Email Spoofing

You are reading this article because you or someone you know has received an email that looks like it has come from you but it's not really from you, even though the email address from the sender is exactly like your email address.

In MOST cases, it means someone has "spoofed" your email account. In other cases, possibly your computer has been infected with malware/keylogger or your email settings compromised when you connected to an insecure wifi connection or you were subject to a phishing attack.

See more about phishing here.

What is Email Spoofing?

Email spoofing is a technique used in spam and phishing attacks to trick users into thinking a message came from a person or entity they either know or can trust. In spoofing attacks, the sender forges email headers so that client software displays the fraudulent sender address, which most users take at face value. Unless they inspect the header more closely, users see the forged sender in a message. If it’s a name they recognize, they’re more likely to trust it. So they’ll click malicious links, open malware attachments, send sensitive data and even wire corporate funds.

Email spoofing is possible due to the way email systems are designed. Outgoing messages are assigned a sender address by the client application; outgoing email servers have no way to tell whether the sender address is legitimate or spoofed.

Recipient servers and antimalware software can help detect and filter spoofed messages. Unfortunately, not every email service has security protocols in place. Still, users can review email headers packaged with every message to determine whether the sender's address is forged.

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