Spoofing is nothing but a form of cyber-attack in which the hackers camouflage their identity. The term spoofing means to deceive or trick and involves presenting a deceptive thing in the right & truthful way. In this, the hackers disguise their identity to beguile the user and inject malware into their systems. The most common way to launch a spoofing attack is through emails.

How Do Cybercriminals Spoof Emails –

The hacker generally spoofs the email address to makes it look genuine. They work on “From” field such that the sender’s name and email address appear to be legitimate & authentic. This is done so that the receiver opens up the mail thereby giving hackers an opportunity to inject virus.

Another high end attack called BEC (Business Email Compromise) is being initiated by the cyber attackers. It is generally targeted towards executives at the top level in order to gain access to their company’s confidential & sensitive information. The primary loophole is in the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) technology, as it does not verify the sender’s email address. Cybercriminals generally use services of a free SMTP server available online to spoof the email address in order to dupe the target user and steal their private & confidential login credentials.

Ways To Spot Spoofed Emails –

  • The best way to spot a spoofed email is by closely looking at the sender’s name and email id. Do not click any link in a mail that has some strange content that you are wary & suspicious of.
  • Gmail provides an additional security feature and allows the user to check ‘mailed-by’ and ‘signed-by’ fields apart from sender’s email id. If the fields are incomplete then there is high probability that the email is spoofed.
  • If the content in the email is strange and weird then ask for a confirmation by replying the email. Now the best part is that the reply you send is directed at the original address. If you get a genuine reply then its fine. Otherwise, you will get to know if the email was fake or genuine.

What To Do If You Detect A Spoofed Email –

  • If you spot a spoofed email then immediately inform your internet service provider.
  • Next change the passwords for all your email accounts.
  • Ensure that you have enabled sender & recipient filtering options.
  • Make sure that you do not respond to any email you receive from that fake email id in future.

How To Prevent A Spoofing Attack –

  • Don’t open emails that do not contain the sender’s name or are sent from an unknown source.
  • Update your system regularly.
  • Install a good anti-virus software.
  • Enable the feature that allows you to filter blank senders.

Other Common Types Of Spoofing –

  • Caller ID spoofing
  • GPS spoofing
  • Referrer spoofing
  • DNS spoofing
  • IP address spoofing

For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.