Email Spoofing

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September 16, 2008

Email spoofing is a very big trouble for the internet users since long. Emails with forged headers, where the senders name are altered to make it seem like it came from some other source is called a spoof email. The activity is thus called email spoofing. This can cause a great deal of trouble to anyone because it might make the email receiver to actually believe that the email came from the original source. So if the one sending the spoof email has some basic details about the person he is sending the email to, he can use filthy tricks to make a lot out of it. People should become careful and save themselves from spoofs.

It is easy to send spoof emails because the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) doesn’t require authentication. If the server has been configured in a way to allow connections to the SMTP port, anyone can connect to it and begin sending spoof emails. The email address that appears to be of the sender can be a valid address or an invalid one.

Email spoofing is done in a lot different ways. There are dedicated email spoofing softwares that can make the process a breeze. The softwares are now used widely by mass mailing worms to hide the identity of the sender and send tons of spoofed emails.

There Trojans and worms that are created to harvest email ids from the contact list of a person’s or an organization’s email. So if such worms infect the system, they can send all of the contacts to their feeder. So all of those addresses can be used in the form fields while sending emails. This can cause a big predicament to organizations where email is sent with content filtering gateways.

This can also cause a big trouble when the spoofed email appears to be from a company to an individual. Suppose you have a gmail account. You get an email from the official google email address which says that they need to verify your email address and password to let you enjoy their new services. You, unaware of the fact that you are being spoofed, fill in the required fields and reply back. And the dread is known to you. The email addresses extracted from a certain person’s address book, can also be used in such a way as to send reciprocal emails other. So, if precaution is not taken email spoofing can invite appalling conditions to anyone.

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  • Eli Baston

    In this year, 2010, malware seems to be as ubiquitous as the air we breathe,so bad. While computer users today are much more savvy against the threat of malware, there’s still more that we can do.