"Hello, do you want to earn some money? This is what we are going to do. You are writing a Trojan horse program that passes by antivirus software and steals bank account logins. I will distribute it to thousands We can only build some phishing sites and get suckers to just give us us us their password! "
Variations of this conversation happen every day. Writing bad code is difficult. Writing a malware that can survive in an antivirus-filled environment is more difficult. Instead of trying to trick the operating system and its security mail, fast artists make tricking the user with phishing scams, which is much, much easier.
How Phishing Scams Work
The key to running a phishing scam creates a copy of a secure website that is good enough to trick most people. With the most classic flaws, each link goes to the real site. Well, all links except the one that sends your username and password to the perpetrators. As icing on the cake, fraudsters can try to create a URL that looks at least a little legitimate. Instead of paypal.com, maybe pyapal.com or paypal.security.reset.com.
But not all phishing pages are well done. Some use the wrong colors or otherwise fail to match the page they mimic. Others have completely convincing URLs, things like admin.dentistry.com/forms or X8el87.journal.com. Even these paralyzed scams can pick up some sucks, obviously or the fraud would give up.
When you enter your username and password on a fraudulent site, fraudsters get full access to your account. In order to prevent you from realizing that you have been scammed, they can forward the credentials to the actual site so it appears that you logged in normally. Your only hint may come when you find that your bank account is empty or you can not log in to your email, and your friends say they get spam from you. So how do you equip yourself against this kind of attack?
Some fake websites are just too badly implemented to convince all those who pay attention. If you link to a site and it just looks like garbage, press Ctrl + F5 to completely reload the page if the bad look was a fluke. But if it still does not look right, stay away. Phishing Scams: Poor Job ”; border=”0″ class=”center” src=”https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/617813-phishing-scams-poor-job.png?thumb=y&width=980&height=445″/>
Check out the above page. Formatting is weird and the image to the right of the e-mail entry box is defective. Obviously, somebody believes that this page will trick users of OurTime, a dating site for those over fifty audiences. How they would make money on the stolen accounts, I have no idea, but this warning page fails to convince.
Modern browsers move away from a large focus on the address bar. It is at least in the search plus address bar. However, the address bar is an extremely important resource when you eyeball a page to confirm its legitimacy. The best phish snipers can detect an off-kilter URL from the corner of an eye, without even thinking about it.
Beware of hiding the current domain name of the URL. That is the part that immediately precedes the final .com, .net, .co.uk and so on. Everything that comes before the domain is just a subdomain. If the URL fakery.paypal.com existed, it would be a subdomain of paypal.com. If you instead see paypal.fakery.com, it's pure fakery! Phishing Scams: Bad Address 1 ” border=”0″ class=”center” src=”https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/617816-phishing-scams-bad-address-1.png?thumb=y&width=980&height=634″/>
Phishing attacks on Dropbox accounts or other online storage accounts do not have the guaranteed value as thieves are coming from capturing bank login. Conversely, people do not necessarily apply the same vigilance to these accounts. Everything can appear in online storage, from a list of Girl Scout cookie orders to secret plans for the next technical breakthrough. But take a look at the address bar in the image above. When you log in to your own Dropbox account, you will not see the words "need money in your money"!
You may have heard of Sberbank in discussions about the Trump organization's Russian banking links or as a victim of ATM hacking. . But you are probably not a customer, so a Sberbank phishing page is not a real concern. But for our Russian friends, the fact that the URL's actual domain in the "coffee" address bar should be a giveaway.
Look for Lock
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Communication System Used for Basic Internet Communications is a takeover from the world's great early days. It is not certain, because no one imagined others to do bad things on the growing internet. Well, the bad people are here, and the only reasonable way to connect uses the secure HTTPS protocol. Browser displays a lock icon for HTTPS pages. Chrome takes a step beyond, actively flagging "non-secure" HTTP sites. You should never log in to any site that does not use HTTPS.
"But wait," can you argue, "how about a legitimate website that just has not gone to go for sure?" Unfortunately, I do not buy it. At this age of HTTPS Everywhere there is no excuse. A site that wants you to log in without using HTTPS, even if it's not fraud, is just not legitimate.
] Both pages in the image above want to sign in with your PayPal data. Both are fraud. But the one in the background is more egregious. Yes, the domain is "jljq", which is suspicious enough. But the lack of a lock lets you know that it just can not be legitimate.
There is another clue here, for the visually oriented. Look at the color of the big login button; It's not the same on both sides. The foreground page matches the color of the actual PayPal website. the background you do not.
Sometimes you just can not tell if you are watching. Commonwealth Bank's website calls its web banking system Netbank. The secure page on netbank.com shown above sees legitimate. If you're not sure, a quick look at Whois data for the domain can help your decision. I think we can agree, it is highly unlikely that the actual Commonwealth Bank website should park its host with CrazyDomains.com.
Think about the source
You've heard it a million times. Do not click on links in emails from people you do not know. Do not click on links in messages from people you make know, as they may have been hacked. This is great advice! Clicking a random link can take you to a malware host site or a fraud. When the link takes you to a login page, it is especially important to consider the source.
You may receive an email from your bank, though many banks avoid this form of communication. If you clicked a link on an unrelated site and ended up with Karabraxos Bank login, chances are very good. It's a fake one.
But what if your bank, or IRS or PayPal really tries to get rid of a problem with your account? The solution is simple and skip the link and log in to the service immediately, as you normally would.
Get help fighting phishing
To cheat the scams, spotting their wildest wildlife gives you a good feeling. But you may not be so sharp tomorrow, so it's worth taking some help in the fight against phishing fraud. Modern browsers have protection against fraudulent websites built-in, and they do a decent job. Most antivirus and security packages add own protection against phishing; The best of these earn points as high as 100 percent protection in our tests.
Using a password manager also helps you stay away from fraud. With most such products, you can visit a secure website and log in with a single click. And if you are in a way to reach a fraudulent site, the fact that your password manager does not fill in the logged in credentials is that your password manager. It's a big red flag.
The savviest netizensna use a virtual private network, or VPN for their online activities. Use of a VPN protects your data in transit, as data travels in encrypted form to the VPN server. It also offers some protection against cyber stalking because your traffic seems to come from the VPN server, not from your local IP address. But routing web traffic via a VPN does not help at all with phishing. When giving your references to the owners of a phishing site, it does not matter how they got there. Phishing attacks target you not your devices or communications systems.
Phishing is more widespread than you might realize. To get the pictures for this article, I only took the last five or six dozens of verified fraud from a popular phish tracking page and worked through them, looking for good examples. Yes, fraudulent pages get blacklisted quickly, but the fraudsters just turn off and pop up with a new bluff page.
Protecting You From Phishing
To avoid deleting your sensitive data to fraud, use available resources like the password manager and the phishing detection system in your antivirus program. But keep your own eyes open to discover any fraud that comes through. If a page is from a suspicious link, if there is no HTTPS lock in the address bar, if it is not wrong in any way, do not move! Your vigilance will pay.