phishing

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phishing

(security)
("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.

phishing

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 www.antiphishing.org. 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 ?
An eBay spokesperson said: "We have partnered with law enforcement to alert consumers about the type of scams described in the indictment - which involve exploiting well-known, trusted brand names like eBay to attract consumers and then lure them on to fake websites and into fraudulent transactions.
Cocker advised people to think of strong, unique passwords for important online accounts and to be suspicious of spam or phishing messages, which directed them to malicious or fake websites.
Not content with racking up massive profits at venues, touts have been setting up fake websites to draw in gullible fans with promises of concert tickets that sometimes never arrive.
Online shoppers are also open to scams through auction sites and entirely fake websites, say experts from the ACG.
When somebody runs a search for "Justin Bieber" on the Internet, these fake websites have been indexed to appear among the first results displayed.
The cybercriminals used compromised legitimate websites as well as fake websites, utilizing the crimeware toolkit LuckySpoilt to infect visitors.
These bargains are also a popular tool for malware writers to lure users into clicking on malicious links, buying goods from specifically crafted fake websites and often making products seem irresistible to buyers.
In addition, Norton Internet Security for Mac now includes a commercial antiphishing solution for Safari and Firefox browsers, which blocks fake websites and authenticates popular websites.
He said there are also fake websites which offer certain goods for cheap prices and when ordered, the person is asked to transfer money for five mobile phones, for instance.
Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) (NYSE:VZ), a provider of wireless and wireline communications services, has warned its customers of phishing e-mails which ask recipients to enter personal information on fake websites which have been designed to look like genuine company websites.