Phishers heavily rely on cunning, highly sophisticated spoofing techniques, with email and website spoofing being the most common. However, other methods are gaining traction as well.
In this article, we’ll cover seven more spoofing techniques that scammers use in their sneaky attacks.
What Is Spoofing And What Part Does it Play In Phishing Attacks?
In its essence, the term ‘spoofing’ refers to imitating something for comedic purposes. However, hackers use another kind of spoof intended to hurt us rather than give us a good laugh.
From a cybersecurity point of view, spoofing is when a hacker pretends to be someone else in an attempt to gain our trust, breach our systems, exfiltrate sensitive data, steal money, or distribute malware.
These are some of the most common spoofing techniques:
- Email spoofing
- Website spoofing
- Caller ID spoofing
- Text message spoofing
- GPS spoofing
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
- Extension spoofing
- IP spoofing
- Facial spoofing
Email and website spoofing are the two most common methods by which scammers get sensitive information from unsuspecting victims. While the two methods are sometimes used separately, you’ll often see them going hand in hand in a phishing scam. For example, let’s consider the following scenario: a spoofed email will lead you to a spoofed website; the copycat site asks you to fill in sensitive data, such as login credentials or credit card details. This combo often leads to a successful phishing attack.
However, let’s talk a bit more about the other seven forms of spoof out there.
Beware Of These Seven Spoofing Techniques
1. Caller ID Spoofing
Scammers use this technique to make the call appear to be made from somewhere else than it actually is. The bad guys seem to have done their homework and know that you’re more likely to answer if the caller ID shows an area code near you. They’ll even spoof the first digits of your phone number to give the illusion that the call is coming from your neighborhood.
2. SMS Spoofing
SMS / text message spoofing or smishing is when an attacker sends you a text message with someone else’s phone number. For example, companies often spoof their own phone numbers for marketing and convenience purposes by replacing the long number with one that is short and easy to remember. Scammers do a similar thing when they cover up their identity with an alphanumeric sender ID. Furthermore, they will often masquerade as a reputable organization. The malicious text messages usually include URLs to phishing websites or malware downloads.
A new phishing trend is emerging, where smishers exploit the job market by impersonating staffing agencies, sending naive victims to ‘amazing’ job offers.
3. GPS Spoofing
This happens when your device’s GPS is tricked into thinking you’re somewhere else than your actual location. For example, Russia is conducting GPS spoofing trials to misdirect ships for potential cyberattacks on U.S. aerial drones. Similarly, hackers could mess with your car’s GPS and direct you to the wrong address or into oncoming traffic. They also use this method to hide their actual location when launching attacks.
4. BEC / Man-in-the-Middle Attack
BEC is an attack in which a scammer illicitly obtains access to a business email account and mimics the rightful owner’s identity to trick the company and its employees, customers or partners, into transferring money to the scammer’s account. Usually, the attacker spoofs an email address on a corporate network and relies on the trust between the recipient and the sender. Thus, BEC is sometimes referred to as a “man-in-the-middle” attack.
5. Extension Spoofing
Cybercriminals use this strategy to disguise executable malware files. A hackers’ favorite is something like “filename.txt.exe.” They know that, by default, Windows hides file extensions, so the average user will only see the “filename.txt” part and assume that the harmless .txt is the file extension.
6. IP Spoofing
IP spoofing is used when hackers want to hide the location from where they’re sending or requesting data. Furthermore, the technique is often used in DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks to circumvent security filters.
7. Facial Spoofing
This method is the most recent form of spoof and also the most personal one. If today’s device security using facial recognition is any indication, we may sign documents and make payments with our faces soon enough. While this sounds awesome, hackers have already found ways to build 3D facial models from your pictures and use them to hack into your devices.
And let’s not forget about the deepfake technology being used to create fake news, fake sex tapes, and so on. For example, hackers put the technology to “good use” in a 2020 phishing attack. They used artificial intelligence (AI) to deepfake a company director’s voice and steal a jaw-dropping $35 million.
Protect Your Business With ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training
So, what can you do to prevent such nasty incidents? Well, the bad guys don’t sleep, so neither should you sleep on their strategies. Keep in mind that they usually go for the weakest link in the chain – your employees. Thus, it would be best to prioritize educating them on relevant cybersecurity practices to keep scammers at bay.
Researching the latest phishing trends and strategies and adequately training your employees can be a hassle, so leave it to professionals.
Here, at ATTACK Simulator, we put ourselves in the attacker’s shoes as we believe that understanding their thinking and actions is vital in designing an accurate simulation.
Here are a few perks of our approach to phishing simulations:
- Automated attack simulation – we simulate all kinds of cyberattacks.
- Real-life scenarios – we evaluate users’ vulnerability to give company or pesonal data away using realistic web-pages.
- User behaviour analysis – we gather user data and compile it in extensive reports to give you a detailed picture of your employees’ security awareness level.
- Malicious file replicas – our emails contain malware file repilcas, to make the simulation as realistic as it can be.
- Interactive lessons – if employees fail to recognize our traps and fall into one, they will discover lessons on the best security practices.
- Brand impersonation – we impersonate popular brands to make the phishing simulations all the more realistic.
Choose to be safe and request your quote for our comprehensive Security Awareness Training program today.