide an -InputFile. With only this, the script will replace all IP addresses with dummy values, then save a copy of the file with a “-new” suffix.

Command-line parameters provide some additional handling/flexibility:

  • Add an “-OutputFile” and the obfuscated file will be saved with this name. If the file already exists it will be over-written.
  • Add the “-Overwrite” switch and the script will over-write the InputFile with the new content.
  • Specify a “-CsvReplaceFile” filename (in the format specified below) and it will perform a Find/Replace throughout the InputFile, and THEN replace any original IP addresses with the dummy values.
  • Specify “-SkipIp” and it will ONLY change values from the CsVReplaceFile, skipping the section that obfuscates any original remaining IP addresses.

Other features:

  • By using the same -CsvReplaceFile each time you run the script / send logs, all the values in the resulting log files will be changed consistently, enabling you to compare between different logs.
  • The find/replace is actually RegEx, so you can get complex/complicated in your replaces. (Disclaimer: in this version I’ve not tested this to any significant degree.)
  • IP addresses changed (or ignored) by the -CsvReplaceFile are skipped by the following IP address code.
  • If the recipient has their own copy of the -CsvReplaceFile with the values reversed, they can reconstitute the original log. (In a future version I’ll add a “reverse” switch or similar to remove the need to manually reverse the -CsvReplaceFile.)
  • Batch it to feed in a whole directory (or tree?) and it will run on all the provided files. (See the example below and baked into the script.)
  • It’s code-signed so you can run it in environments that have a restrictive Powershell ExecutionPolicy. (Thank you Digicert.)

CsvReplaceFile syntax

Create the -CsvReplaceFile so it looks like this. The top line is mandatory (and the script will err if it’s not there).

greg,Greig,Anything after a second comma is ignored
,, Provide no "find" value and the script will ignore/skip the replace value in the later IP replacement code
"replace this", "with this", Wrap the text in quotes if it's to include a space or match a comma
"gre?\wg\W","Greig ", match on RegEx!!,

Batch it

Get-ChildItem *.txt [-recurse] | foreach { .\New-ObfuscatedFile.ps1 -InputFile $_.Fullname -CsvReplaceFile MyReplaceFile.csv }


You’ll find a code-signed version of the script on GitHub. You’re welcome to pinch, adapt or improve upon the code with my blessing. If you encounter any problems with it please create an issue on the repo.

Please take it for a test drive and let me know if you encounter any problems with it, or have any enhancement suggestions.

Revision History

6th June 2020: Updated the Download link to point to GitHub.

v1.0 – 21st August 2019: This is the original release.


– Greig.

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