Email spoofing is just one of the techniques used by cybercriminals in their insidious campaigns. Hackers understand that while there are many new ways of communicating from chat applications to collaboration platforms, for most enterprises, email is still the most common method of contact.

Imagine if a cybercriminal could send you an email and when you looked at the sender, it displayed the exact email address of your company’s financial accounts manager. If that email asked you for personal details, like your date of birth or National Insurance Number, you might simply send it to them without becoming suspicious.

This is how email spoofing works, and it is a simple-to-perform criminal act used by hackers to extract information from targets, along with other tactics such as bypassing security filters with unwanted spam. To spoof an address, a hacker only needs three simple components.

First, they must find an authentic email address to spoof – these can be acquired in many ways, such as mailing lists that have been compromised, addresses posted on public forums and those listed on social media accounts and websites. With the account they wish to spoof secured, they will only need two other off-the shelf items – some dedicated mailing software and an SMTP server – both of which are perfectly legal to obtain

The threat of email spoofing

Hackers manipulate the identifying fields in the emails they send so they appear to be from a trusted individual or entity. The content within may comprise a phishing email requesting sensitive information or include harmful attachments that recipients are urged to download in order to deploy malware.

In other cases, links will be included that direct the victim to a spoofed website that can harvest private credentials. If a company employee falls victim to a spoofing attack, they may impart private information to an attacker that renders a firm vulnerable to attack or allows malicious software to become embedded in its connected devices and network. At best, email spoofing may allow a torrent of unwanted spam messages to clog up your system and waste staff time in reporting issues.

Employing a secure email system

Personnel should be trained on ways to spot spoofed emails and should be encouraged to keep their online digital footprint to a minimum to avoid causing harm to their company. If they identify a spoof attack, they should also be aware of a clear line of reporting to raise the alarm. To help companies keep their staff and confidential files safe when using email, at Galaxkey, we have developed a secure platform with robust email security features.

Compatible with a comprehensive selection of operating systems and devices, our platform empowers its users with the tools they need to stay protected. Cutting-edge encryption renders emails unintelligible to those without authorisation, whether they are being sent or at rest in inboxes or mail servers. Emails can be tracked at every stage of their journey, with notifications alerting staff and recipients if any alteration has taken place. To avoid scams, spam and other spoof attacks, contact our team today to arrange a free online demonstration.