How Do Spam and Spoofed Emails Impact Businesses?

Spam spoof email impact on businessPhishing, which involves tricking people into divulging sensitive information online, has been on the rise. 

Attackers recently started sending spoofed emails designed to look like they’re coming from LinkedIn. They’re dressed with LinkedIn branding, which fools victims into clicking on links to fake websites where they’re prompted to enter their login credentials. The sites then send them to the real LinkedIn site, disguising the attack altogether.

SMTP Relay Service Attacks: An Overview

Do you know where your emails are coming from? Hackers are making it harder and harder to trust the emails arriving in inboxes every day, particularly because they have found ways to make malicious messages look like they’re coming from innocent—even trusted—sources.

These are called SMTP relay service attacks, and this is how they work: 

SMTP, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is a system for transferring email from one server to another through the internet. SMTP servers are often protected with usernames and passwords, but when unprotected, they’re referred to as open SMTP relay servers, and these give attackers a distinct advantage. An open relay doesn’t identify the actual source of an email message, which makes it relatively easy for spammers to send a message that looks like it came from a legitimate source.

Even Gmail Isn’t Immune

According to a recent report, there has been “a massive uptick of these SMTP relay service exploit attacks in the wild, as threat actors use this service to spoof other Gmail tenants.” This means if you or your company uses Gmail, you may be susceptible to these kinds of attacks. Someone could send an email pretending it’s from you, which could be used to trick someone else into providing sensitive information.

Of course, Google won’t just let this slide. It said it will “display indicators showing the discrepancy between the two senders, to aid the user and downstream security systems.”

With or without Google’s help, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from spam and spoofed emails by understanding how they work, their impact, and how to prevent them.

How Do Spam and Spoofing Work?

Spam works by…