Everything You Need to Know About Email Spoofing

MailXaminer | May 22nd, 2020 | Forensics

Nowadays, there has been a severe increase in the number of email crimes, including email spoofing. One of the major reasons is the availability of a wide range of email applications. Moreover, users always prefer using email clients to meet challenging business communication.

Have you ever received an email message from the bank asking you to share all those crucial information such as ATM PIN, Account number, etc.? If yes, then you are at risk! This is because the bank never asks their client to share such details, instead, it can be a spam email having a spoofed email ID. This is done just to convince user for the purpose of gaining sensitive information.

As a result, we have come up with this blog to let users know about email spoofing and the approach which the attackers use to perform email spoofing.

What is Email Spoofing?

Let us understand what is email spoofing. The literal meaning of the word “spoof” is “falsified”. An email that is spoofed denotes that the sender has purposely altered some parts of the email for masquerading. Moreover, it appears to be originated from someone other than the actual source.

Usually, senders’ name/addresses, as well as message bodies, are commonly formatted that appear from some legitimate sources. These emails might have come from some banks or some other legitimate companies, etc. Most of the time, the spoofed email pretending to be an authorized email may ask the recipient to provide sensitive information such as credit card number, password, etc. In most cases of email spoofing, the email that is spoofed is a part of a phishing attack. In other such cases, spoofed emails are utilized for dishonestly marketing some online service or selling some bogus products like shareware, etc.

Why are Emails Fraudulently Spoofed by the Attacker?

One purpose behind email spoofing could be that the email spoofers may be attempting to “phish” the passwords as well as login names. Forgery or phishing is where dishonest senders hope towards luring people into trusting their emails. Spoofed websites are disguised in a manner to the users wherein it appears quite legitimate ones like online banks or paid web services etc. Many times, it happens that victims easily believe these spoofed emails and tend to click on these false websites. Trusting spoofed websites, the victims enter their login ID and password credentials and then start receiving false error messages like “website unavailable”, etc. During this time, dishonest spoofers capture victims’ confidential information and proceed towards withdrawing their funds. Additionally, the attackers perform various other types of dishonest transactions for the purpose of monetary gain.

Another purpose behind email spoofing can be that the email spoofers are the spammers who are trying to hide their true identities. Most of the spammers utilize the mass-emailing software. It allows the attackers to change the source email addresses that will appear to be from innocent citizens, legitimate companies, or government entities. The purpose could be forgery or phishing, which is to get users to trust their emails. The impact is that the user opens and read their spam ads inside those emails.

How Does Email Spoofing Work?

Malicious or dishonest users tend to alter various sections of emails for disguising the senders as to be somebody else. Some properties can easily be altered by using users’ settings in their Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. email profiles. Furthermore, IP addresses can be altered to convince fraudulent emails. However, it requires sophisticated user-level intelligence and more knowledge for making such false IP addresses.

Does the Attacker Manually Spoofs the Email Message?

Though some of the spoofed and altered emails are surely falsified manually by hand. However, a majority of such spoofed emails are usually created via specialized software. Spammers are commonly using mass-emailing programs like “ratware”. This program runs massive in-built word-lists for creating numerous targeted email addresses, spoof source emails, etc. Moreover, this program tends to take some illegally-acquired email addresses’ lists, and then they send their spam emails as per that. Besides ratware program, there are several mass-mailing worms as well which also exist in large numbers. These worms are usually self-replicating programs, which act as some types of viruses.

Suggested Tip: In order to examine the email header of the spoofed email, it is highly recommended to avail MailXaminer. It is a remarkable Email Forensic Software which is capable enough to support 20+ email file formats. Additionally, the software is loaded with numerous features that will help to seamlessly analyze the email data files.

Time to Conclude

To prevent becoming the victim of email spoofing, users need to be smart enough to recognize spam emails. With the help of this blog, we have made users aware of what exactly is email spoofing. Along with that, the different mass-emailing program which the fraudsters use to send spoofed emails in bulk is also highlighted in this blog. Furthermore, to detect the various details for investigating the spoofed emails, it is best suggested to avail MailXaminer software.