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("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 email is sent to potential victims pretending to be from their bank or retail establishment. Emails can be sent to people on selected lists or any list, expecting some percentage of recipients will actually have an account with the organization.

Email Is the "Bait"
The email 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 email 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 ?
Phishing attacks targeting cloud storage providers continued to decline in Q2, signaling a clear shift in targets by phishers.
Phishing kits are common toolkits that phishers employ to automatically build phishing websites using a prepackaged set of website files [7].
If phishers require it, they can also hire seasoned hackers
Once the phishers are able to retrieve the sensitive information, they can now use the collected usernames and passwords to ultimately bypass the protection and make use of the accounts for themselves.
According to Symantec, phishers have also put up a misleading log in prompt in the phishing page.
Also, phishers normally create only a few fake pages of a website instead of creating an entire website.
Phishers have also been using the bait of celebrating special occasions.
That means that even if the web sites get shut down, the collected data is still available to the phishers.
Nearly all legitimate e-mail messages from companies to their customers contain an item of information that is not readily available to phishers (name, account number, business name etc) so suspicion should be raised with staff if a generic looking request comes through on email.
lt;p>The phishers send e-mails that direct victims to a fake Web page designed to look like a banking site.
Etisalat has recently sent its subscribers warning emails about attempts by phishers to target its subscribers.
This seemingly plausible ploy is just one of many examples of the way of the way phishers are widening their nets for potential catches.