Skip to main content

Home Content spoofing

Content spoofing

(also content spoofing attack, content injection, arbitrary text injection, virtual defacement)

Content spoofing definition

Content spoofing is a cyberattack that injects additional malicious elements into the content shown to the victim. These attacks rely on injection vulnerabilities in web applications, typically altering parameter values where applications fail to properly handle user-supplied data.

Content spoofing is often used in conjunction with other cyberattacks, particularly phishing attempts.

See also: XSS, UXSS, angler phishing, spear phishing, cyberattack, HTML Injection, PHP injection, XML Injection, code injection

Content spoofing attack examples

  • Phishing: With content spoofing, attackers can present seemingly legitimate elements to victims that will redirect them to fake pages to steal their credentials or prompt them to download malware.
  • Drive-by downloads: In rare cases, content spoofing attacks may inject malicious code into legitimate websites to enable drive-by downloads against visitors. When the victim enters the compromised site, the code will automatically try to download malware on their device.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS): Similar to drive-by downloads above, attackers may inject malicious JavaScript code into applications or websites that will be executed on the victim’s browser. XSS is not limited to downloading malware on the victim’s device and may be used to directly steal sensitive information.

Stopping content spoofing attacks

  • Anti-phishing practices. Check links before you click them to make sure they’re legitimate, and always verify the authenticity of the website you’re taken to.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an additional security step to accessing your accounts, preventing attackers from breaking in with just your stolen credentials.
  • Update your system and software. Content spoofing attackers typically exploit injection vulnerabilities to add malicious elements. Once discovered, these vulnerabilities are eliminated through security patches.
  • Use Threat Protection Pro. NordVPN’s Threat Protection Pro will intervene when a link would take you to a malicious website — for example, when you clicked on a link added via content spoofing. In addition, Threat Protection Pro scans each file you download for malware.