Hacking is a nightmare when it comes to internet usage. And a common method of hacking is phishing. Important information is manipulated by phishing attacks with users or organizations. Let’s find out in detail about what phishing is and how to stay safe from it.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of hacking method that is used to steal user data, such as login information, credit card numbers, etc., using fraudulent tactics. Usually an attacker or hacker disguises himself and is able to click a link sent to a victim in an email or message.
The victim is persuaded to click on the link containing the malware and after clicking on the link the malware is downloaded to the device. The attacker then locks certain programs or files on a computer or mobile phone as part of a ransom attack or other malicious attack or leaks sensitive information.
Phishing attacks can take terrible forms. In most cases, unsolicited shopping, digital money theft, and even identity theft have been reported.
Phishing attacks are also part of a larger attack on a corporate or government network. When an employee inadvertently clicks on a malware-linked link, the attacker gains access to the network.
This type of phishing attack can cause serious problems for an organization. Companies caught in a phishing attack lose market share, reputation, consumer trust, etc. Since phishing attacks occur for security reasons, the customer’s reliance on the security of the organization increases. We have seen many such incidents in the past.
Examples of phishing attacks
Let’s take a look at an example to understand phishing attacks. Numerous students at the same university were sent mails from an email address that looked like emails from the university, stating that their passwords had expired. It will also be written that if you do not renew the account password within 24 hours, the account will be locked.
After clicking on the password reset link, students will see a password reset page that looks almost real. The current and new passwords will then be requested, after which the information will be stolen and used for illegal access to the student’s original account. Also, after clicking on the link, malicious scripts can be installed in the browser through redirects through which the user’s session cookie is hijacked.
Similarly, a link sent in the name of Facebook password reset may also show a page that looks like Facebook where giving a password can hack your Facebook account. In this way, by showing fake sites and fooling the user, important information is stolen by phishing.
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Phishing attacks can take many forms. Let’s take a look at some of the common phishing tactics used by hackers to carry out phishing attacks.
Email phishing is basically a numbers game. An attacker sends numerous fake and deceptive emails where the victim (the victim) is threatened with greed for money or account lock. When one of these people receives numerous emails and clicks on a given link, they become victims of phishing attacks.
Attackers try to persuade the user to click on the email using the company’s logo, typeface, signature, etc., as well as writing the email as part of an imitation of a real organization.
Most of the time the user is driven to make a quick decision. For example, in case of account expiration, change of password, etc., if the action is not taken within the specified time, the problem of account lock is mentioned.
It is very important to understand whether the link or domain sent in these emails is correct or fake. For example, facebook.com is a valid and safe domain, from which the incoming email can be opened. Again faceb00k.com is not a valid email. Here the letter “zero” is used instead of the English letter “o” which seems to be close. Fraudsters use many such cunning tactics. So always check again and again if the address is completely correct before clicking on any link or email.
Specific individuals or organizations are selected as targets for spear phishing. Many upgraded versions of phishing attacks are said to be where detailed information about a person or organization is used as the power of phishing attacks.
An attacker can act like:
- The intruder researches the names of the marketing staff of an organization and gains access to the latest project invoices.
- Imitates the marketing director of the organization. It even uses text, style and logos like the standard email of the organization
- Clicking on the link provided will reveal the password protected internal document, which is actually a fake version of the stolen invoice.
- You are asked to login to view any document. After logging in, the login information is stolen and used to infiltrate the network of that organization.
Ways to stay safe from phishing
Individuals and organizations should take some important steps to survive phishing attacks. Caution is the key to surviving these problems. Fake messages often contain minor errors, such as spelling mistakes, slightly incorrect email addresses, and so on. If a user spends a little time checking and sorting before clicking on such a message or email, they can avoid many problems like phishing attacks.
Follow these steps to avoid phishing attacks
- Two-factor authentication makes hacking almost impossible. So use two-factor authentication for any account. Even if the hacker gets the username and password, he will not get access to the account. And don’t tell anyone the OTP code in your message or email. This will keep you safe from hacking.
- Security software should be used in case of establishment. These software should also be kept up to date to prevent new security threats.
- Take backups and save data. You can back up media that are not connected to the general network, such as external hard drives or cloud storage.
- If sensitive information is requested through email, you can take it as part of the fraud.
- Look for spelling and grammatical errors in emails, as professional emails do not contain such errors.
- Don’t trust sources that don’t know your name or account information. Be careful when you see a general greeting, it is probably a phishing message that has been sent to many.
- Please verify everything before clicking on the attachment received in the email.
- Find out if the email from the person or organization that is sending the email is actually valid.
- Make sure the site you are entering is secure. If the URL of the site does not start with “https”, then it is better not to use that site.
- Always keep your browser, antivirus and operating system up to date with the latest viruses and malware protection.
- Copy the link without directly clicking on the link found in the suspicious email Virastotal You can find out if the link is harmful by entering the website.
Hopefully this post will help you stay safe online. Share your experiences and ideas in the comments!