The term “spoofing” might have a comic implication in some contexts, but it’s no joke when it comes to information security. In fact, this is a subject matter of a whole separate chapter in a seasoned cybercriminal’s handbook. It comprises a multitude of techniques aimed at camouflaging a malicious actor or device as somebody or something else. The goal is to feign trust, gain a foothold in a system, get hold of data, pilfer money, or distribute predatory software.

Spoofing, as it pertains to cybersecurity, is when someone or something pretends to be something else in an attempt to gain our confidence, get access to our systems, steal data, steal money, or spread malware.

It leads to the rerouting of internet traffic can overwhelm networks or lead customers/clients to malicious sites aimed at stealing information or distributing malware.

7 Types of Spoofing

Spoofing can be applied to a number of communication methods and employ various levels of technical know-how. This method may be used to carry out phishing attacks, which are scams to gain sensitive information from individuals or organizations.

1.Email Spoofing

This occurs when an attacker uses an email message to trick a recipient into thinking it came from a known and/or trusted source. These emails may include links to malicious websites or attachments infected with malware, or they may use social engineering to convince the recipient to freely disclose sensitive information.

Sender information is easy to spoof and can be done in one of two ways:

Mimicking a trusted email address or domain by using alternate letters or numbers to appear only slightly different than the original
Disguising the ‘From’ field to be the exact email address of a known and/or trusted source

2.Caller ID Spoofing

Attackers can make it appear as if their phone calls are coming from a specific number—either one that is known and/or trusted to the recipient, or one that indicates a specific geographic location. Attackers can then use social engineering—often posing as someone from a bank or customer support—to convince their targets to, over the phone, provide sensitive information such as passwords, account information, social security numbers, and more.

3.SMS spoofing

This is is a technology which uses the short message service (SMS), available on most mobile phones and personal digital assistants, to set who the message appears to come from by replacing the originating mobile number (Sender ID) with alphanumeric text.

4.Website Spoofing

This refers to when a website is designed to mimic an existing site known and/or trusted by the user. Attackers use these sites to gain login and other personal information from users.

5.IP Spoofing

Attackers may use IP (Internet Protocol)  to disguise a computer IP address, thereby hiding the identity of the sender or impersonating another computer system. One purpose of IP address spoofing is to gain access to a networks that authenticate users based on IP addresses.

More often, however, attackers will spoof a target’s IP address in a denial-of-service attack to overwhelm the victim with traffic. The attacker will send packets to multiple network recipients, and when packet recipients transmit a response, they will be routed to the target’s spoofed IP address.

6.ARP Spoofing

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a protocol that resolves IP addresses to Media Access Control (MAC) addresses for transmitting data. This method is used to link an attacker’s MAC to a legitimate network IP address so the attacker can receive data meant for the owner associated with that IP address. ARP spoofing is commonly used to steal or modify data but can also be used in denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks or in session hijacking.

7.DNS Server Spoofing

DNS (Domain Name System) servers resolve URLs and email addresses to corresponding IP addresses. DNS spoofing allows attackers to divert traffic to a different IP address, leading victims to sites that spread malware.

Protection Against Spoofing

Don’t click on unfamiliar links or download unfamiliar/unexpected attachments. If you receive this in your email, send a reply to ask for confirmation. If an email address is spoofed exactly, the reply will go to the actual person with the email address—not the person spoofing it.

Don’t take phone calls at face value; be wary of the information the caller is requesting. Google the phone number presented on the caller ID to see if it’s associated with scams. Even if the number looks legitimate, hang up and call the number yourself, as caller ID numbers can be spoofed.