Spoofing: definition and how to prevent this type of attacks

Spoofing is a common cybersecurity breach. Through it, fraudsters impersonate another person to steal data, money or to spread malware....
9 July 2024

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Spoofing: definition and how to prevent this type of attacks

Spoofing is a common cybersecurity breach. Through it, fraudsters impersonate another person to steal data, money or to spread malware.

The level of technical complexity of this crime covers several levels and is based on what is known as social engineering, which is nothing more than the psychological manipulation of the victim, taking advantage of feelings such as fear, greed or ignorance of technical aspects. 

We do not want you to have cybersecurity problems, so we have written this article in which we will not only explain the meaning of spoofing but we will also talk about the existing types and how to take care of problems and prevent an attack.

Spoofing: definition and how to prevent this type of attacks

What is spoofing? 

Spoofing is a behavior in which the cybercriminal impersonates an entity, company or device to gain the victim’s trust and commit fraud.

This type of cybercrime can be carried out through various communication channels such as email, telephone, social networks, contact forms on the website of the person or company being defrauded, text messages, caller IDs or even GPS systems.

Scammers may spoof an email address, sender’s name, phone number, or website URL, among other sensitive information. 

Types of spoofing

There are many different types of spoofing, the most common of which are described below.

From email 

Email spoofing consists of sending emails with a fake “From” line

They are usually part of a phishing attack and attempt to steal data, ask for money or directly infect the device with malware.  

From websites and/or URLs

In this type of vulnerability in computer security, the cybercriminal creates a fake domain and website that pretends to be the real thing and tries to access the victim’s personal information, such as their username and password (login spoofing) or tries to infect them with ransomware. 

Call identity

In caller ID spoofing, the spoofer changes their phone number and caller ID name to avoid revealing their true identity.

A fairly common practice is for fraudsters to spoof the first few digits of phone numbers with area codes close to the victims’ to gain their trust. This is known as neighborhood spoofing. 


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Text message  

Text message spoofing is called smishing and comes from the construction of SMS+phishing. 

It is very similar to email spoofing and occurs when a text message is sent pretending to be from a legitimate source such as a financial institution, software vendor or marketplace. 

Typically, the text message contains a malicious link that directs you to a page where the cybercriminal attempts to obtain sensitive personal information to use in the scam.  

Domain Name System  

DNS spoofing involves finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in a Domain Name System to redirect organic traffic from the legitimate server to a spoofed server. 

The spoofed server can be redirected, affecting all of its users. 

Man-in-the-middle 

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) spoofing involves the victim, the entity the victim wants to contact and the “middleman” that intercepts the communication between the first two. 

The purpose of the interception is to spy on what the victim is doing or to impersonate one of the parties in order to capture sensitive and confidential information. 

With the intercepted information, the cybercriminal can perform financial transactions, steal the victim’s identity, or sell it to a third party. 

How to prevent spoofing?

Extensions  

In extensions spoofing, the cybercriminal disguises malware files that can be executed

By default, file extensions are hidden in Windows, so they appear a priori in a way that does not arouse suspicion.

IP address  

IP address spoofing is when the hacker pretends to be another computer system by deliberately changing the source IP address

GPS   

GPS spoofing occurs when the fraudster manages to trick a GPS receiver into transmitting a false signal as if it were the real thing. 

This allows them to appear to be in one place when they are actually in another. 

Physical identity fraud

Physical impersonation uses technologies such as facial recognition to gain access to devices from which they can operate at will. 

To protect biometric data, techniques such as blink detection or interactive detection, where the user must make a specific facial gesture to validate in real-time that they are who they say they are, are used.

Spoofing is a common cybersecurity breach.

How to prevent spoofing?

Although cybercriminals are constantly updating and creating new situations to carry out their fraud schemes, following certain security criteria can help you to be as little exposed to spoofing as possible.

Here are some security tips to keep you safe. 

  • Enable your email spam filter. This is a good first check for unwanted or malicious emails.
  • Never click on links from unknown sources. They may contain malware or viruses that can infect the device you open the link from. 
  • Do not open attachments unless you know the sender is trustworthy. The risk is the same as in the previous point. 
  • Set up two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security when accessing your devices or online accounts.
  • Create a strong password is as simple as using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Another important recommendation is not to use the same password for different accounts, this is a simple action that will help your cybersecurity. 
  • Change your passwords regularly. It is a good idea to change the passwords you manage from time to time to increase your security and make it harder for cybercriminals. 
  • Use password management tools. This allows you to generate strong passwords, manage them easily and eliminate the need to remember them.
  • Check the online privacy settings of your social networking accounts and browsers. If something looks suspicious, mark it as spam. 
  • Do not give out personal information online unless the source is completely trustworthy. 
  • Download software updates whenever they are available. These updates include security patches that block potential entry points for cybercriminals to spread their malware or compromise your security. 
  • Be wary of websites, emails or messages that show signs of spoofing, such as a similar but inaccurate logo, poorly written content or colors that do not match the official ones. 
  • Access only legitimate websites with a security certificate. If you get a message when you enter a site that it does not have this certificate, it is best to leave the site rather than risk your security by continuing to browse. 
  • Remember that companies, banks and other institutions will never ask you for your user number, let alone your passwords. 
  • Take care of yourself by investing in reliable cybersecurity software. This is a good way to stop potential threats before they happen. 

At Smowltech, we care about your digital security and, therefore, we have designed our proctoring plans to help you create an environment that respects your users’ privacy while ensuring their identity. 

Ask for a free demo to see what online monitoring can do for you and your project.


Download now!

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