content spoofing

Content spoofing is a type of exploit used by a malicious hackers to present a faked or modified Web site to the user as if it were legitimate. The intent is, typically, to defraud victims (as in phishing) although sometimes the purpose is simply to misrepresent an organization or an individual. Content spoofing often exploits an established trust relationship between a computer user and an organization.

The attacker typically leads an Internet user to spoofed content through e-mail, bulletin-board postings and chat-room transmissions. In some cases, an attacker may modify information and links in an established Web site by accessing and altering content on the server. The latter type of content spoofing is more difficult to detect because there is no readily apparent difference to the casual observer.

The most dangerous content spoofing is done with DHTML (dynamic HTML) content sources such as forms and log-in applications. When a Web page with spoofed content is viewed by an Internet user, the location bar displays what appears to be a legitimate URL. However, the attacker has generated or altered by the page. As a result, when the user enters sensitive data (such as a credit card number, password, bank account number, birth date, or Social Security number), the attacker can obtain the data for identity theft or some other fraudulent purpose.

This was last updated in September 2006

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