Spoofing

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What Does Spoofing Mean?

Spoofing, in general, is a fraudulent or malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source known to the receiver. Spoofing is most prevalent in communication mechanisms that lack a high level of security.

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Techopedia Explains Spoofing

Email spoofing is one of the best known spoofs. Since core SMTP fails to offer authentication, it is simple to forge and impersonate emails. Spoofed emails may request personal information and may appear to be from a known sender. Such emails request the recipient to reply with an account number for verification. The email spoofer then uses this account number for identity theft purposes, such as accessing the victim’s bank account, changing contact details and so on.

The attacker (or spoofer) knows that if the recipient receives a spoofed email that appears to be from a known source, it is likely to be opened and acted upon. So a spoofed email may also contain additional threats like Trojans or other viruses. These programs can cause significant computer damage by triggering unexpected activities, remote access, deletion of files and more.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.