We all know about the term phishing, but knowing about phishing is not enough. There are various phishing tools that the scammers use to get hands-on your personal information. So today, let’s learn about these phishing techniques that hackers use to defraud you.
Have you ever came across emails or messages like “Congratulations! You have won a lottery”, or “You have won a trip to Paris”, or “Your bank account has been blocked, update your details by clicking on this link immediately”, etc. These are some of the phishing examples that cybercriminals use to con you. There are chances that most of the time these emails or messages are nothing but phishing scams that redirects you to a fake phishing website with the intention to get your personal information. So, to safeguard yourself from such phishing attacks, we need to learn about the phishing tools that cyberattackers usually use.
Manipulation in the Link
Link manipulation can be understood as a phishing technique that hackers use to fraudulently make the users click on a phishing URL that takes them to a malicious phishing website. As the users have become aware of such tricks, hackers have now started using many manipulative ways to get users to click on such phishing links:
- Sub-Domain Usage: One should know that the domains are unique but there is no restriction on sub-domains to be unique. So, no owner can prevent anyone to use owner’s domain as a sub-domain on any other website. Hackers take advantage of this by using domain names of renowned entities as sub-domains on fake websites. For example, say, www.user.abcbank.com is the URL of a renowned bank “ABC”. Here, the domain name is “abcbank” and the sub-domain is “user”. Users should keep in mind that the URL hierarchy goes from right to left. The hackers will use URL such as www.abcback.user.com to con the user. Here, the hacker has used the domain name of “abcbank” as the sub-domain that will direct the user to a malicious site with the domain name as www.user.com. Hence, one should be beware of such phishing tactics.
- Hiding the URLs: In this, the adversaries hide the actual malicious phishing URL under a plain text. For example, instead of showing the actual URL, they use words like “Click Here” or “Subscribe” which take you to the fake website. They even show the URLs of the reputed site but when you click on those URLs, you are directed to some other website with a different URL that looks like the real one.
- Using Misspelled URLs: In this, hackers use domain names with variation in the spelling of the renowned domain names like facbook.com, gooogle.com, yahoo.com, etc.
- IDN Homograph Attacks: In this, the scammers misguide the users by making use of similar characters like using Latin C instead of Cyrillic C, using capital character instead of small character, etc.
In simple words, we can understand website forgery as the technique in which a malicious website is created that impersonates the real one. Website forgery can be done in two ways:
- Cross-Site Scripting: In this phishing attack, a malicious script is injected in an authentic website (which is most commonly visited by the user) by taking advantage of any vulnerability of that website. When the user makes use of that website, eventually the malicious script is delivered to the browser of the user. Later on, browser use that malicious script as code and the execution of that script takes place without the knowledge of the user.
- Website Spoofing: In this, a fake website is created which looks similar to the authentic website commonly used by the user. The hackers make use of similar types of interface, logos, and even the URL to trick the user.
A pop-up message is the most common way to conduct a phishing scam. In this, the hacker sends the user pop-up messages, with the objective of stealing login details, that directs the user to some forged website. “In-Session Phishing” is a type of pop-up scam in which a fake pop-window is displayed in between an online banking session. This window appears to be a legitimate message from the bank but in reality, that is a forged message from the hackers.
Phishing Attack Variations
These are the various types of phishing attacks that adversaries use to con the user like, email phishing, spear phishing, whaling, smishing, watering hole attack, etc. All these attack variations, we have already discussed in our previous posts.
How will you safeguard yourself against phishing attacks if you don’t even know various techniques through which a phishing attack is initiated? Hence, it is necessary to learn about phishing tools to protect yourself from being a victim of a phishing scam.