Online Security 101: Phishing
It’s a well-known fact that the internet is the greatest invention of the century. As humans, we aren’t the strongest nor are we the swiftest of the Earth’s species. But we do, however, excel in one thing — innovation.
We are adept at creating tools that enable us to do things that our bodies cannot. These tools are perfect for both building and destroying, and they ultimately make our lives easier and more comfortable.
The internet is exactly that, a tool.
And like every tool, it can be used to build and to harm. The internet allows us to share information over great distances and toward even greater audiences instantly. Information is key to one’s survival in the modern world. And the misuse of information is also a key ingredient in one’s downfall.
Phishing is one method by which the internet is used to gain access to information illegally. It is, in essence, what an online conman would do. Phishers are capable of masquerading as reputable internet entities and they use this sense of trust and familiarity to retrieve your information. These people will literally let you hand the keys to your sensitive information to them by using social engineering techniques.
These are some of the most common types of phishing:
In this type of phishing, the perpetrator uses emails and pop-up messages that urge users to click on a particular site to “fix a problem” or “win a prize”. These usually lead to a fake login page that attempts to get users to give their login credentials.
Phishers infiltrate an organization by targeting a specific person within an organization — this person is often an executive. They then use the executive’s authority to confirm money transfers to accounts of their choosing. Executives are especially susceptible to this type of attack because they are often exempted from company security training sessions.
DNS Cache Poisoning
Phishers who are more adept can target a specific DNS server to change the IP address associated with the intended website. This basically allows them to reroute you to a website of their choosing, even if you type the web address properly.
The internet is a scary place filled with viruses, bots that pretend to be humans, and the worst of the bunch, black hat hackers. Many huge companies take all the precautions that they can to prevent any exploits from ever getting past their security measures, though even these companies fall victim to the unscrupulous elements in the internet.
This doesn’t mean that you should run out and cry to the heavens for mercy though. Not all black hat hackers are dangerously capable and honestly, those who are might not even have you on their radar at all.
If you want to truly protect your online business, then you need to invest in a phishing test service. Hire professionals who are experts in all things related to internet security. These companies often have white hat hackers who will test your security measures and assess them. Not only that, they’ll even help patch the holes you have in your security, so that you are less likely to fall victim to black hat hackers.