How to avoid becoming the victim of Email spoofing?

Pirates of the silicon-valley or cyber-criminals continuously try to develop advanced tactics to impersonate the user to accomplish their cyber-criminal activities. Email spoofing is the one of the prominent ways to get the confidential data/information.

What is E-mail Spoofing?

Email spoofing is the creation of email messages with a forged sender address. Spoofed email looks like the legitimate mail, i.e., email seems to be received someone known but actually the sender of the email is not the actual sender. For example cyber-criminal send you an email that looks like it is from your company head, your colleague, or other trusted source.

Malicious use of spoofing

Email spoofing is the simple task that can be done by masking the email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Email spoofing is a popular tactic used in phishing and spam campaigns because people are more likely to open an email when they think it has been sent by a legitimate or familiar source. The goal of email spoofing is to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, a solicitation.

Most spoofed emails can be easily detected and require little action other than deletion, the more malicious varieties can cause serious problems and pose security risks. For example, a spoofed email may pretend to be from a well-known shopping website, asking the recipient to provide sensitive data such as a password or credit card number. Alternatively, a spoofed email may include a link that installs malware on the recipient’s device if clicked. One type of spear phishing attack used in business email compromises involves spoofing emails from the CEO or CFO of a company requesting a wire transfer or internal system access credentials.

Details Example of Email spoofing

 In the above message, cyber-criminal (dude2) sent the spoof mail to the employee named “dude1” to his mail id by masking his Boss named “BossMan” and email id .

By looking at the reply-to section, it can be clearly seen that the email id in reply-to is which is not the actual id of the BossMan which is

Because of the security reasons, we are not giving the example of how to spoof the email but keeping in the mind of our goal for cyber security awareness, we have provided the example of spoof email in which victim is dude1 mail id and dude2 mail id is hacker or fraudster.

How to avoid email spoofing

To prevent becoming a victim of email spoofing, the following practices should be put into place:

  • Learn how to open and read email headers for signs of email spoofing.
  • Conduct reverse IP lookups to verify the real sender.
  • Audit email accounts to see how they respond to
    • SPF (Sender policy frame work),
    • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mails), and
    • DMARC (Domain Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance).
  • Check the email ID in Reply to section.
  • Keep anti-malware software up to date.
  • Do not share private or financial information through email.
  • Turn spam filters on to the strongest settings, or use tools like Gmail’s Priority Inbox.
  • Avoid clicking suspicious links or downloading suspicious attachments.
  • Never enter sensitive information like login credentials into links that are not secure.

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