When threat actors send out emails with a sender address that is not their own, it is called email spoofing. Email spoofing is used for a wide selection of strategies, including sending out disruptive spam, conning individuals into parting with funds and as a part of phishing attacks that steal credentials and other personal information. Email spoofing is also used to help deliver malware payloads onto victim’s devices.
From adware and ransomware to Trojans like the nefarious Emotet, this malicious software is far more than just a nuisance. Installed on your machine, it can cause a variety of harmful effects, from simply slowing systems to encrypting or altering important information.
The dangers of email spoofing can not only be harmful to an individual’s personal reputation and financial accounts, but can also cause chaos for others. This list may include family, friends, employers and the people they conduct business with, such as suppliers and clients.
Read on for a detailed look at some of the short and long-term affects suffered by those with an email account spoofed by cybercriminals.
Damage to personal reputation
The first warning many people have that their email address has been spoofed is when they open their inbox to find multiple complaints from contacts who have received spam or phishing messages. This can be an embarrassing situation and one that is potentially damaging to your personal or professional reputation. If you are seen to be a weak security link, you may even find that your email address is blocked by recipients who are keen to avoid unwanted spam mail.
Penetration of your personal and working life
An individual who is spoofing your address could potentially infiltrate your life, acquiring details of friends, family members and online services you use. These targeted attempts can lead to access to both personal and financial records and, in a worst case scenario, sometimes even identity theft.
Accessing detailed personal information will allow hackers to impersonate you more effectively if they communicate with your colleagues or clients. This enables them to penetrate not only your personal life, but your working world as well. When this happens, your compromised address may potentially cause a costly data breach for your company.
An unwitting accomplice to malicious campaigns
Perhaps the most unwanted impact of your email address being spoofed is when it is used by hackers for malicious and even criminal campaigns. Hackers seeking to deploy ransomware or other malicious forms of software will embed harmful links in the phishing emails they send from your address. Whether they are sending the email to one of your clients or a colleague at your own company, this could result in your email address being associated with malicious activity that may have damaging consequences for others.
Galaxkey has constructed a secure platform to help individuals and organisations alike avoid the perils of spoof email attacks. With robust security features, employees are empowered with user-friendly options to guard against damaging incidents. Get in touch with our team today to arrange an online demonstration.