What Is Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a form of fraud in which attackers in e-mail or other forms pose as a reputable entity or person. They use phishing emails to spread malicious links or attachments that perform a variety of functions. Deceptive phishing is popular among cyber criminals because it is easier to get someone to click on malicious links in a legitimate phishing email than to break through computer defence. 

Phishing is a type of online scam in which criminals use email, SMS, advertising or other means to trick legitimate organisations into stealing sensitive information. Simply put, phishing is the tactic used by fraudsters to send fraudulent e-mails that try to trick recipients into clicking on malicious links, downloading infected attachments, or otherwise stealing their personal information. Their genuine emails are designed to redirect users to fraudulent websites that try to trick them into entering sensitive information online.

Most types of phishing are a form of social engineering in which the user is manipulated to perform a desired action, such as clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or disseminating confidential information. Some phishing attacks involve additional information collected over time and includes other elements such as company logos, email addresses or website addresses, the company or another company the company works for, as well as professional or personal details of the target in order to appear as authentic as possible. Some require that the sender or recipient be hacked by a malicious third party to receive a legitimate, delivered email with an attachment or link. 

Standard email phishing is the best known form of phishing because it attempts to steal sensitive information by email by claiming to be from a legitimate organization. In a recent phishing attack, Google Docs received e-mails from a user known to be a target and attempted to obtain Google's login credentials by spamming the e-mail with the target's e-mail and address book. 

Phishing goes to the other extreme, where the email targets only one person. Attackers spend a lot of time designing the email so that only one person has access to it. They use a variety of mechanisms to manipulate their targets - including emails, social media, instant messaging, text messages, infected websites - and attacks carried out with old-school phone calls. 

This method uses malicious text messages to get users to click on malicious links and share personal information. This type of phishing attack does not send an e-mail and leads directly to the phone. Smiling attacks use our text messages (SMS, short for messaging service) to grab our attention. 

Many people expect to receive emails from official sources such as experts, organisations, insurance companies and government agencies, giving fraudsters ample opportunities to sneak in a genuine email. Spear phishing emails often contain references to employees, executives, or the victim's organization and use the victim's name, location, or other personal information. These emails are often used in high-pressure situations to arrest their victims - such as sending a statement that a company is being sued. 

This can be done by inserting links that appear to lead you to a company website and filling your information on the website with clever fake information, but what you provide actually goes to the criminals. 

Phishing is a form of social engineering attack in which user data such as login credentials and credit card numbers are stolen. It occurs when attackers pose as trusted companies to trick victims into opening emails, instant messages or text messages. The term "phishing" is a variation of the word "fishing," in which criminals hang a fake bait that looks like an email, website or ad in the hope that users will be happy and provide the information they require such as credit card number, account number, password, username or other valuable information. 

Victims can be tricked into clicking malicious links that lead to the installation of malware, to the freezing of systems as part of a ransomware attack or to the exposure of sensitive information. For individuals, this may include unauthorized purchases or the theft of funds without identifying the theft. For companies, the attackers often have email accounts of high-level executives, such as CEOs, at their disposal, as they send emails to employees across the organization embodying the CEO with the aim of making fraudulent transfers to get money through fake invoices. 

Inky reported a fraud attack on a CEO of an Austrian aerospace company (FACC) in 2019. The attack involved a phishing email sent to a junior accountant posing as the CEO of FACCs. The email provided information that required funding for a new project, and the accountant transferred $6.1 million to a fraudulent foreign account. 

In this type of trick, scammers adjust their attack emails to names, locations, companies, phone numbers and other information to deceive the recipient into thinking they are connected to the sender. In reality, the link redirects to a website that pretends to be a PayPal login page. The website collects the credentials of the victim, and if the victim tries to authenticate, the credentials are sent to them by the attacker. 

Given the amount of information needed for a convincing attack attempt, it is not surprising that spear phishing is commonplace on social media sites such as LinkedIn, where attackers use multiple data sources to create targeted attack emails. 

Phishing emails and text messages look like those from banks, credit card companies, social networks, online payment websites, apps and online shops. Scammers are constantly updating their tactics, but there are signs that can help you spot a phishing email or text message. Firstly, the news looks as if it came from a company you know and trust. 

Fraudsters who send emails like this are not the companies they pretend to be. Phishing emails can have real consequences for the people who give the scammers their information. A phishing attack is the plight of an individual or organization before the invention of email. 

Phishing attacks are one of the most common ways hackers break into victims' accounts and networks. Cybercriminals continue to hone their skills, complicate existing phishing attacks and create new types of phishing scams. A phishing attack targeting a specific person or company can be used to collect information about a specific victim and present the message as authentic.

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