UncommonX Blog

Combating Third-Party Domain Spoofing

Domain spoofing continues to make headlines as companies fall victim to financial losses resulting from threat actors who exploit unprotected networks. The consequences can be severe, impacting financial transactions and the integrity of relationships between established customers and their respective third-party vendors.

In fact, the Justice Department recently announced the seizure of four domains used by the customers of a domain spoofing service. The domains were seized after dozens of administrators were arrested. The spoofing service operated through the LabHost domain, which is connected to a Russian Internet infrastructure company.

In this blog post, we explore the growing cyber risk of domain spoofing, how organizations are currently addressing it, and a new approach IT and cybersecurity teams should consider as part of their larger cyber resilience programs to not only address domain spoofing, but prevent it from happening entirely in the first place.

What Is Domain Spoofing?

As the name implies, domain spoofing involves creating a domain name that closely resembles a legitimate one, often by altering characters that are easy to miss at a glance. These deceptive domains are used to send emails or host websites, giving the illusion of authenticity to unsuspecting victims.

The goal of domain spoofing is often to steal sensitive information or direct payments to fraudulent accounts. For example, a vendor's email system becomes compromised, fake domain names and email addresses are created and the vendor’s unsuspecting customers are asked to send invoice payments to a new account.

When those customers reply to the email, their message is then captured by the bad actors who complete the transaction. In many instances, if the customers verify the change request by means of a phone call, the ruse is stopped. However, many customers do not have this process in place, have not trained their financial departments to be aware of this, or simply unknowingly make the change and send the money to the new account.

Once the money is transferred, the bad actors collect the money from the account and close it. This affects both the vendor, who does not collect the money from their invoice, and the customer, who may be subject to pay again to a legitimate account, depending on the genesis of the issue.

Different Types of Domain Spoofing:

Traditional Human Intervention Approaches

Traditionally, combating domain spoofing has relied heavily on training employees to recognize and report suspicious emails. Techniques such as verifying changes in payment details by phone or double-checking email addresses have been used to prevent fraudulent transactions.

When done consistently, human invervention can make a meaningful difference. However, these methods place a significant burden on individuals and are not foolproof, as they depend on human vigilance and can be circumvented by sophisticated phishing tactics.

A New Solution for Combating Domain Spoofing

Recently, the UncommonX team observed an increase in domain spoofing events among customers and their third-party vendors. Human intervention alone will not combat domain spoofing, nor will traditional cybersecurity tools because these threats are a function of social engineering, not system alerting.

With this in mind, UncommonX has developed a new solution called Interrogated Networks. This solution provides customers with the insights necessary to understand all the various versions of their domains that could be used in spoofing attempts.

This new Interrogated Networks solution actively monitors and analyzes domain registrations and DNS traffic to identify potentially malicious activities associated with domain spoofing. By knowing what is being registered, proactive blocking of these domains can be put in place, stopping the spoofed domain from ever coming into the customer network environment.

Do You Have Complete Visibility?

Adopting UncommonX’s Interrogated Networks is another step toward a broader cyber resilience strategy. This proactive approach not only reduces the reliance on human intervention, but also enhances the speed and accuracy of detecting spoofing activities before they can cause harm.

As domain spoofing continues to evolve, so must the strategies to combat it. UncommonX’s Interrogated Networks offers an innovative and effective solution that minimizes the risk of domain spoofing, particularly in the context of third-party vendor interactions.

If you would like to learn more about UncommonX Interrogated Networks contact our team today at hello@uncommonx.com.

About the Author

SOC Team of Security Experts - At the center of our U.S.-based Security Operations Center (SOC) is a distinctly skilled team of security architects, engineers, analysts, and data scientists. Each is an expert in their respective field and dedicated to protecting our customers 24/7.

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