What Is Spoofing? How To Prevent Spoofing Attacks? (Explained 2021)

Spoofing Meaning

Spoofing is a cyberattack that happens when a scammer pretends to be someone else as a trusted source to gain access to essential data or information. A scammer can make these attacks through websites, emails, phone calls, texts, IP addresses, and servers. 

However, the main objective of spoofing is to access personal information,  bypass network access controls, steal money, or spread malware through infected attachments or links. 

Stay with us and read the article till the end to know different types of these attacks, how they occur, and how to prevent them.

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How Spoofing Occurs

Spoofing attacks invoke the name of a big and a trusted organization to make us take some action or give up information. For example, a spoofed email from Amazon or PayPal might ask about purchases you never made. 

Scammers may also send you to a malware download or a faked log-in page to harvest your username and password. It can also carry out phishing attacks and scams to gain sensitive information from individuals or organizations.

There are many other ways the attack can occur. If you never see anything fake or inauthenticity on a website, you’re more likely to become a victim of a spoofing attack. In addition, the following different examples of attack methods are listed below.

Different Types Of Spoofing

Email Spoofing

Email Spoofing is a practice to send an email with a false address and make you think it came from a known and trusted source. It is also mainly a part of a phishing attack to collect your data, infect your computer with malware with links or steal your information.

You can spoof the sender’s information in two ways:

  • Copying a trusted email address or domain using alternate letters or numbers appears only slightly different from the original.
  • Changing the ‘From’ field to be the exact email address of a known and trusted source

Website Spoofing

In website spoofing, you can’t identify anything fishy in a malicious website. In other words, these websites are so legitimate and trusted sources. Spoofed websites are used to capture your username and password (aka login spoofing) or drop malware onto your computer. They are generally be used in association with an email spoof, in which the email will link to the website.

Caller ID Spoofing

Scammers do caller ID spoofing to make you think the call is coming from a specific geographical location. However, one main reason for receiving spoofed calls is that you’re more likely to answer the phone if the caller ID shows an area code the same or near your own. The scammer also uses social engineering, often posing as someone from a bank or customer support, to convince their targets to, over the phone, provide sensitive information such as passwords, account information, social security numbers, and more.

IP Spoofing

IP spoofing is used to hide or change the computer IP address from which they’re sending or requesting data online. It is also used in distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) to block malicious traffic from being cleaned out and to hide the attacker’s location.

GPS Spoofing

GPS spoofing is used to trick your device’s GPS and make it believe you’re in one location when you’re actually in another. This attack helps Pokémon GO cheaters make the popular mobile game believe they are in proximity to an in-game gym and take over that gym (winning in-game currency). 

ARP Spoofing

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). ARP spoofing link an attacker’s MAC to a legitimate network IP address to receive data meant for the owner of that IP address. ARP attacks occur usually creating to steal or modify data but also in denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks or session hijacking.

DNS Server Spoofing

DNS spoofing allows attackers to redirect traffic to a different IP address and leading victims to sites that spread malware. This attack happens by replacing the IP addresses stored in the DNS server with the scammer’s ones. 

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack

In Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, attackers hack a WiFi network and make a duplicate false WiFi network in that location to block web traffic between two parties. In doing so, attackers can track your sensitive information such as logins or credit card numbers.

Extension Spoofing

To hide malware extension folders, attackers will use extension spoofing. They’ll rename the files to “filename.txt.exe” and hide malware inside the extension in this attack. So if you see a file that appears to be a text document that actually runs a malicious program when it’s open. 

Signs Of Spoofing

  • The email address of receiving email is similar to the original.
  • Lack of grammar/poor grammar in the message.
  • The URLs doesn’t consist “s” in https://
  • Receiving calls from unknown numbers.
  • Suspicious email attachments and extensions.
  • Too legitimate websites.

How to get rid of Spoofing Attacks?

  • Enable your spam filter: it will help you prevent spoofed emails from coming into your mail.
  • Check communication: Check the poor grammar or structure message in a potential spoofed attack. Always double-check the sender’s email address and URL of the website. 
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in an email: if the email is coming from an unknown address, try to contact the sender with other channels and confirm legitimacy.
  • Log in in a separate tab: If you get suspicious email/text, try not to click on links given in the email/text; instead, navigate a separate tab to confirm information.
  • Display File extension in the window: This won’t prevent cybercriminals from spoofing file extensions. At least you’ll be able to see the spoofed extensions and avoid opening those malicious files.
  • Invest in cybersecurity: Cybersecurity software can really help you prevent attacks. Invest in good malware removal and antivirus software.

Final Words

File a complaint at the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center if you are a victim of a spoofing attack. You may also contact your local police department in case you have lost money due to any of these attacks.

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