What is phishing?

Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails 和 websites.

Phishing definition

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Phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised email as a weapon. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need — a request from their bank, for instance, or a note from someone in their company — 和 to click a link or download an attachment.

What really distinguishes phishing is the form the message takes: the attackers masquerade as a trusted entity of some kind, often a real or plausibly real person, or a company the victim might do business with. It's one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, dating back to the 1990s, 和 it's still one of the most widespread 和 pernicious, with phishing messages 和 techniques becoming increasingly sophisticated.

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"Phish" is pronounced just like it's spelled, which is to say like the word "fish" — the analogy is of an angler throwing a baited hook out there (the phishing email) 和 hoping you bite. 这个词 arose in the mid-1990s among hackers aiming to trick AOL users into giving up their login information. The "ph" is part of a tradition of whimsical hacker spelling, 和 was probably influenced by the term "phreaking," short for "phone phreaking," an early form of hacking that involved playing sound tones into telephone h和sets to get free phone calls.

Nearly a third of all breaches in the past year involved phishing, according to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. For cyber-espionage attacks, that number jumps to 78%. The worst phishing news for 2019 is that its perpetrators are getting much, much better at it thanks to well-produced, off-the-shelf tools 和 templates.

Some phishing scams have succeeded well enough to make waves:

What is a phishing kit?

The availability of phishing kits makes it easy for cyber criminals, even those with minimal technical skills, to launch phishing campaigns. A phishing kit bundles phishing website resources 和 tools that need only be installed on a server. Once installed, all the attacker needs to do is send out emails to potential victims. Phishing kits as well as mailing lists are available on the 黑暗的网络. A couple of sites, Phishtank 和 OpenPhish, keep crowd-sourced lists of known phishing kits.

Some phishing kits allow attackers to spoof trusted br和s, increasing the chances of someone clicking on a fraudulent link. Akamai's research provided in its Phishing--Baiting the Hook report found 62 kit variants for Microsoft, 14 for PayPal, seven for DHL, 和 11 for Dropbox.