March 31, 2022

What Is Email Spoofing and How to Protect Against It?

By Rotem Shemesh

It is estimated that 3.1 billion domain spoofing emails are sent per day, and more than 90% of cyber-attacks start with an email message. A well executed spoofing attack can reveal passwords, seek out credit card information or other personal information that can be used to extort payment from you or your clients. To protect yourself from falling victim to a spoofing email you need to understand what to look for.

What is the definition of spoofing?

Email spoofing is a technique used in spam and phishing attacks to trick users into thinking a message came from a person or entity they either know or can trust. In spoofing attacks, the sender forges email headers so that client software displays the fraudulent sender address, which most users take at face value. The email is meant to look exactly like something sent, in most cases, from a colleague, vendor or brand. The goal of cyber spoofing is to trick users into believing the email is legitimate so the recipient will divulge information, steal money, or take some other action.

There are many spoofing types including server spoofing.

Spoofing types

Spoofing presents two distinct threats for MSPs . The first involves a spoofed organization domain name, which can be used to send malicious emails to other people. This kind of spoofing attack can cause great reputation damage, especially if the victims are also customers. The second and perhaps even more significant threat is when cybercriminals use spoofed emails to target the organization’s employees since these can become entry points for malware.

The most common method of spoofing is email. A hacker can send out millions of emails with the push of a button and try hooking you into their scheme. They can also target individual companies by sending emails with the ID spoofing to people in the hopes they’re tricked.

These types of identity spoofing emails use language designed to panic or seem like the matter is urgent. This is the spooging attack meaning.

Caller ID spoofing is when the criminal mimics a phone number from your area such as a police department or a federal agency like the Internal Revenue Service. The criminals are not in your area, in fact, they may not be in your country.

Since the number seems authentic and the criminal is convincing, then people send money or pay penalties that don’t exist. A common example is someone saying they owe the IRS and if they don’t pay today, they’ll be arrested.

Website spoofing is when a fake website looks exactly like the real one with the same branding, colors, and layout. They have domain names similar to the real ones but are not. These are often used in conjunction with email spoofing to get passwords and other information.

IP address spoofing is more complex and designed to fool people with computer knowledge. An IP address shows police or other officials the location of a person using the Internet. It can also be used to gain access to networks that have IP authentication. You want to prevent IP spoofing.

It’s also commonly used for denial-of-service attacks to shut down websites and networks.

Methods of spoofing prevention for websites

Fake websites often have the HTTP and not HTTPS prefix at the beginning of the URL. This means it’s not properly encrypted. Getting an HTTPS takes more work, so hackers don’t often bother.

Also, the domain name isn’t exact. It’s similar but has a different suffix or has a letter out of place. If you use a website commonly, then you have an autofill website password and username. If this doesn’t come up, then it’s not the real website.

The hackers either aren’t from your country or don’t have a great grasp of grammar. If the content is filled with errors, then it’s a sure sign of a spoofed site. You need spoofing cyber security to prevent these attacks.

Email spoofing prevention

Millions of email spoofing attempts are made every day. Check the grammar and spelling of the content in the email. Poor grammar and spelling don’t come from reliable sources. If you’re getting unsolicited emails from brands you’ve never contacted, then it’s likely spoofing.

If the email asks you to download something or asks you to respond with your credit card number or password, then it’s a spoofing attempt. If the email wants you to visit a website, don’t click on it, but place your mouse over it to see the URL. Many times, it’s nothing like the actual site.

Check the sender’s email address. It may look similar to the real organization, but it won’t be from their domain.

Technical solutions and end user education

Spoofing is one of many ways hackers attempt to get information and their tactics get more complex every year. As soon as one method ends, two more methods start up. This often leads businesses scrambling to educate their employees and end users about new threats.

As a managed service provider your clients look to you to help them protect their business.

When it comes to deploying security solutions its key to have a multi-layered approach, from user education to network security and advanced threat protection (ATP).

Automated email spoofing protection

Email Spoofing prevention is a necessity for today’s businesses because it’s a common practice. Spoofing emails causes millions of dollars in losses due to the release of sensitive information.

With Datto SaaS Defense, MSPs can proactively defend against malware, business email compromise (BEC), and phishing attacks that target Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams.

If you want to learn more about Datto SaaS Defense then request a demo today.

Suggested Next Reads

Elevate Autotask Tickets With IT Glue Checklists

Streamline IT support with Autotask checklists. Empower Level 1 technicians to handle repetitive tickets efficiently, reducing escalations and improving service quality.