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Dated: Sep. 06, 2004
Related CategoriesNetwork Security
Phishing is the act of sending out emails, supposedly from a certain trusted party, in order to trick out of the recipient sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, banking details etc.
Such an email will normally claim that for some reason you need to reenter or confirm your details and provide a link to a webpage for doing so.
Needless to say, the webpage will not be genuine but it is getting increasingly difficult to tell. The page itself can look just like the real deal. Even the address is subject to trickery. A spoofed web page address looks like http://trusted-site.com/anything-phisher-wants@http://www.real-domain.com/real-page.html . Although at first glance this looks connected to trusted-site.com in reality anything before the @ symbol is treated as a username to be sent to the page after the @ symbol.
To avoid becoming a victim of phishing, stay alert. Whenever you receive an email telling you that you need to enter sensitive information treat it with suspicion.
* Check the addresses of any web pages for the @ symbol
* If it is an html email (different text sizes/styles/colours/graphics etc) then it may not be displaying the whole address or even displaying the address at all. Do not use the link in the email. Go to the home page of the trusted site manually and check that for information on the subject raised in the email.
* Inform the trusted site of your suspicions so that they can allay your fears or alert others.
There is not much any software could do to help prevent an individual computer user fall prey to phishing. You just have to stay alert. On the other hand, if you are responsible for your companies image and want to know if anybody is phishing in your name then there are several services out there that will help you keep an eye on your brand.
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