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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," phishing 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 any list, expecting that 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 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 asks 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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
For this study, any site domain whose age is below 3 months is regarded as a phishing site otherwise it is a legitimate one.
When features of a site are similar to the ones of a phishing site, the entry site will be identified as a phishing one.
We actively monitor similar domain names registered by phishers as that of the bank in order to bring down any phishing sites.
Be careful when typing Web addresses into your browser so a typo doesn't land you at a phishing site by mistake.
When a site is determined to be a potential Phishing site, the ZILLAbar displays a Phishing Alert in real time.
For example, modules in the software can notify you if you are visiting a known phishing site or if you are being redirected to a Web site that looks like the one you want to visit but is actually a fake.
When a possible phishing site is identified, AOL limits access to the site though the AOL client and informs any member who attempts to visit it
Another phishing technique, also reported in Brazil, involved using a secretly installed Trojan to redirect an affected user's internet browser to a phishing site, even when the legitimate URL of the online bank was typed into the address bar.
If anything, there are probably more "lures" of all types being generated, but with the destination being an exploit site with a drive-by download that infects users directly with malware, rather than a phishing site that attempts to steal credentials via social engineering.
The phishing site was hosted on servers based in Lansing, Michigan in the US.
Batelco Group media relations general manager Ahmed Al Janahi said a number of customers have reported receiving e-mails asking them to 'resolve your accounts' where a link in the e-mail redirects customers to a phishing site that has the look and feel of Batelco e-Services, but in fact has nothing to do with the company.
Once these steps are followed the phishing site generates a Java code, which the user is then prompted to use.