What Is A Phishing Attack

What Is A Phishing Attack

The term Phishing has become a popular one in the cyber space today, and it is one of the top cyber security issues of today. Now, the real question is, What exactly is Phishing.

   

Phishing, commonly known as phishing attack, is a category of social engineering attack where a cyber criminal impersonate a reputable source to trick a human victim into revealing sensitive information.

   

The goal of a Phishing attack is to steal sensitive data from its victim like credit card or login information, documents, etc. Most times phishing attacks are done in order to deploy malicious software on victims machine such as ransomware.

   

Types of Phishing Attacks

   

Spear Phishing - This is a type of phishing attack that is targeted on a particular person or organization. These kinds of attacks are tailor made for an individual mostly based on their individual likes or interest so as to lure them into revealing sensitive data to the attacker.

 

Whaling - This is a type of phishing attack where a cyber criminal act as a senior or a top level user at an organization in order to directly target senior or important individuals at an organization. The goal or aim is usually to steal money or sensitive data from the user or organization. Most times, this is done in order to gain access to their computer for malicious purposes.

 

Vishing - This is a type of phishing attack where a cyber criminal convinces its victim to provide critical information over the phone. These attacks are usually done to users that subscribes for renewable online purchases.

 

Smishing - This is a type of phishing attack where a cyber criminal or attacker uses a compelling text message (sms) to trick targeted victims into clicking a link which would enable the attacker gain private information or access to download malicious programs into its victim smartphone.

   

Now we know the most common types of phishing attacks we need to learn ways in which we can prevent such attacks from happening to us.

   

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks

   

▸ Do not enter any sensitive information via pop-ups screens

 

▸ Employ common sense, Always try to read carefully to check for bad grammar or wrong link before clicking.

 

▸ Beware of alarming messages like identifiable information or account details.

 

▸ Do not open attachments you do not trust or know the sender, especially word, excel, powerpoint or PDF attachments.

 

▸ Keep your system up to date.

 

▸ Be careful when clicking embedded links.

     

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