A Warning Against the Perils of Email Spoofing

Bo Dietrick

July, 2020

Let’s get this out of the way first: If you received an email correspondence from, what appeared to be, an associate of the Robert Dietrick Company on Friday, July 24, 2020, that said in the body, “Good Morning, Please see the attached document. Password – 366ZD,” this was not from us. Do not open the attachment, and delete the email immediately. Unfortunately, moments like this seem to become more and more frequent in this day and age. With all of the conveniences that email and the Internet provider, there are also great dangers that we need to continually educate ourselves on.

In September 2017, RDC became another small business that fell victim to a ransomware hacking scheme. At this time, the email addresses and address books of our associates were compromised. Beyond the email addresses of our customers and vendors that we work with, no other data, financial or otherwise, was impacted. But we were exposed. Following this breach, RDC invested in a newly formed IT department and enhance digital securities through Microsoft. In this transition, we also changed the email addresses of all employees to begin again with a new, clean slate for online communications.

The scenario described above is probably not foreign to you. In 2017, hackers stole $172 billion through cybercrime. But this does not only affect small businesses. Big businesses and consumers, alike, are targets for hacking and identity theft schemes. In 2013, a Target data breach allowed for the theft of credit card and debit card information of 70 million customers. Cybercrime is a widespread issue and one that we can only beat through group education.

The scenario our business experienced in July 2020 was a side-effect of the 2017 hacking scenario. The old email addresses of our associates are still being used to disguise more malicious intentions. What we experienced recently is known as Spoofing. “Email spoofing occurs when an attacker uses an email message to trick a recipient into thinking it came from a known and/or trusted source. These emails may include links to malicious websites or attachments infected with malware.” If you were the recipient of a vague email that looked like it was from an RDC associate, it was not from us at all but was from an Internet hacker pretending to be us.

But, as mentioned, knowledge is power and maybe the only way to defeat the dastardly attempts of malicious hackers. So, let’s break down the things you should look for to verify if email communication is from the Robert Dietrick Company:

  1. Our email addresses are FirstName.LastName@rd-co.com. If it is anything other than that, it is DEFINITELY not from our organization.

  2. Our communications will NEVER be vague. We will always be specific and if we include an attachment or URL link, we will always explain what the contents are so you understand before you open it. We will never send password-protected attachments, either.
  3. Email communications from anyone with the Robert Dietrick Company will contain a branded email signature, powered by Sigstr, such as the example attached. This signature contains our current brand logo, RDC Industrial Solutions Provider, and a current campaign below. If this email signature is absent from a communication, that is a telltale sign that is not a genuine RDC email communication.

RDC email signature example:

    If you were at all impacted, bothered, annoyed, or alarmed by vague and mischievous email communication, we are sincerely sorry to have drawn you into this challenge we have now been facing for three years. But you can rest assured that the RDC infrastructure has never been more secure. We look forward to continuing to serve your industrial loading dock and in-plant equipment needs to help in your goals of improving productivity, safety, security, and energy efficiency!

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