Everyone who often deals with the Web has ever heard the term ‘phishing attack’. Today we will explain what a phishing attack is, reveal its mechanisms, and give you effective tips on how to recognize and rebuff any phishing attempts.
Wiki gives an absolutely clear-cut phishing attack definition:
“Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication”.
We at Sur.ly would like to add that the phishing methods are evolving all the time adopting new ways of a fraud, so it’s nearly impossible to define and prevent all types of phishing attacks, but they basically include the following:
Be aware, be secure: phishing messages or forms may look very realistic and legitimate these days, and they can come from sources/people you closely know or trust (as their email accounts might get accidentally hijacked).
Large-scale phishing attacks were recently reported: particularly, some of them exploited critical Gmail’s vulnerabilities, such as one of the biggest scam campaigns which targeted at least a million of private and corporate Gmail users – it was a sophisticated ‘full cycle’ spam attack, including fake but realistic emails, spreading malicious links via infected users’ mail lists (and thus technically coming to potential victims from their friends or coworkers), and asking to grant a permission to a hacker application imitating Google Docs to check some important document, but actually taking user accounts under control.
Other attackers can be also trying to intrude to your system through the vulnerabilities of Microsoft Office: you may get an email with a document attachment that when opened will trigger a remote malware download via MS Word, resulting in infection on your system. These two phishing attack types are quite different, but their end goal is common: take your private data under control, so unknown hackers can steal it (e.g. bank account credentials, email logins, security codes, etc).
Even if you don’t have some special IT-wise knowledge, you can use these simple criteria to identify the phishing attack emails:
There are still too many vulnerabilities in all powerful software that we use on daily basis (including the system itself and third-party packages of all sorts) so the phishing attempts will continue, giving hackers uncountable chances to break through our firewalls and steal our data.
However, there are a few more simple tips that won’t let you fall victim to all kinds of phishing tricks:
Surfguard extension is connected to our own evergrowing and constantly updated database of website statuses (based on user reports and data from popular web reputation systems) that supplies it with a pretty accurate verdict on whether a certain site is a scam or dangerous for a reason, so you can easily check links without opening them.
It comes as no surprise that every website owner who worked day and night to build his/her project is always in search of ‘holy grail’ trying to invent a better way to retain visitors, get people interested, focused on the site’s content, and then straightforwardly converted into sales or sale leads.
Sur.ly Surfguard is here! It’s a browser addition powered by our web safety platform, which lets you preview status of a link before clicking on it. If a link is unsafe, you’ll get a pop-up notification when hovering your mouse over it.
If you run a free membership site of any kind, then you surely have a first-hand experience of dealing with spam signups. Such fake registrations are a pure garbage that adds no value to your user base, ruins the overall picture of your audience, and can do no good to any marketing efforts: the more […]