List of phishing techniques
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Phishing attempts directed at specific individuals or companies have been termed spearphishing. Attackers may gather personal information about their target to increase their probability of success.
A type of phishing attack whereby a legitimate, and previously delivered, email containing an attachment or link has had its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to create an almost identical or cloned email. The attachment or Link within the email is replaced with a malicious version and then sent from an email address spoofed to appear to come from the original sender. It may claim to be a re-send of the original or an updated version to the original.
This technique could be used to pivot (indirectly) from a previously infected machine and gain a foothold on another machine, by exploiting the social trust associated with the inferred connection due to both parties receiving the original email.
Several recent phishing attacks have been directed specifically at senior executives and other high profile targets within businesses, and the term whaling has been coined for these kinds of attacks.
There are several different techniques to combat phishing, including legislation and technology created specifically to protect against phishing. Most new internet browsers come with anti-phishing software.
One strategy for combating phishing is to train people to recognize phishing attempts, and to deal with them. Education can be effective, especially where training provides direct feedback. One newer phishing tactic, which uses phishing e-mails targeted at a specific company, known as spear phishing, has been harnessed to train individuals at various locations, including United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. In a June 2004 experiment with spear phishing, 80% of 500 West Point cadets who were sent a fake e-mail from a non-existent Col. Robert Melville at West Point, were tricked into clicking on a link that would supposedly take them to a page where they would enter personal information. (The page informed them that they had been lured.)
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