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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 ?
A 28–year–old man has been killed by a shark while spear fishing off Yorke Peninsula, near Adelaide, Australia.
CHRIS FROOME goes spear fishing - and if he makes it to heaven in Paris next month, he will be playing his golden harpoon.
CHRIS FROOME goes spear fishing to catch his dinner - now he aims to become the Codfather of the Tour de France.
He is a member of Suncoast Community Church and enjoys golfing, fishing, spear fishing and diving.
One specimen (282 mm Tl) captured by spear fishing at 10 m depth in a rocky shore habitat, at Playa Blanca: south of Iquique, northern Chile (20[degrees]20'S, 70[degrees]09'W) 27.
Depending on circumstance and personality, the New Zealand summer can be very lazy indeed, or full of athletic vigour--tramping up mountains, surfing, spear fishing and so on.
For example, instead of rehashing well-worn stories about battles over spear fishing, Indian gaming, or sovereignty, Treuer turns to other voices to help him solidify his arguments regarding these topics.
Sixteen-year-old Yasser Lopez was spear fishing with a friend when he was accidentally shot by a spear-gun which went off as the pair were loading the weapons on deck.
CHOICE Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve (8pm) On the coast of Madagascar, the eponymous adventurer (left) goes spear fishing, Later, in the Seychelles, he meets a man who is transforming his island into the planet's smallest national park.
Species-specific restrictions are not possible because humpback whitefish and least cisco, as well as round whitefish (Prosopium tylindraceum) and the occasional broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), often occupy the same areas in the river concurrently, and it is difficult to distinguish among species while spear fishing.
I don't think spear fishing is allowed in the Seychelles, but it would sensible for me to take some kind of protection so I'll take a spear of some kind.
Coming up, he goes spear fishing in Greece, cooks fermented herring in Sweden and paella in Andalucia.