Cybersecurity is most definitely a vast field, being that many of the potential threats to a large number of industries are still unknown to the general public. You’ve probably heard of phishing, malware, ransomware, identity theft, etc., but have you ever heard of email spoofing?
To explain it as simply as possible: email spoofing is the process of creating forged sender address emails. Because of the lack of authentication for core email protocols, spam emails and phishing attacks can spoof the email header, thus misleading the recipient about the email sender.
The main goal of the sender is to get the recipient to open and engage in some way with the email message by responding to it, for instance. Email spoofing exists to further increase the efficacy of other similar cyber attacks connected to email tampering. While it may seem like these emails need little contra action, they pose a cybersecurity threat that definitely needs to be appropriately addressed in order to avoid further issues.
But how is email spoofing even possible, given that we have many high-tech protection systems and specialized people who dedicate their careers to cyber and hotel security? What is the reasoning behind email spoofing, and how can they even affect your hotel? Read up on the answers to these questions and a more detailed explanation of email spoofing in the text below.
How is spoofing possible?
This cyber threat is realizable because of a thing called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP for short, and its lack of an authentication method. Nowadays, authentication protocols designed for email addresses do exist, but their implementation has been slow.
What is the reasoning behind email spoofing?
These are the reasons why cybercriminals might spoof the sender address, and they include:
- Hiding the sender’s true identity: This is also possible when an attacker registers an anonymous email address, but it is typically used as part of another scam or cyber attack.
- To avoid spam blacklists: Attackers use spoofed emails to go around spam filters. The risk is lowered by the fact that you can blacklist certain IP addresses and ISPs.
- Posing as a person of trust: Scammers used spoof emails to pretend to be a colleague or friend asking for money.
- Posing as a trusted organization: Spoofed emails pretending to be financial institutions may lead the way to phish attacks and pages devised to gain credit card information and access to bank accounts.
- Identity theft: Accessing personally identifiable information (PII) by posing as the victim and using the victim’s email account.
- To stain the sender’s reputation: Ultimately, email spoofing is used to smear the reputation of a certain organization or sender. This includes hotels.
How to stop email spoofing?
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
- Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM)
- Sender ID