Phishing is one of the most common charges related to computer crime. It involves electronic communication, especially an email, designed to look as though it came from a well-known company.
Consumers who do not know better may interact with the email, thinking that it came from an organization with which they do business. Phishing can be damaging to the consumers who interact with the email. Therefore, people charged with phishing can face harsh penalties.
What is the objective behind it?
According to CSO Online, phishing attempts have prompted consumers to download malicious software, such as ransomware, onto their computers. Consumers have also entered sensitive information that allows breach of an online account by a third party.
What is the history of phishing?
Phishing dates back to the mid-1990s. Early attempts involved mimicking America Online’s logo to attempt to collect login information from AOL users. The pronunciation is identical to the word “fishing,” also a rough analogy for putting out false emails as bait. The spelling derives from an earlier form of hacking called “phone phreaking,” which involved trying to get free phone calls by playing sound tones into the handsets of landlines.
What are some different types of phishing?
While the term “phishing” can refer to any electronic communication, more specific terms can apply to phishing attempts using a medium other than email. According to Phishing.org, “smishing” refers to a phishing attempt using text messages and “vishing” refers to voice calls that disguise their origins for purposes of collecting information from consumers illicitly.
Reportedly, phishing is responsible for an estimated one-third of all online security breaches.