phishing

(redirected from Fake websites)
Also found in: Dictionary, Financial.

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," phishing is a scam to steal valuable information by tricking novice users into handing over credit card and social security numbers, user IDs and passwords. Email was the original phishing "bait;" however, any means whereby users voluntarily divulge sensitive information may be considered phishing. For example, malicious apps in the Amazon Alexa and Google Home virtual assistants have been known to trick users for their passwords.

How Email Phishing Works
Also known as "brand spoofing," an official-looking email is sent to potential victims pretending to be from their bank or retail establishment. Emails can be sent to people on any list, expecting that some percentage will actually have an account with the organization.

The email states that due to internal accounting errors or some other pretext, certain information must be updated to continue 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 Web page can be copied and modified to suit the phishing scheme (see website copying). Instead of a Web page, the user may be asked 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 that help the novice phisher copy a target website and make mass mailings. The kit may even include lists of email addresses. See pharming, vishing, smishing, twishing and social engineering.

"Spear" Phishing and Longlining
Spear phishing is more targeted and personal because the message supposedly comes from someone in the organization everyone knows, such as the head of human resources. It could also come from a made-up name 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 company 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.

Report a Suspected Scheme
Any suspected phishing scheme can be reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at www.antiphishing.org.
References in periodicals archive ?
"This new system will not only curb fake websites but also benefit genuine websites.
"The fake websites use names and logos of known and trustworthy websites to deal and invest money in shares and currencies.
In a public awareness message, the Indian Embassy advised visa applicants to beware of fake websites.
Muscat : The Indian Embassy in the Oman has warned people not to fall victim to fraudsters operating a fake website claiming to offer visas.
He said 'Those fake websites are even using exact names and logos of the famous brands that anyone can hardly feel the difference between original and the fake ones',
They would then proceed to load the fake website or Facebook account with the same fake news they may have posted on Twitter or other social accounts in anticipation of tricking those who will try and cross-check the fake news.
Atiq underlined that some fake websites claim stock exchange business and these websites can be checked by 'alexa.com' - a tool for monitoring traffic and history of the website.
'After getting the money for the application, those running the fake websites send the forms to the ministry to issue the e-visa, but we always catch their IP address and do not issue one because the ministry does not permit brokers to act in this way,' he said.
"We have served a notice to Google India for carrying paid advertisements for Amul fake websites. As per fake websites, customers have to pay money - Rs 3 to 6 lakhs - to get Amul franchise.
On its Instagram account, the police have cautioned against people who float bogus companies on fake websites and sometimes use names of popular organisations to entice victims, thereby making them transfer money for a job opportunity.
"The general public is hereby advised to exercise extraordinary caution in conducting online transactions so as not to unwittingly fall prey to such other similar fake websites," it warned.