THE MAGAZINE

Defining Moment

By Peter Piazza

Most bank robbers wear a mask or otherwise attempt to disguise themselves when they carry out their robberies. Likewise, online miscreants are eager to put on another persona when they launch attacks or send spam. And that’s even easier in the virtual environment than it is in flesh and blood. For example, they can send a spam message that appears to come from someone you know and trust, thus increasing the chances that you’ll open the message. What is this technique called?

Hint: In other contexts, this word can mean “parody” or “lampoon.”

Answer: Spoof

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