Explore Different Types and Ways to Combat Impersonation Attacks

Scammers are advancing with the transformation in technology and finding new ways to deceive individuals. The most common and famous fraud type is an impersonation attack. By using social engineering techniques, fraudsters try to steal someone’s identity and fool their targeted victim for any financial gain. Scammers persuade victims to transfer handsome amounts of money or any company login credentials and confidential information. 

This blog will discuss different impersonation attacks and how to recognize scammers.

Common Impersonation Attack Types 

A typical example of an impersonation attack is when a scammer uses fake emails to deceive famous business or high-level executives, referred to as “business email compromise (BEC)”. The fraudster deceives the victim into giving up essential information and doing a financial transfer. 1/3226 emails acquired fake emails and that depends upon the email ID usage and executive rank. Imposters try to deceive an individual through several phishing attacks, so business clients and employees must be aware of impersonation attacks. Following are a few types of impersonation attacks: 

  1. Email Impersonation Attacks 

Email impersonation attacks are typical examples of scammers portraying themselves as managers, colleagues, and high-level executives using a stolen or fake email account. Spear phishing attacks or impersonations are targeted and highly sophisticated compared to massive email attacks. These attacks usually include images or links that contain malware and compromise authentic websites. Using social engineering techniques, the attackers deceive employees to gain sensitive and confidential company data and quickly transfer funds to the scammer. 

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Different Email Impersonation Types 

Phishing attacks can be differentiated according to their completion: 

  1. Whaling is a kind of attack that usually targets high-value users. 
  2. CEO fraud is a standard impersonation attack that deceives a firm high-executive and typically focuses on employees. 
  3. BEC is when attackers deceive a business’s confidential email account. 

Scammers use data gained from any source or from open-source intelligence that is carefully crafted according to the email content of that specific information to secure user communication. Eventually, email scamming is done with any user with a secure domain connected explicitly with any firm. 

How can users Identify Email Impersonation?

  • Misspelled or fraudulent email ID.
  • Urgent issues that need instant attention.
  • Requests for classified and sensitive information.
  • Let’s move further to understand more types. 

2. Cousin Domain 

In a cousin domain attack, scammers make a false firm email and website approximately similar to an official firm webpage by using the wrong domain codes. Company websites use a few domain codes, including .net, .com, .org. However, a cousin domain attacker uses the wrong domain code to deceive their target. Scammers can always move further by just making duplicates of the website design of the actual website. 

How can users identify cousin domain scammers?

In email, if anything seems yo be suspicious or if someone ask for any personal data, quickly ask an employer or to authenticate the sender. However, there is documented email history with the right email domain that reveals the wrong one. 

3. Envelope Impersonation or Forged Header 

Email spoofing, headers and forged envelopes with wrong email ID appears as authentic. The sender commonly hide behind a false envelope and header by using a real title and name, easily dodge spam filters. Counterfeits headers can dodge individual’s by letting them believe in actual source dispached a message as they don’t read email address but the header. The sender section in an envelope or email header can be changed, making it look like as any friend send the email or a legitimate firm. 

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Identify Envelope Impersonation or Recognized Forged Header

Quickly analyze the email ID address to verify if they match with the authentic email or the sender’s firm. It’s maybe due to fake email incase of any variation by using a bogus heading that the scammers knows that receiver will identify. It’s usually with the title and name of coworker and friend, business account and high-level executive. 

  1. Account Takeover (ATO)

ATO is a compromised email ID in which scammers log into an account with another person credentials such as password and username. Scammer purchased them from darweb through data leaks, breaches and brute-force attacks. Fraudster can easily log into an email account if individual doesn’t have any authenticationm procedure and can be used it for identity theft and account takeovers. Different users use the identical passwords for many social media accounts that make it easier for scammers to access accounts and multiple sites from specific user. 

Easily Recognize ATO Impersonation 

Efficient and effective way to identity ATO impersonation attack is by identifying suspicious urgent demands and unusual reporting, offering free services and gifts. Usually sender’s don’t recognize these senders and must be authenticated with a speperate barrier including texting, calling and internal messaging. 

Final Words 

Impersonation scams are increasing with the advancement in technology. Scammers are using different cunning techniques to deceive unsuspected businesses and individual’s. Firms and individual’s can empower themselves by completely identifying through face recognition technology, the nuance of impersonation attacks, envelope forgery and account takeovers.