What Is Phishing?
Short definition: Type of social engineering technique, designed to trick victims into typing in important information, usually on a fake web page, often designed to appear like a legitimate and reputable website.
Phishing is very commonly used by black hat hackers to obtain login details, credit card information, personal information, like Social Security numbers etc., and other types of data and use it for their own benefit. There are tons and tons of phishing webpages out there that are designed to imitate legitimate websites, like Instagram, LinkedIn, DHL, Amazon, Facebook and other services. Some cyber criminals use fake websites of banks to trick victims in to giving away their credit card or other financial information.
But phishing does not only limit itself to webpages – you may encounter phishing e-mails as well. Such e-mail messages are designed to trick you that they come from a reputable source, like your bank or a flight company, for example. They have links in them that when opened, could infect your device with a virus or lead to another phishing website. Some emails even go as far as to ask you to reply back with a specific information, like your credit card number or other details that could compromise you.
Usually, what happens to the stolen information from such websites or emails maybe several different things – the criminals could sell it in the Dark net markets or they could use fake credit cards in which the data of your credit card is embedded so that they can steal money from your account. There have also been many cases where the criminals could purchase something really expensive using your credit card information and deliver it to a fake address so that they can steal your money this way.
For more definitions, check our Cyber Dictionary.