It used to be that to steal your money and documents, burglars had to either break into your home or ambush you in a dark alley. Now scammers have moved into the digital world. Today, all they need to do is send out a mass mailing of malware for someone to get hooked. The name of this type of fraud is phishing. Let’s discuss such “fishing” and how an ordinary user can protect himself.
It used to be that to steal your money and documents or hack your online casino account, or steal your dragon tiger game winning money, and thieves had to either break into your home or ambush you in a dark alley. Now, scammers have moved into the digital world. Today, all they need to do is send out a mass mailing of malware for someone to get hooked. The name of this type of fraud is phishing. Let’s discuss such “fishing” and how an ordinary user can protect himself.
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What is phishing on the Internet, and where can it be encountered?
What does phishing mean? The term went from the word fishing. Only the ph at the beginning of the word is a tribute by hackers to phreaking, an old form of phone hacking. Hackers aim to drop bait in the form of an email or malicious link on a site and inattentive hook users to steal personal information, an account or money from a bank card.
Anywhere you have access to the web, a phishing attack can happen. You can be hacked through email, social media, phone conversations, and clone pages. Sometimes it is enough for hackers to accidentally click the checkbox, just like hundreds of other random users, to confirm your consent to the attackers’ actions. Sometimes, a fraudster monitors your online activity and waits for the best moment to steal your data and the data of the company where you work.
The popularity of phishing among hackers
Phishing is one of the most common and successful attack methods among hackers. And this is quite understandable: it is tough to find a malicious user, mass mailings are very profitable, and 2023 it is straightforward for even a novice coder to become a malware developer. Rest assured:
- Phishing will be with us for a long time to come.
- The methods will become more sophisticated with every year.
- It is unlikely that it will ever be eradicated.
Purposes of phishing
Phishing aims to get your confidential information, login and password, and bank account number or card number with cherished digits on the back to sell your data. Or for example, an attacker could steal your identity to open your bookmaker’s account or take out a loan.
Popular types of phishing and how they work
There are various types of phishing, and every year there are more and more of them. We have collected the most popular of them, which any network user has encountered at least once.
It has been the most widespread type of phishing since the 90s. Hackers send phishing emails with all sorts of tricks: you are a relative of a deceased Nigerian prince and must receive some inheritance, your favourite store is having a sudden sale of 90% (you need to click the link below), or your account is hacked and must be restored on another website.
If you’ve hacked your account and clicked on a promotional link, it’s as simple: fraudsters on a fake site force you to enter your username and password to either restore or log in to your account. The result is the same: hackers write down this data for themselves and immediately change the password from your account so that you can’t do anything with it anymore. Then they also try to use this data on other sites, looking for a match.
This phishing attack is more severe since it targets a specific company rather than just one person. The hacker stalks a group of employees, searches for information about them in public sources and then sends an email, allegedly from a colleague, to the most vulnerable employee, containing detailed instructions on “what, where and how to enter” for the next task. The victim suspects nothing and ends up providing personal account information or distributing malware within the organization.
Our favorite bank employees try to save the user from an illegal transfer or someone else’s credit, and then politely ask for a code from a text message. This type of scam often works against very trusting and soft people whose sense of anxiety reaches a critical point because of the pressure during a real conversation with a supposedly professional who wants to help him.
It is fraud through a fake website, which is no different in appearance from the original. Only its address bar gives the clone away. How hackers lead users to such sites:
- Through search engines.
- By targeting employee tracking with subsequent page spoofing in the work email.
- Through a mailing list.
- Another subtype of web phishing is downloading and installing malware after clicking the “Allow” button on a fake browser notification.
Phishing on social networks
It is the same as email or web phishing, only in social networks or messengers. For example, scammers create fake accounts for a well-known company, send out links to clone sites and steal information. Or a user accidentally found a fake social network page through web phishing, where access is blocked because of suspicious activity, and only a phone number will supposedly unblock the account.
Hackers sometimes hack into lists of people who have booked a hotel and send them links with fake accounts in messengers.
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