Email Spoofing: Your A To Z Reference Guide To Email Spoofing

email spoofing

Hello friends, in this post you are going to learn all about email spoofing. Beginning from what is email spoofing to how to do email spoofing and how to stay safe from email spoofing.

So let us dive right into it.

What Is Email Spoofing?

Email spoofing basically means that you are hiding your identity by using a fake email header. There are a few ways with which you can spoof/fake your email address. So if you are forging the header of an email to make you look like someone else then that is considered as email spoofing.

Once you spoof your email address you can easily trick the recipient to think that you are someone else. Email spoofing can be very dangerous at times; so develop yourself to figure out which emails are real and which emails are spoofed.

Email spoofing is widely used by hackers and scammers. Email spoofing is a widely used tactic in phishing and scamming. So these hackers and scammers send you spoofed email to fall you into their trap.

These emails will appear to be originated from someone who you consider as a trusted source but they are not. These people use email spoofing because you are more likely to open an email which is sent by a trusted source.

Examples Of Email Spoofing

These are some examples of email spoofing. Be sure to have a deep look at them so you don’t feel into the trap of email spoofing.

Internet Phishing Scam

These types of spoofing emails are sometimes very well formulated that most people fall into the trap. Email spoofing is often used by hackers to phish your online accounts usernames and passwords. These types of emails are probably the most damaging one.

A clever con artist can trick you fill out your account username and password information, which can then be used for financial gains. Although these scammers target big companies like Amazon, eBay and PayPal they can act as any company that you have trust.

This is an example of email spoofing where a fisherman is trying to tempt you into giving your private information.

So be skeptical about any email that asks you to log in through a link in the email. No legitimate online financial service will ever ask you to log in this way.

Internet Lottery Scam

You can’t win the raffle if you don’t buy the ticket. In the same way, you can’t win a lottery if you haven’t bought any ticket. These con artists try to act as if they are some kind of big company. And that company selected you as a winner of their grand price. The con man is trying to get you to entrust him with your cash or access to your cash.

Be skeptical about any email that claims you have won a prize. A legitimate lottery would not contact you via email; they would be calling you via telephone. And keep in mind: if you never entered the contest, how did you win?

Internet Investment Scam

In this case, by artificially generating excitement around a stock, the con men can lure hundreds of people to purchase a particular stock. This purchasing excitement artificially inflates and “pumps up” the value of the stock, whereupon the con men will “dump” sell their own shares to reap the dishonest profits. This “pump and dump” spamming is a form of “phantom trading”, which is illegal.

Like all con games, be they online or in person, the con man is trying to deceive you somehow.

Be skeptical about any random unsolicited email that promises stock tips. If these were legitimate investment planners with legitimate stock advice, they would be dealing with their own existing clients, not recruiting via random email.

Why Email Spoofing?

Most of the times email spoofing is done with the intention of getting your online account’s password. But scammers use this to get your credit card details and bank account information.

These scammers lure you by the saying that you won some kind of lottery and want to have your bank account information. And once you give them your credentials, the next thing you know is your bank balance is close to zero.

I knew a person who fell into the trap of these scammers, a few years ago. The scammers spoofed the email and said to this person that he had won a lottery of 1 million bucks.

They were asking him to first transfer some money to get the lottery amount. So this person transferred the money to them. They again said that they need some more money to send the full amount.

That person again sent more money to them and after some time it dawned on him that he had made a big mistake. I’m not sure of the numbers but I know it was more than 1000 bucks that the person transferred to the scammers.

At that time most of the people were not aware of the online scams, so this person mistakenly gave out his information. I feel sorry for him and want you to stay aware of this.

So don’t fall into the trap of email spoofing, where you excitingly opened your email and give all your details. Just be an aware and double check to whom you are giving the information.

For example, a spoofed email may look like that it is from a website that you often shop from, asking you for your credentials such as password or credit card details. Or the spoofed email can ask the recipient to update a software.

Often times this is not the update of the actual software, but the attacker trying to trick you into installing a malicious software on your device.

READ: How To Hide Your IP Address

How Is Email Spoofing done?

To make sure that you understand the risks that email spoofing can pose; here is a short tutorial/demo of email spoofing.

