Email Security – How to Avoid Spoofing! & Best Practices

eecpa email1

Email Spoofing! – Email Best Practices

“It looks like you have you been hacked!” What a Monday morning wake-up call! From 0-60 in less than 1 second! First, let me re-assure you that our systems and private servers were not hacked, but we did find that one of our staff responded to an inquiry from a government agency that started this email spoof. Here is what we learned after several hours with our private IT team as well as Google Security…

How to Avoid Spoofing

A. Identify

Bad Email

  1. Confirm message sender. In this case, the message sender is the government agent that we have been communicating with, thus no problem yet.
  1. Be careful of the logo. Although this logo is the same as the Google Drive logo, this is not the message that you would see if I shared a file with you on Google Drive. Rather, you would see something that looked like this…

3. Key Indicator – Link Address & Domain Name

If you hover over the attachment here, you will see that the link address (bottom left hand corner of your screen)is…https://drive.google.com/a/eecpa.com/file/d/0B96XG2O1QihJQ2Z5SktzY2tvY2s/view?usp=sharing_eid&ts=575d59c5

Notice that it is coming from eecpa.com NOT some strange IP address.

Now, if you were to look back at the original message from Wyoming Department  of Revenue and hover over the “Click Here to View”, you will see in the bottom left hand corner of the screen that this is actually coming from….http://lanixeng.com/bami/pagedoc/dbacfd4c3be243d26bf35df6ee2d26fb/

If the email were actually from the Wyoming Dept of Revenue, then you would expect to see wyo.gov in the link address, but you do not. This is the key!

 

B. Follow Best Practices

       Now, say that you fail to identify the email as a “Phishing Scheme” and you click the link anyway….

  1. NEVER enter your email address & email password into any request. eeCPA (or any other professional organization) will NEVER ask you to enter your personal email password into any document/request that we send.

If you use Google Apps, OneDrive (Microsoft), Box, DropBox, etc, you will login to your own account and you will see the document that we shared with you under “Shared with Me”.

  1. Contact the sender if you find a suspicious email.
  2. Change your email password often and do not share it with others!
  3. Use a Password Manager. Google’s Smart Lock (we are huge google fans here!) is awesome. It uses 2-factor authentication and makes it super easy to login to multiple devices automatically.
  4. Review the security of your email often by checking your account access & security settings within your email provider

 

Conclusion

Security is key in today’s business environment. Be aware and trust your gut if something just doesn’t seem right. A quick text or call to verify could potentially save hours of your time. We spend quite a bit of time at eeCPA on resolving security issues for our clients. Credit card fraud, identity theft, occupational fraud and cybercrime are on the rise. Here are some very real (and disheartening) statistics….

In 2014, Payment Card Fraud = $7.86 Billion in US and $16.31 Billion Worldwide

Source: The Nilson Report

There were 17.6 Million US Residents that experienced Identity Theft in 2014

Source: US Department of Justice

Median Loss from a single case of occupational fraud was $150,000

Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

In 2015, there were 288,012 cybercrime complaints received, with losses reported of $1.07 Billion

Source: FBI

Be aware and contact us if you need any advice!