Is your email domain being spoofed?

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Is your email domain being spoofed?

February 8, 2019 General 0

What is Email Spoofing?

Email spoofing is the creation of email messages with a forged sender address for the purpose of fooling the recipient into providing money or sensitive information. Email spoofing is a fraudulent email activity hiding email origins. The act of email spoofing occurs when imposters are able to deliver emails by altering emails’ sender information. Although this is usually done by spammers and through phishing emails for advertising purposes, email spoofing can have malicious motives such as virus spreading or attempts to gain personal banking information. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) does not provide any type of authentication process for persons sending emails. Yet, it is the primary email system for most people, facilitating email spoofing. this can lead to various scenarios, most commonly where an attacker will forge the identity of someone to use their authorization in order to gain something, for example impersonate a CEO to order someone to wire money to a bank account.

What is it costing companies?
The Herjavec Group reports cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion by 2021; while it’s hard to know how much of this amount will derive from ‘spoofing’ tactics, it only takes one look at your junk mailbox to see how many people are looking to deceive you for their financial gain.

In response to this, three protocols have been introduced over time to attempt to mitigate the issue of email spoofing by providing mechanisms to verify that incoming mail is from the domain it claims to be sent from. These three protocols are known as the Sender Framework Policy (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC). These protocols will be explained in detail in how they operate, what they mitigate, and how to use them to help protect your own domain from being spoofed.

So how to prevent from this?

Did you know that every email has two different senders? One email address is called the ‘envelope sender‘, and the other is set in the email header. The latter is known as the ‘From:’ header, which is normally displayed by the email clients, like Microsoft Outlook. Unfortunately, cyber criminals can forge the ‘From:’ header to trick email clients into displaying a name and email address which belong to your business.
You or your IT staff can make changes to your email service settings to help block deceptive emails coming into your organisation, and put other email services on notice as to what a legitimate email coming from you should look like. This is done by adding what is known as SPF, DKIM and DMARC DNS records to your company’s domain name.


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