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What is Cloning in Cyber Security: A Simple Expert Reveal

What is Cloning in Cyber Security
Cyber Security / Data Security

What is Cloning in Cyber Security: A Simple Expert Reveal

Ever clicked a link that seemed official only to later realize that it wasn’t and in fact, it had the wrong domain? Well, I hate to break it to you but you were the victim of cloning in a cyberattack.

But what is cloning in cyber security? And how can you best protect yourself from it?

What is cloning in cyber security?

In cyber security, cloning is the process of creating the exact copy of another application document, software, or program. This may result in users clicking and opening malicious links.

Clone phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which cyber attackers manipulate their attackers into clicking malicious emails and links that are wrapped as legitimate.

The difference between clone phishing and regular phishing attacks is that the data remains intact even though it has been duplicated. Cybercriminals seek to fool employees to give sensitive data such as business passwords.

Signs of clone phishing

  • Urgent language – Cyber attackers will use rushing language to get you to take action. The trick is to entice you to give up your personal information. It’s essential to double-check if the domain links you are clicking are secure.
  • Different domain extensions – Depending on the brand contacting you, attackers can have domain extensions that are different to steal your data. For example, cybercriminals use ‘.net ‘ while legitimate brand uses ‘ com.’
  • Grammatical and spelling errors – Pay attention to typos in the messages you receive. Most legitimate brands take time to craft zero-error messages. Hackers, however, may slip and send error messages targeting to steal your information.

What are the types of phishing?

There are two major types of clone phishing. These are:

  1. Vishing – The attack is accomplished through a voice call. An attacker calls to tricky you so that they have detected viruses on your computer. Then they ask for your personal credentials like credit card or email log-ins. This results in attackers installing malware into your device compromising your confidential information.
  2. Whaling – As the name suggests, the attack is meant for the whales – CEO and top managers in an organization. The attack may compromise critical data in the company.

How is clone phishing carried out?

Cloning in cyber security can be carried out in several ways. Here are the most common ways in which cloning occurs:

Account hijacking

This is the process of a cybercriminal stealing an individual’s computer or email account and gaining access through their computer device. It’s a type of hack where the stolen account information is used to do unauthorized and malicious acts.

Password reuse

The effectiveness of passwords has been in question due to password reuse attacks. According to a survey conducted by Google, 65% of people tend to use the same password across multiple internet services.

The main problem is the difficulty to remember different passwords across different services and devices. For organizations, this is very risky and leads to business collapse or heavy ransoms.

We recommend organizations spread cybercrime awareness among their employees and equip them with the skills to prevent such attacks.

Phishing attacks

The most common phishing attack is deceptive phishing. Cybercriminals impersonate legitimate individuals or companies to steal their personal information or log-in credentials.

Deceptive phishing may include;

Malicious attackers redirect with links or time bombings to steal email information without raising red flags.

  • Attackers use minimal content like images instead of text to entice victims to click links.
  • Other cybercriminals use legitimate links to hide phishing attacks. It’s often done by including legit contact information.


Botnet attacks use a group of bots connected to perform a cyber attack. Attackers can remotely take control of victim devices and simultaneously perform attacks like;

  • Data breach – These botnets are designed to steal confidential information like credit card and bank details.
  • DDoS attacks – Distributed denial of service attacks use multiple botnets to send massive amounts of requests targeting websites or servers dimming them inaccessible to users.
  • Spam attacks – They are used to spread malware using botnets that send billions of phishing messages per day to a device.

Automated attacks

These are cyber threats that use complex bots to spread large amounts of malicious attacks repeatedly. The attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications and devices.

One of the most common automated attacks is credential stuffing. Cybercriminals use already compromised passwords or login details obtained from another data breach.

Cookie poisoning manipulation

Cookie poisoning is a cyber-attack done by forging or manipulating HTTP cookies. The attack aims to fool the web user that the attacker is a legitimate user. The attack works against user sessions in the following ways;

  • Session spoofing happens when the user is not logged in. Attackers use old sessions to launch new sessions to impersonate legitimate users.
  • Session fixation happens when hackers supply a session identifier like a phishing email that tricks the user into logging into a vulnerable site.
  • Session hijacking happens when the attacker takes over the user’s details while they are still logged in to a particular site.

How to prevent cloning

Preventing cloning cyberattacks is better than trying to mitigate cyber crimes that have already happened.  Organizations can prevent cyberattacks by being proactive.

The most common action step is to incorporate higher cyber security measures such as using advanced software and training their employees. Other ways to prevent cloning include;

Security awareness training

Employee cyber security awareness training is frankly boring but very essential to an organization. This awareness can start with equipping stakeholders with the skills to understand the nature of Cybersecurity threats. Other ways to reduce this vulnerability include;

  • Improving response rates for cyber security threats and phishing attacks.
  • Improving compliance with the requirements detailed by regulatory standards, ensuring that procedures and processes are standardized across the organization.
  • Streaming cyber security protocols across digital assets to optimize organization productivity.

Ensure link authenticity

Before clicking any suspicious links, check their authenticity first. Link authentication employs a combination of sensitive information like passwords, QR codes, and digital signatures.

If the URL looks suspicious or uses different domain extensions, avoid clicking such links. Also, it’s essential to double-check the email senders of such links as cybercriminals clones legitimate emails to lure victims.

Implement anti-spam software

Anti-spam software help prevents or minimizes cyberattacks. The software will help. An organization can also work with the managed security service provider ( MSSP) to help you get the right anti-spam software provider.

Secure your email credential

Email still being the primary way of communicating, you can’t be too careful when securing your email credentials from cyberattacks. It’s essential to double-check email addresses as malicious viruses are known to use existing emails for the attack.

Encrypting your email to prevent cloning has several benefits that include;

  • You get streamlined compliance with regulatory encryption requirements
  • Easy and fast to detect spam with in-built encryption email tools
  • Built-in encryption reduces the need to spend on third-party security services.
  • It offers greater confidence in privacy protection during data transmission

Tips for defending against cloning in cyber security

  • Take time to carefully evaluate each email you receive before clicking any links or document attachments.
  • Double-check pop-up errors when attempting to check a website.
  • If the email you receive is strange in any way, contact the email sender via phone call to confirm the legitimacy of the message.
  • Keep an eye on suspicious signatures or email subject lines.
  • Scan attachments for viruses and malicious codes
  • Watch out for suspicious domain extensions that look similar to websites you often visit.


Well, we hope we answered the question of what is cloning in cyber security and helped you with proactive ways to avoid being the victim of a cyber attack.

Cybercriminals attack computers or any devices to steal sensitive personal or corporate data for malicious activities. Some of these cloning phishing attack target high-profile individuals in organizations that may lead to legal consequences.

The best way to prevent cloning attacks of any form is by being proactive with anti-spam software, and usage of encryption tools to secure critical data. For individuals, it’s essential to get awareness training on cyber security and how to spot any cybercrime activities before they cause serious damage.

Interested in a career in Cyber security? We could help you with that. We have a list of certified courses to help you kickstart a career in cyber security. Check out our courses section or get in touch to get started.