The Horrors of Spoofing and How You can be Protected
Spoofing is the horrifying act of disguise used by cyber-criminals and fraudsters to trick people. They usually disguise themselves to be a part of a known entity. There are different kinds of spoofing and all of them have the same goal: to spread malware and to breach system security.
Isn’t phishing the same?
Spoofing and phishing are often interchanged. It might be because they have sinister similarities that target people. Although they look the same, they’re different in terms of how they work and how they’re executed. Phishing is a method of getting sensitive information from people. Spoofing, on the other hand, is a type of delivery that tricks you into downloading unwanted software that could endanger your privacy and identity.
The different types of spoofing
Similar to phishing, spoofing also has different kinds. These kinds are separated and done to different classifications of people. Phishing can be used along with spoofing attacks to get the most out of cyber-criminals’ victims.
Email spoofing is similar to deceptive phishing where an attacker poses himself as a person from a trusted entity. Then, the attacker tricks the recipient to click a link to a malicious website or to download an attachment which usually contains malware and other viruses.
Have you ever encountered a fake website? Well, website spoofing is all about that. It mimics a legitimate website that contains thousands or even millions of users. Attackers usually use these website spoofs to gain access to log-in credentials of users. Moreover, they also use this to obtain personal information from their victims.
Caller ID spoofing
Similar to VoIP phishing, caller ID spoofing involves the attacker making their number appear as a legitimate number from a company you know and trust. They even make it appear they’re really geographically located at an office.
Usually, caller ID spoofing tricks people into giving away sensitive information through social engineering.
IP spoofing is considered to be one of the more common spoofing attacks. It happens when hackers and cyber-criminals mimic a legitimate IP address to hide their identity. This way, their true location and address is unknown, exposing the system they’ve used.
The attacker spoofs the IP address of a target by sending packets to multiple network systems, with the belief that the IP address is legitimate. Successful spoofs result to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks which result to unresponsive web pages and slow response times.
A DNS or a Domain Name System works like a phonebook of the internet. Thanks to this, you don’t have to memorize IP addresses of well-known sites such as Google or Amazon. DNS spoofing is when cyber-criminals mix these addresses up.
The result is that when you want to visit AOL, for instance, and you type-in the correct address, you get redirected to a domain set-up by hackers and cyber-criminals. These spoofed domains can spread malware and harm your system.
Short for Address Resolution Protocol, an ARP spoof involves the cracking of an IP address’ Media Access Control (MAC). In this type of spoof, the attacker will receive data that is meant to be received by the owner of the IP address.
Most often, ARP spoofing is done to steal relevant, personal data. However, they can also overload the system and cause a shutdown causing servers to crash. This causes a DoS which potentially is a threat to privacy and data modification.
How can you be protected from spoofing attacks?
There are limited ways to counter a spoof. In fact, there are just some experts who know how to do that. So, the best way to be protected against spoofing is prevention In preventing it, you need to be vigilant. You need to distinguish what type of spoof attack you’re experiencing is.
Generally, you can prevent spoofing attacks by being proactive and keen to detail. Here are a few steps on how you can be safe from spoofing.
- Refrain from opening emails especially those that come from unfamiliar email addresses.
- Avoid downloading attachments that come out from nowhere. Usually, these are traps that they plant to lure people in.
- Check on the email you received if it’s really from a legitimate company.
- Call the company and check if they really sent you an email.
- Double check the URL of the website if it’s correct. Sometimes, attackers trick people into thinking that they’re on the correct website but the address is far from the original.
- Keep your browser up-to-date.
Caller ID spoofing
- Immediately hang the phone up if you’re unsure of the person you’re speaking with.
- Never give out credit card numbers and social security numbers with a random person you spoke with on the phone.
- If someone calls you and claims to be from an entity, hang the phone up and directly dial the institution. Tell them that someone’s calling you representing to be them.
- Properly configure your routers and modems to reject packets or request outside your local network.
- Use key exchange-based authentication between your local network and your devices.
DNS and ARP spoofing
- Use two-factor authentication. It adds another layer of security to your network and accounts.
- Use DNS so that the communication is just between your network and that of the VPN’s DNS servers.
If you think that you can never be free from spoofers, think again. These attackers do the same exact things to be able to get what they want. Furthermore, you can be safe if you remain vigilant and keen to detail. Refrain from giving out personal, sensitive information to people over the phone and over the internet.
Should attackers claim that they’re from a legitimate entity, contact that entity and confirm it with them. Hackers and cyber-criminals will try everything for them to be able to get a hold of your information. In addition to that, they’ll do whatever it takes to let you download software that can harm you and your network.