WHAT IS SPOOFING?
Spoofing is when a cybercriminal disguises themself as another person, business, or entity in order to commit malicious acts.
Cybercriminals use a range of tactics to spoof their identity. Spoofing cyber attacks can range from the less technical with spoofed email addresses, websites, or phone numbers to more advanced spoofing tactics including spoofed IP addresses, Domain Name Servers (DNS), or Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).
Regardless of the tactic used, the ultimate goal of spoofing is to steal from and damage victims. Using savvy social engineering tactics, cybercriminals use spoofed email addresses, websites, and phone numbers to trick victims into providing confidential information, downloading attachments, or into clicking links that install malware.
Like most cyber attacks, spoofing relies on social engineering to be successful. Cybercriminals choose to spoof email addresses, websites, and other online entities that most people are familiar with. This reduces the level of doubt and suspicion, making it possible to take advantage of the human nature of trust.
Spoofing is often used as the first step in a larger cyber attack such as a man-in-the-middle attack or a large-scale ransomware attack of a computer network.
What Are The Different Types Of Spoofing?
Ways To Spot Spoofing Before It’s Too Late
Website Spoofing Clues
- If the padlock is missing from the website address bar, the website is not secure and is likely spoofed.
- The URL uses http and not https. Do not trust websites that do not use the https encryption prefix.
- Many websites autofill your username and password. To protect against automatically logging into a spoofed website, use a password manager to store your login details. If the password manager does not recognize the website, it will not autofill your login details.
- Spelling errors, broken links, suspicious contact us information, missing social media badges, can all be indicators that the website has been spoofed.
- Website addresses that contain the name of the spoofed domain, but are not the official domain.
Email Spoofing Clues
- Spelling errors or an incorrect domain name in the sender’s email address indicate a spoofed email.
- Email language that urges you to act quickly, to transfer money, or to provide confidential information.
- Embedded links that have URLs you don’t recognize. Hover your mouse or highlight the URL before clicking to double-check the legitimacy.
- Spelling errors, poor grammar, and unfamiliar language can be indicators the email is a spoof.
- Attachments and an email message that urges you to download the attachment. Verify the attachment does not have a hidden EXE extension.
Caller ID or Text Message Spoofing Clues
- If the phone number displays without brackets () or dashes -. For example, 4567893543.
- The caller ID is your own phone number or looks very similar.
- The phone number or caller’s name are hidden.
How To Prevent Spoofing
1. Implement technical controls and procedures to protect against email, website, IP and DNS spoofing.
2. Put a focus on educating your team about social engineering. Educate your team on how social engineering happens. Use real-world scenarios and training to show how easy it is to be tricked by social engineering.
3. Take advantage of security awareness programs that use flexible learning models to teach adults. Ensure that all training is engaging, relevant, and uses real-world scenarios.
4. Remind employees of the risks that arrive in their inbox. Use simulations, email newsletters, communication campaigns, and cyber heroes to keep communication about spoofing and cyber security ongoing.
5. Ensure that all applications, operating systems, browsers, network tools, and internal software are up to date and secure. Install malware protection and anti-spam software.
6. Provide regular and consistent security awareness training campaigns that remind people of the risks associated with providing confidential information, passwords, corporate data, and credit card details online.
7. Educate your team about spoofing. Use simulation software and training that includes real-life examples of spoofing attacks.
8. Regularly monitor employee awareness levels of spoofing, social engineering, and other cyber threats with simulations.
9. Create a corporate culture that encourages behavior change. Create a work environment that gives employees the time and resources required to develop cyber security awareness.
10. Be proactive in creating a cyber aware culture. Read The Human Fix to Human Risk to learn step-by-step guidelines on how to develop an effective security awareness program that stimulates behavior change.
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How Phishing Simulations Help Defend Against Spoofing
While spoofing and phishing are different types of cyber attacks, phishing often relies on spoofing to be successful.
Phishing simulations are an ideal way to measure employee awareness of social engineering and the risks that come through the inbox.
Phishing simulation allows you to incorporate cyber security awareness training into your organization using an interactive and informative format.
People see how savvy language is used in emails to steal confidential information and corporate data. Real-time phishing simulations are an ideal way to reinforce the indicators of email spoofing and other spoofing tactics.
Phishing simulations give you 10 key ways to protect your employees from spoofing attacks
1. Reduces the cyber threat risk level.
2. Increases awareness and alertness of social engineering and spoofing risk.
3. Measures the degrees of corporate and employee vulnerability.
4. Fosters a cyber security aware culture and develops internal cyber heroes.
5. Changes human behavior to help avoid the automatic trust response.
6. Reinforces security awareness training messages.
7. Creates upper management buy-in on the need for ongoing security awareness training and campaigns.
8. Keeps employees vigilant to spoofing, phishing, and social engineering attacks.
9. Meets industry compliance obligations.
10. Assesses the performance of cyber security awareness training.
Spoofing is a key component of a successful social engineering attack. Cybercriminals use strategic social engineering techniques to convince victims to click links, download attachments, fill-out web forms, and respond to text messages.
Social engineering success requires only one thing – trust. It’s critical that your employees understand how social engineering works. Give your employees the training and simulations that makes it possible for them to change their behavior.
Spoofing is often used as part of a larger cyber attack. The cybercriminal may use email spoofing to direct a victim to a spoofed website that then installs ransomware on the victim’s computer.
Learn More About Spoofing
To learn more about spoofing and how to keep your organization cyber secure, take advantage of these free resources:
Contact us at 1-866-889-5806 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about spoofing.
Terranova Security is committed to delivering people-centric training that makes your organization cyber security aware.