Saturday, June 22, 2013

Phishing - what you need to know

"Caveat emptor" (buyer beware!)

Webopedia defines phishing as "(fish'ing) (n.) The act of sending an email to a user
falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft" Phishing is the fastest growing email method for theft and hoaxes. Just as with other internet malware, its sophistication is growing as quickly as the technology and awareness to detect it. Phishers use a number of different tactics and these in turn have coined a number of new words. Among these are:

Pharming - directs a recipient to a false website
Smishing - the use of SMS for phishing
Vishing - voice or voice over IP phishing
Evil twin - wireless phishing
Obfuscated url - a disguised address or website. The author has also coined the word "Phacade"  for the same method

All of these tactics share the common attribute of deceptively gaining a reader's trust and confidence, usually with emotional appeal or with utilizing well know names, brands or organizations. When these methods are successful, they allow the criminal to open credit card accounts, empty bank accounts, log into program's databases or commit dozens of others crimes. My next blog will address reporting identity theft.

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Paul Babicki
+Serkan Gecmen
"Good Netiquette Writing!"