The word spoof was coined by English comedian Arthur Roberts and popularized by a card game that he invented called Spoof, which involved trickery and nonsense. The first recorded reference to the game is in 1884. Soon the word took on the general meaning of ‘nonsense, trickery,’ first recorded in 1889. The verb spoof is first recorded in 1889 as well, in the sense ‘to deceive.’ These senses are now less widely used than the noun meaning of ‘a light parody or satirical imitation,’ first recorded in 1958, and the verb sense ‘to satirize gently,’ first recorded in 1927.

In the context of network security, a spoofing attack is a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data and thereby gaining an illegitimate advantage. Another kind of spoofing is ‘webpage spoofing,’ also known as phishing. In this attack, a legitimate web page such as a bank’s site is reproduced in ‘look and feel’ on another server under control of the attacker. The main intent is to fool the users into thinking that they are connected to a trusted site, for instance to harvest user names and passwords. Spoof is also the name for an object used to mask the odor of marijuana or tobacco smoke. It is most commonly made of a paper towel roll tube stuffed with dryer sheets through which the smoke is blown.

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