The Similarities and Difference between Spoofing And Hijacking
Cybercrime has no limits and cybercriminals definitely know this. After all sorts of threats that you’ve had to deal with, here’s one more… in fact two of them. Spoofing and hijacking aren’t new terms. These existed before the Internet came in and now in the web era too, these are doing what they do best – impersonate as someone else and play up with other’s emotions, credibility and in several cases also money.
What happens in the case of spoofing?
Like in the traditional case, spoofs pretend to be someone who they are not. So, in this case, spoofs may send across mails and messages to users in your contact list and thereby demand for money, create panic, or simply send across inappropriate content that might embarrass you later. Spoofs typically do not control your mail account but forge your email address. It then uses this address to bombard your contact list with mails.
To action this, spoofs will use another person’s (read victim) computer and your ‘From’ field to send those mails and while your PC and inbox aren’t exposed to threat, you never know they soon may come back to do it.
So, what can you do once you’ve learnt that your mailbox has been spoofed? Well, the first thing ideally you should do is reset your password. If you are able to do it, thank your stars, you’re still safe. Shoot mails to everyone who may have received those inappropriate mails from you apologizing for the inconvenience and also let them know that your mailbox was forged. Thereafter, if you have used the same password to login to other apps, change them there too.
Hijacking is perhaps the nastier one between the two because in this case the crooks will have access to your account and probably is controlling your PC too. So, all types of inappropriate mails, messages, desktop modifications, random apps and popups on your screen that you’ve never initiated for – you know it could all be due to a security breach. A hijacker hijacks a system or a mailbox completely and changes the password and every other security setting just to ensure that you have no claim over it.
Yes, this is scarier. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it!
To be able to find out whether you have been spoofed or hijacked, attempt to change your password. If you can change it, like in the case of a spoof, you have some consolation. However, if you aren’t able to reset it, immediately raise your concerns with the respective authorities and keep fingers crossed.
If your Gmail account has been compromised, fill in the account recovery form to reset your account. This may take some time and patience; so be prepared. If your Outlook account was breached, you will have to contact Microsoft to be able to recover from the hack and even restore the deleted accounts. There is help available in the official websites of the mail clients – browse through the information and do the needful.
Once you’ve recovered your mailbox and data, either after you’ve been spoofed or your account hacked into, remember to set up your mailbox from scratch.
- Set up a strong password.
- Update your installed security solution.
- Avoid opening unsolicited mails or spam links.
- And, at all times, remain safe by practicing other online security tips.
This should take care of the issue for now; but you never know, there could be something else round the corner – so, watch out…