An IdenTrust Secure Email (S/MIME) certificate is issued to your confirmed email address and is used to sign and encrypt email communications. A digitally signed email provides assurance to the recipient that the email originated from your verified email address and that it has not been originated by an attacker. S/MIME technology provides end-to-end encryption to protect any sensitive information exchange.
How bad actors perpetuate fraud
Email fraud is commonplace and frequently used by cyber attackers. Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a one of the sophisticated phishing spoof attack that impersonates a high-level executive and attempts to trick an employee or customer into transferring sensitive information or money. The playbook for BEC scammers is fairly consistent, with several common techniques. One that has been costly for public and private organizations alike is the “false invoices” scam, where scammers pose as vendors and request wires to fraudulent accounts. When using a Secure Email (S/MIME) certificate, signed and encrypted email messages are protected while in transit from the sender to the receiver. By clicking on the signature seal, the email recipient will have assurance that the digital certificate used to sign the email was in control of the sender at the time of issuance and that tampering of the signed contents has not occurred.
Sometimes bad actors will even work to compromise email credentials of real professionals associated with an organization or spoof an email address that looks nearly identical to the vendor’s information. Implementing a routine practice where senders sign emails using Secure Email (S/MIME) certificates and recipients routinely confirm the signature, creates assurance that a hacker has not stolen the sender’s email credentials or spoofed their email address.
Another scenario is known as “CEO fraud”, where criminals email members of the organization while spoofing or stealing the CEO’s email identity, then requesting credentials or payment. Likewise, bad actors can also pose as part of the IT team or other department with “authority” to gain credentials from high-level executives and other professionals with the intent to perpetrate multi-phase scams.
Use of a Secure Email (S/MIME) certificate to sign emailed communications, protects against compromise of an individual’s email identity and establishes email address ownership.
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