What is Email Spoofing?

Email Spoofing is one of the popular scamming techniques used by cybercriminals to perform various illicit activities. It is a type of social engineering attack.

In this post, we would know more about it, how it works, and prevent Email Spoofing.

What is Email Spoofing?

Email Spoofing is creating and sending an email with a modified sender's address. The sender's address is forged in such a way that the receivers will trust the email, thinking it has been sent by someone they know or from any trusted official source. After gaining their trust through a forged address, the attackers can ask for sensitive information, such as personal data like bank details,social security numbers, or organizational data like trade secrets and more.

Email Spoofing is a pretty common practice among cybercriminals because of the vulnerable and weak email system. When you receive an email, the outgoing email servers have no way to determine whether the sender's address is spoofed or original.

How does Email Spoofing work?

Cyberattackers perform Email Spoofing by changing the data of the email header. The email header contains the essential information related to email. It includes data such as TO, FROM, DATE, and SUBJECT. It also has the IP address of the sender.

For performing spoofing, the attacker needs to modify the FROM email address and the IP address. It can be done easily through the Ratware application. A Ratware is a tool that can quickly adjust the email header and send thousands of emails simultaneously to different recipients. The attackers also need a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server and mailing software for conducting spoofing successfully.

As far as receivers' addresses are concerned, intruders can get them through various ways such as data breaches, phishing, and more. People have a tendency to share their emails everywhere on the internet, so it is not a big deal to get someone's email ID.

Why is Email Spoofing performed?

Email Spoofing is mainly conducted for the following reasons −

  • Scamming − People can be easily scammed by a spoofed email. The intruders will frame an intriguing email and send it pretending to be from an official, trusted source. The email can contain fake offers like discounts, free tickets, lottery, and more. The receivers believing it to be from a reliable source and, in anticipation of getting the offers, provide everything asked in the email.

  • Injecting Malware − Cybercriminals can easily inject malicious programs through email spoofing. An email can be framed and sent to users pretending from a security organization to download and install the fake security program to safeguard their system. Users would easily trust the sender and, for protecting their computer, install the fake security software, which is, in fact, a malware program.

  • Phishing − Spoofed email can be sent to thousands of users pretending to be from the bank or similar organizations. It would ask them to give confidential information like internet banking credentials or other details. Users would willingly provide all the details, thinking the sender is a trusted one.

How to protect against Email Spoofing?

Email Spoofing is becoming very popular in this growing internet world. It can happen to anyone, and the fact that it is pretty challenging to detect makes it one of the dangerous cyberattacks. Here are some preventive tips to stay protected from Email Spoofing.

  • Use spam filters to avoid scammy emails. Most modern email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others come with built-in spam filters, but you can also install a third-party filter for added protection.

  • Thoroughly verify the legitimacy of an email that comes with unbelievable offers. You can use the Google search or visit the official website of the senders to confirm the offer provided in the email.

  • Avoid clicking on the links sent through emails.

  • Never share your confidential information over emails or phone calls, even if someone trusted asks for it. No trusted organization asks for their customer's personal details on emails.

  • Never download or open the attachments from unknown emails.