What is a spoofing attack? How to prevent it?

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According to the reports of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India has witnessed around 1.45 million security breaches in the period between 2015 and 2020. The financial loss due to such crimes has been significant. Moreover, the loss of sensitive information has left victims vulnerable to more crimes.

A large portion of these incidents are spoofing attacks. Individuals have fallen victim to fake emails, phone calls, and websites offering lucrative discounts. Also, many have faced fake calls purportedly from reputed companies, offering high-paying jobs.

These are just some of the examples of spoofing that individuals may face. A cyber protection plan can be crucial in preventing financial losses from these types of cybercrimes. Moreover, individuals need to learn more about such crimes to keep their valuable information away from perpetrators.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is a type of cyber-attack where, criminals impersonate representative from reputed companies to gain access to systems, intercept traffic between two network points, and steal information. Spoofing is one of the oldest tricks that hackers have been using for a prolonged period, globally. Such attacks have also led to the popularity of cyber insurance policy.

Spoofing attacks have different mediums that include –

  • Email

  • Phone calls

  • Fake websites

  • Text messages

It can get even more technical with the following –

  • Man-in-the-middle-attacks

  • IP address spoofing

  • Address Resolution Protocol spoofing

  • DNS (Domain Name Server) spoofing

Spoofing aims to gain access to sensitive information, spreading malware, bypassing network access controls to hack systems, or redirecting traffic to launch a denial-of-service attack.

Success in this process may lead to data breach and financial losses. Even though cyber protection policies may compensate for the monetary damages, but the loss of information can cause larger issues in future.

How to prevent a spoofing attack?

A cyber insurance plan may offer financial protection, but to prevent such attacks, individuals need to be aware of the threats. Here are some tips that may help in this regard –

  1. Avoid opening emails from unverified sources

Since email spoofing is a popular form of this attack, it is ideal to avoid replying to emails from unreliable sources. Moreover, there are often links and attachments within such emails, which may contain malware. Thus, it is ideal to refrain from clicking on these links and attachments.

  1. Do not entertain spam calls

Individuals may receive phone calls regarding lottery win or job offers. During such phone calls, the caller often asks for your personal and financial details. Similarly, cybercriminals can impersonate representatives from financial institutions to acquire credit or debit card information. 

Rather than discussing sensitive information over the phone, you can choose to resolve call up the company or NBFC directly to verify whether the call you received was legitimate or not.  

  1. Stay away from public networks

Since public Wi-Fi is free, people use them for various purposes. However, using them to share vital information or making online transactions is risky. Typically, perpetrators gain access to such networks, and they intercept the traffic to steal information. Therefore, one may lose his/her sensitive information without even realising it.

A point to note here is that specific cyber security insurance policies may not offer coverage in case of any losses occurred while using a public network. 

  1. Using antivirus

An antivirus can safeguard a computer from malware and virus. They do not allow such component to spread in the system and gain control of it. F-Secure device security is one of the popular antivirus systems and is available with a purse care plan. Individuals can avail it for a nominal premium amount of Rs.599.

Additionally, a cyber security insurance policy, such as Cyber Security Cover offered by Bajaj Finserv under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions help individuals in the event of a cyber-attack. It offers a high coverage amount of Rs.2 lakh with premium starting from just Rs.253. It protects the policy holder’s financial interests from a series of such crimes.

 

The rise of internet crimes has also increased the demand for cyber protection plans. A fraudulent charges cover offers financial protection in case of any unauthorised usage of payment cards.

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What is a spoofing attack? How to prevent it?

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