Your Guide To The Different Types of Phishers

Robert BuheckerCybersecurity and VulnerabilitiesLeave a Comment

Phishing Affects Many

A Guide To The Difference Types of Phishers

Phishing extends back to the dawn of the internet and email. The only difference now is that the public is now more aware and not falling for a fictional cousin locked in a prison who needs their checking and routing numbers. Now, fraud and phishing extend into a wide variety of topics and areas like the Fyre Festival, online messaging apps, email, text messages, and more. Chances are you know what phishing is, but did you know there are different levels to it? In this blog series and post, we’ll explore the various types of online criminals.

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The Differences Between Phishing and Hacking

Phishing and hacking share similarities but are not the exact same. Phishing is a type of hacking, but hacking is a broader term. Both hacking and phishing can have the same goal of defrauding consumers. However, hacking can also be used for national security, finding vulnerabilities in a system, and other good deeds, while phishing is always illegal. There are many ways to spot and stop a phishing attempt though.

The Different Types of Phishers

The ability to connect to anyone in the world offers many benefits. However, there will always be someone who attempts to ruin that. It’s important to know the different types of phishing to remain safe in the online world.

Phishers — This is the most common term when someone refers to online deviants. Phishers, as discussed, will target a variety of email accounts with false promises. These promises extend to giving people money, asking for donations, or tricking people into clicking links. Regardless of the type of attack, phishing poses dangerous risks to a variety of personal computer users, employers, and organizations alike.

Pharming — This is a process of creating a website that mimics everything about a legitimate one. For example, the phisher will create a website that looks identical to Facebook but changes the URL slightly. Instead of it saying Facebook.com, it will say something like FaceB0ok.co. If the web user is not vigilant, this slight change in the URL can result in entering confidential information. Pharming has many victims, some include businesses. These businesses lost their business pages on the social media site when phishers kept appearing as page administrators.

Spear Phishers — “Hey, this is Chris, my phone died, so I need to use another one. Can you check this really fast for me?” These types of messages are then usually followed by a link. Never click it, especially if you do not recognize the number and the area code seems a little off to you. If the person is being honest, or you suspect that it is the truth, contact that person on their actual phone number or email and ask if they sent you something to check. This type of phishing aims to get your passwords and other personal details.

Whaling — Similar to spear phishing attempts and targeting an organization, whaling is more specific. Whaling attacks aim their crosshairs at high-level company executives like CEOS. This devious tricks can be lethal to a company and stakeholders and the sensitive information that they have.

Smishing — “Hey, this is Chris, my phone died, so I need to use another one. Can you check this really fast for me?” These types of messages are usually followed by a link. Never click it, especially if you do not recognize the number and the area code seems a little off to you. If the person is being honest, or you suspect that it is the truth, contact that person on their actual phone number or email and ask if they sent you something to check. This type of phishing aims to get your passwords and other personal details.

Vishing — Yes, people still leave voicemails and this phishing tactic is no different. In this case, phishers will leave voicemails and say they are companies you trust. However, it might also be a voicemail that says you are in trouble with the police, the IRS investigating you or something else along those lines. They then give you a phone number to call them back and in doing so people reveal credit card numbers and other personal information.

Conclusion

You need to remain and stay vigilant online, phishers always seem to be two steps ahead, but being able to properly identify these hackers will alleviate a majority of potential problems. If your system is compromised by hackers, phishers, malware, or worse, SecureForensics can help. For a free phone consultation, contact us at 1-800-288-1407.