In the middle of your hectic day, you receive an email from your bank informing you about an urgent situation. You open it and click on the link inside. Instantly, you have fallen victim to an email spoofing attack. Spoofing is a cybercrime in which hackers pose as legitimate sources in order to gain unauthorized access to personal or company. There are several types of spoofing: the attack can take place through spoofed emails, spoofed websites, texts with malicious links, phone calls, DNS server (Domain Name System), IP addresses (Internet protocol), location data (GPS spoofing), Address Resolution Protocol (ARP spoofing attack), and Media Access Control (spoofed MAC address).
In most cases, spoofing attacks are used to gain access to sensitive information, bypass network controls, steal money, or disseminate malware through infected attachments. Fraudsters use spoofing on virtually all forms of online communication channels in hopes of stealing your identity and assets. By impersonating known entities or people, spoofing attacks often target trusted relationships and resources. The website spoofing or email spoofing that is used in whale phishing attacks, for example, are tailored specifically for each victim so they are convinced the communication is authentic. The probability of being fooled by a spoofing attack through malicious websites or spoofed emails is especially high when the victim is not aware of the vast array of spoofing techniques used by today’s sophisticated internet hackers.
How to Prevent Spoofing
You can take a number of steps to prevent spoofing attacks and protect yourself. When you combine several tactics, you strengthen your approach to securing your network and devices against spoofing.
Install a Firewall
A firewall is usually included with antivirus software so you are protected against unauthorized network access. The firewall monitors and filters all traffic entering your network or computer. Upon detecting a spoofed email address, spoofed IP address, or spoofed website, your firewall prevents the dangerous message from reaching your computer or local area network (LAN). In addition to the firewall, you can consider using virtual private networks (VPN) that create secure communications protocols to further strengthen your security.
Confirm By Phone
Are you getting messages from unknown numbers or email addresses? Contact the message sender via the contact number listed on their real, actual website if the message asks you to provide personal and private information, such as a password or credit card details. If you receive a suspicious email from an unknown email sender address, do not click on the links. Instead, manually type the URL address in the browser address bar, look for spoofing signs on the website, and steer clear of clicking links in emails.
Keep Your Passwords Up-to-Date
In the event that a spoofer obtains your login credentials through a successful spoofing attack, they cannot do much damage to your account if you’ve already changed your password. If you suspect you have been spoofed, immediately change the password on the account targeted by the spoofed message. Change passwords on all accounts regularly. Do not use the same password for more than one online account. Store your passwords securely in a password manager program which is also used to autofill login credentials and won’t work on spoofed websites. Use complex passwords that are difficult to guess.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Adding 2-Factor Authentication to your online security measures ensures that unauthorized individuals cannot access your accounts and steal data. 2FA secures online accounts using two methods of authentication—your password and an additional mechanism. The second authentication apparatus could be something you own, such as your phone, a card, or physical token; something you know, like a passcode or pin; or it could be a part of your body, like your iris, fingerprint, or voice pattern. If a spoofing attack results in hackers getting your password, they still have to break into your secondary authentication method to access your account and steal sensitive data. The second authentication mechanisms described above are virtually impossible for a typical hacker to replicate. The hacking technologies you see on TV may or may not be real, but they are certainly outside the realm of your average hacker.
Do Not Respond to Spam Calls or Emails from Untrusted Sources
How to detect spoofing attacks initiated through manipulated caller ID or phishing emails? If you receive a call from an unknown number or suspect that the caller ID might be fraudulent, best is not to answer it. In addition, you can consider using third-party software or apps that can filter and block spam calls. Contact the authorities such as the FCC, the FTC, or even the local police department if you became victim of caller ID spoofing.
To protect yourself from phishing attacks, make sure to switch on your spam filter and verify the email sender’s address. Hackers often use typosquatting to alter one or two characters to spoof an address. Only a sharp eye will catch these camouflaged changes. Additionally, you should be wary of emails with the following: Misspellings and incorrect grammar. Such obvious errors indicate that the sender may not really be who they claim to be. An inflated sense of urgency. Check the email header as soon as you get an email from the boss asking you to pay an invoice into a new account. You might have received a spoof email.
Daily routines and transactions are increasingly dependent upon the internet, which make ip spoofing, DNS spoofing, or sms spoofing attacks more likely. Small precautions can help you prevent terrible losses and misery. Protect your computer and mobile devices with an email security service. Trustifi provides an outstanding email security solution that is designed specifically for small to midsize businesses. Your company will benefit from advanced features of our spoofing detection software designed to protect you from email spoofing in real-time. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Optical Character Recognition are just a part of the arsenal Trustifi employs in Inbound Shield to keep your email system free of spoofing, impersonation, Emotet, typosquatting, phishing campaigns, ransomware, crypto malware, and a host of other cyberattacks. Contact a security advisor at Trustifi today to learn how easily and affordably you can protect your computers, systems, and critical data assets.