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Phishing Attack Meaning

Phishing is electronic communication's fraudulent used to take and deceive the user's advantage. Phishing attacks try to grab confidential and sensitive information like network credentials, credit card details, passwords, usernames, and much more. By representing as an appropriate institution and individual via email or phone, cyber attackers apply social engineering for manipulating victims into executing particular attacks- such as click on any malicious attachment or link, or admitting confidential information.

Organizations and individuals both are at high risk; almost every organizational and personal data is valuable. In addition, a few scams of phishing can target enterprise data for supporting state-backed spying or espionage efforts on the opposition groups.

"Phish" is just like it is spelled. It is pronounced as the "fish" word. This term was introduced in the middle of 1990s between hackers objecting for tricking AOL users into providing the login data. The "ph" can be described as any part of the tradition of whimsical hacker spelling. Probably, it was affected by the "phreaking" term. It means "phone phreaking". It was an early way of hacking which involved playing music tones into mobile handsets for getting phone calls free of cost.

Methods of Phishing

Most often, phishing attempts to start with the email attempting for obtaining various kinds of sensitive information from a few user interactions, like download any affected attachment or click on any malicious link.

  • An email can present with many links that can spoof legitimate URLs from link manipulation. These manipulated links can feature a subdomain's usage or subtle misspellings.
  • The scams of phishing may utilize website forgery. It employs various commands of JavaScript for making the website URL illustrate legitimate.
  • With covert redirection, the attackers may corrupt various legitimate websites along using malicious dialog boxes (pop-up) that redirect every to the phishing website.
  • Infected attachments, like .exe files PDF documents, and Microsoft Office files can install ransomware or various other malware.

Note: Also, the scams of phishing can employ social media tools, text messages, and phone calls for tricking victims into giving sensitive information.

Examples of Phishing Attacks

The following examples represent the common attempts of phishing scams:

  • Tax season messages: Scammers transfers messages about text issues in tax season.
  • Google Dropbox/doc/file-sharing notification: In this type of phishing attack, the subject line can be "Marry has shared the Google Docs with you." inside the messages body. It is the fake link that links the file or document.
  • USPS/ UPS/ FedEx shipping notification: This message can be, "we couldn't deliver your product. Print and review complete shipping details of your order." It is the fake notification regarding the package.
  • Credit card or bank concerns: A fake message explains to the recipient that there is a problem with their credit card account or bank account.

Phishing Attacks Types

A few phishing scams specific types that uses targeted methods for attacking certain organizations and individuals.

The different types of phishing attacks are:

Phishing Attack Meaning

Spear Phishing

The email messages of spear-phishing would not look as irregular as the normal phishing attempts. Often, attackers will gather data about the targets for filling emails with authentic context. A few attackers create highly personalized messages and hijack organizational email communications.

Clone Phishing

Various attackers are capable to view appropriate and previously distributed email messages. They can create an identical clone of it, or copy. After that, te link is modified for something mischievous.


Specifically, whaling attack targets senior or high profile executives in the enterprises. Often, the whaling attempt's content will appear like any high-level managerial business or other legal communications.

Phishing Attack Prevention

Phishing attacks security needs steps to be grabbed by both enterprises and users.

Vigilance is the key for users. Often, the spoofed messages include subtle errors that disclose the true identity. It can also include spelling changes or errors to the names of the domain. Also, users must stop thinking about how they are getting information like email.

The step's number could be taken for mitigating both spear and phishing attacks for enterprises:

  • 2FA (Two-factor Authentication) is one of the effective techniques for phishing attacks. It will include an additional layer of verification while logging into any sensitive applications. This method depends on users including two conditions: something they have, like their smartphone, and something they know, like user name or password. Two-factor authentication prevents the credential's usage since these are not sufficient for gaining entry.
  • Organizations must enforce any strict password authority policies in addition for applying 2FA. For example, workers must be needed to modify the passwords and also not permitted for reusing the password for several applications.
  • Also, educational campaigns may support diminish ant threat of phishing attacks by accomplishing secure practices, like not pressing on outer email links.

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