Crime still doesn’t pay, even if it’s phishing. As with most types of communication, phishing relies on credibility to gain an attacker’s trust. And because the internet is now almost completely decentralized, this tactic can be used with relative impunity from anywhere in the world.
A phishing attack can be initiated in a number of ways. One of the most common ones is to send an e-mail to the victim with a link leading them to believe they are being forwarded to the Bank or some other well-known organization. Once the victim clicks on the link, however, they are taken to a false Web site that is designed to trick them into entering in their personal information. The Web site, for example, could be a spoofed copy of the real Web site with the actual URL changing from “bank1.company.com” to “dec2ber.company.com” shortly after the victim enters their information. Of course, if the user enters their information at this point, the phisher can then use it to steal their money.
Another popular method of phishing is to open a pop-up window with a legitimate-looking e-mail requesting information from the victim. When the victim responds, they are sent a legitimate-looking e-mail back soliciting the information the victim thought they were providing. Once they have harvested all the information they need, they can then make their move.
So how, exactly, are they going to crack down on this widespread problem? One idea is to create algorithms that detect suspicious Web sites and e-mail messages, and warn the user as to their true identity. There are also technologies that can detect the phishing attempt and warn the victim of their impending doom, including technologies that use traces of the badware malware in the background rather than in real-time. Technologies like these can also detect a phishing attempt when the user is entering information on a Website, as well as when the user is instant messaging a friend.
Phishing protection will definitely be a cost-effective concern for home computer users, small businesses, and consumers utilizing the Internet. Discarded computer hardware and software, along with the information gleaned from social networking sites can all be used to source phishing attempts. As long as there is information made available to the baddies, phishing activity can and will occur.
Important information like passwords and credit card numbers are almost impossible to protect. Once a badware software program has your personal information it is truly putting you at risk. With these facts in mind, it really is not that hard to see why computer security takes on a paramount importance in today’s world.
Following are two examples of badware that can be easily acquired by anyone via the Internet.
1. Malware Installer: This type of badware is typically installed via a pop-up or web page on the Internet that appears to be legitimate. Once this type of malware is installed, it can download malicious code to your computer, which can become a dangerous problem.
2. Adware: This is most common type of malware that is downloaded from the Internet. It works by displaying advertisements on your computer, which can be annoying and can slow down your computer. You may sometimes see these advertisements displayed in almost scale to the normal display of Internet Explorer. If you start seeing more advertising displays, your home computer is most likely infected with adware.
Knowing how to protect yourself from these threats can decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Here are some examples of common phishing threats and how to tell if you are being phished.
1. I noticed some companies on the web that are claiming to have the newest software that is guaranteed to detect and get rid of my problem, even if I don’t find it. These companies usually mean to say that their software is free in order to encourage you to download it, once you click on their website. But once you click on their unsubscribe link, you will see that they are actually downloading your problem without paying you for it. Please do not support companies that practice this type of fraudulent practice.
2. I received an email stating that my account will be closed unless I sign in and give them my password. These emails usually come from people that are checking their accounts on the Internet, to make sure that it is there and that it is legitimate. If you get an email like this, do not click on the link. Instead, open your Internet Browser and type in the company’s address to go to their site, support and then contact them directly. Or, if they have a page on their site that has frequently asked for your log in information, go to that page and login from there.
3. These types of emails are called spoofs. Therefore, they will usually have a link to a web site that will appear to have the most relevant content.