(redirected from Phishers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Financial.
Related to Phishers: piles, fissures


("brand spoofing", "carding", after "fishing") /fishing/ Sending e-mail that claims to be from some well-known organisation, e.g. a bank, to trick the recipient into revealing information for use in identity theft. The user is told to visit a web site where they are asked to enter information such as passwords, credit card details, social security or bank account numbers. The web site usually looks like it belongs to the organisation in question and may silently redirect the user to the real web site after collecting their data.

For example, a scam started in 2003 claimed that the user's eBay account would be suspended unless he updated his credit card information on a given web site.


Pronounced "fishing," it is a scam to steal valuable information such as credit card and social security numbers, user IDs and passwords. Also known as "brand spoofing," an official-looking e-mail is sent to potential victims pretending to be from their bank or retail establishment. E-mails can be sent to people on selected lists or any list, expecting some percentage of recipients will actually have an account with the organization.

E-Mail Is the "Bait"
The e-mail states that due to internal accounting errors or some other pretext, certain information must be updated to continue your service. A link in the message directs the user to a Web page that asks for financial information. The page looks genuine, because it is easy to fake a valid website. Any HTML page on the Web can be copied and modified to suit the phishing scheme. Rather than go to a Web page, another option is to ask the user to call an 800 number and speak with a live person, who makes the scam seem even more genuine.

Anyone Can Phish
A "phishing kit" is a set of software tools from phishing developers that help the novice phisher copy a target website and make mass mailings. It may even include lists of e-mail addresses (how thoughtful of people to create these kits!). In the meantime, if you suspect a phishing scheme, you can report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at See pharming, vishing, smishing and twishing.

"Spear" Phishing and Longlining
Spear phishing is more targeted and personal. The message supposedly comes from someone in the organization everyone knows, such as the head of human resources. It could also come from someone not known by name, but with an authoritative title such as LAN administrator. If even one employee falls for the scheme and divulges sensitive information, it can be used to gain access to more of the company's resources.

The "longline" variant of spear phishing sends thousands of messages to the same person, expecting that the individual will eventually click a link. The longlining term comes from using a large number of hooks and bait on a long fishing line, and mobile phones are major targets for this approach.
References in periodicals archive ?
Allow phishers to use stolen username and password without any hassle.
Phishers mimicked the logo displayed by the legitimate brand to help fraudulent sites to look authentic.
Unbeknown to the phishers, the author of the kit has programmed a back door into the kit which allows him to harvest all the credentials collected by the various phishers using it.
Phishers trying to pose as a company are unlikely to send email from the company's official email address.
As long as spammers and phishers continue to work together and find innovative ways to pass through the defenses of online financial institutions, as long as these cyber criminals are able to find ways to hide their identities and locations, and as long as Internet users are not updated with each and every new spam and phishing technique, phishing and spam are here to stay.
SurfControl submitted fake information to the phisher to examine the method employed by the scammers.
Phishers wish to irrationally alarm recipients into providing sensitive information without thinking clearly about the repercussions.
The phishers are taking advantage of a an apparent security configuration error on the real US Government website, which is allowing them to redirect visitors to a bogus website.
Phishers email users pretending to be their bank or building society and ask for credit card details.
the Do-Not-Disturb registry pioneer, has issued the first report of its kind that details how spammers and phishers are exploiting Web sites to create visitor profiles for spamming and phishing attacks.
Within minutes, phishers can con individuals into fraudulent Web sites, steal their account information and forge checks, transfer funds or make purchases.
Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons as well.