What is phishing?

meaning of phishing

Phishing is an online fraud technique used by criminals in the computer world to steal bank passwords and other personal information , using them fraudulently.

The expression phishing (pronounced ” fichin “) comes from the English word ” fishing “, which means “fishing”. In other words, criminals use this technique to “fish” for the data of the victims who “bite the hook” launched by the phisher (“ fisherman ”), the name given to those who carry out phishing .

A phishing attempt can occur through fake websites or emails that imitate the image of a famous and trusted company to attract the attention of victims. Typically, the contents of phishing websites or emails promise extravagant promotions to the Internet user or ask them to update their bank details, avoiding account cancellation, for example.

The most inattentive and uninformed Internet user, when he falls into this trap, is redirected to a web page similar to that of the original company or bank, where he must provide his personal and bank details. The victim thinks that he is only confirming his information with the bank, when in fact she is sending all the data to a criminal.

The goal of phishing is to use the data collected by criminals to make purchases over the Internet, bank transfers, or even wipe out the victim’s entire bank account.

Many companies are now developing anti-phishing software that offers more efficient spam filters and notifications of any suspected irregularities in email content.

Phishing and pharming

Pharming (pronounced “ farmin ” ) is considered an “evolution” of phishing , which has the same objective of obtaining personal information from victims, but without the need to “fish” the Internet user with a fake email or link.

Phishing and malware

Criminals take advantage of malware and viruses that circulate on the Internet to infect and modify the browser (web browser) of the user’s computer. Being infected, when the Internet user writes the electronic address of a website, the browser redirects the page to a fake website, but with the same aesthetic characteristics as the original.

The Internet user thinks that he is on the right website, since he has not clicked on any strange link or typed the address directly into the browser ‘s URL , and ends up providing his bank and personal details more easily, without suspecting that he is being cheated.

spear phishing

Spear phishing (literally translated from English as “ spear fishing ”) is a more effective variant of phishing , where phishers can determine which users are associated with a particular financial institution.

Thus, emails are sent in a “personalized” way, considerably increasing the margin of success of fraud.

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