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What does 'spoofing' mean and how can I look out for it?

Question

What does 'spoofing' mean and how can I look out for it?

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This question was answered on May 14, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Massive amounts of computer viruses/worms are in circulation, and have a horrible effect to just about all users who access the Internet. One of the more mischievous types uses the 'SPOOF' feature to spoof e-mail addresses. The term 'spoofing' is used when a user receives e-mail that looks like it comes from one person but it was actually sent by someone else. The most recent versions of some viruses may also mention a company in the body of the message. The MyDoom, Klez, Netsky, & Beagle email viruses, and variants are a few of the more known spoofing attacks.

Viruses/worms that use e-mail spoofing take a random name from the infected person's computer and mail themselves out as if they were from that randomly chosen address. Lately, they have also been able to generate random addresses that don't even exist. Unfortunately, the virus on someone else's computer has found your email address in an address book and used it in the FROM field as the virus replicates itself via email.

Please know that most companies will never send file attachments to you personally where they haven't first had direct prior contact with you (unless you've asked them to send you something). The insecure nature of email enables anyone to assume anyone else's email identity with ease. Do not get fooled by these tricky attacks and don't open any attachments! If you receive a message with a file attachment that looks like it's from a friend or company, don't open it. It's probably a virus. Call the friend or company to verify if they sent this to you and make sure to delete it if they answer no. For optimal security it is suggested that you update your anti-virus software. You can get more technical information about these individual viruses/worms below.

The most common spoofing emails:

You can find more information about MyDoom at:

<a href="http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11803" target='_'>http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11803</a>

You can find more information about Klez at:

<a href="http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=7527" target='_'> http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=7527</a>

You can find more information about Nesky at:

<a href="http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11711" target='_'> http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11711</a>

You can find more information about Beagle at:

<a href="http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11908" target='_'> http://www.computerproblems.com/questions/question.cfm?id=11908</a>

For more detailed information on the latest Microsoft Security Bulletins, check out:

<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx" target='_'> http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx</a>

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Author

Posted by Michal of Data Doctors on May 14, 2004

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