By the way, you can use this to send anonymous emails to your friends and family to prank them. But surely don’t use it for any illegal purpose. Just have fun with it.

1. So first I created a temporary recipient email address or you can say a fake email receiver by going to temp-mail.

2. Once I created the recipient email address I went to emkei. This is a free online fake mailer tool. You can easily do email spoofing with this website.

3. Here are the things that I filled in the email spoofing website to send it to fake email receiver.

4. After entering all the things that I want, I simply clicked on send.

5. Now in the fake email receiver, you can see the recipient had received the email address with the same details that I used for email spoofing.

Also, this website offers you to add attachments, encryption and provides you with an HTML editor.

With this online tool, email spoofing is a no-brainer thing. I have seen some other email spoofing websites which offer fake mail services. But they ask you to pay for it.

But with this email spoofing website, you don’t need to pay a red cent to anybody to have fun with your friends.

You have the following options when using this website for email spoofing:

Form Name Fill here the name that you want to appear on the other side (recipient side)
From E-mail Here goes the fake email that you want to use for email spoofing
To Your friends or family email address
Subject Be creative have fun
Attachment Use funny cat images or other things that you want to attach. But don’t attach sensitive information.
Content-Type You can choose from text/plain or text/HTML. Here goes the actual message that you want to send

How To Stay Safe?

Email spoofing is widely used for social engineering purposes. Social engineering is just a behavior to make others think that you are a trusted source. Social engineering can be used on people to extract information that they would not normally give to you.

One example of social engineering is phishing emails.

Email spoofing is the most prevalent tool for sending phishing emails. The attacker can spoof his email address to send you a phishing mail. This mail may ask you for your username and password or your credit card details. Once you are tricked into thinking that the mail is from a trusted party, you may find yourself in trouble.

The phishing attack is the easiest attack to be carried out by an attacker. Also, most of the people fall into the trap of phishing mail and hence phishing attack is considered as the most successful in social engineering.

So to stay safe from these kinds of attack you need to stay active and be skeptical.

If you don’t believe that an email is truthful or that the sender is legitimate, don’t click on the link and type your email address.

Likewise, if there is a file attachment, don’t open it lest it contains a virus payload. If the email seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t, and your skepticism will save you from compromising your banking information.

Watch the following video to know more on how attackers use email spoofing.

To give you the gist of the video here are the steps that you need to take to stay safe from email spoofing attacks.

  • Be sure to look at the sender’s email address before doing anything.
  • Never enter your personal information unless you are absolutely sure who you are sending it to.
  • Be skeptical when you are asked to open a link in an email address. Instead, type the website address manually into the address bar if you really to check in.
  • Don’t download any software update directly from your email address. Most of the times you’ll end up installing malware onto your pc.
  • Be skeptical and aware and learn from others mistakes.

READ: Computer Networking Basics

How To Stop Email Spoofing?

So, if you are a company and afraid if your domain might be used for spoofing emails then you should consider implementing these methods. Here are the common methods with the help of which you can stop email spoofing on your domain.

Sender Policy Framework(SPF)

You must set up a Sender Policy Framework on your domain.

SPF Records specify which mail servers have permission to send email on behalf of your domain. This can be used to help recipient mail server identify unauthorized use of your domain in the form of forgeries, known as spoofing.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DomainKeys identified mail (DKIM ) is the process of your outgoing mail server stamping your messages with a private key, and allowing a recipient mail server to decode your message with a public key available in your DNS.

This is used to ensure messages sent by your domain are legitimate and have not been tampered with or modified while in transit to your recipient.

Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC)

DMARC tells recipient mail servers what to do with messages that pass of failing their SPF/DKIM checks. you get to decide if these messages pass or fail based on how you set up the record.

DMARC additionally provides you with reports on any fraudulent emails that are possibly being sent by your domain.

Rundown: Email Spoofing

So that was all about email spoofing. I hope this article might have helped you. If you liked it please share it with your friends. Also, subscribe to my email newsletter to get notified about awesome articles like this one.

Moreover, if you have any suggestion or query for me, please let me know in the comment section. I’ll be happy to help you.