An introduction to phishing

By GFI Software Security, anti-phishing, identity theft

What is phishing?

The term phishing was coined by ‘crackers’ to refer to the act of tricking people into revealing sensitive or private information. It relies on the fact that asking a large number of people for this information, will always fool at least a small number of people. In a phishing attempt, the attacker would typically create a situation where people believe that they are dealing with an authorized party, such as their bank. The attacker will then ask the victim for sensitive information such as credit card information. Much of this activity is automated and the target is typically a large number of Internet users. Therefore phishing is considered an opportunistic attack rather than a targeted one.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft refers to the use of another person’s identity, usually for financial gain or for defamatory purposes. Identity theft is a very broad term which refers to the use of sensitive or private information belonging to someone else.
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