what is phishing attack

Phishing Attack? The term “phishing” has evolved to mean cyber threats and deceit online. This article explores the realm of phishing assaults and illuminates the strategies used by cybercriminals to trick people and organizations into disclosing private information or acting maliciously.

In the never-ending fight to safeguard our digital life from this always-changing cyber threat, comprehending the workings of phishing is essential. Let’s get forward!

How is Phishing Carried Out?

a) Advanced-Fee Scam

Phishers deceive victims into believing they will receive substantial cash, a prize, or a job chance; but, in order to claim their imaginary reward, the victim must pay an advance charge or provide personal information. The fraudster vanishes after the victim pays, and the promised reward never shows up.

b) Account Deactivation Scam

Phishers send frightening emails or messages with the subject line “Account deactivation due to failure to click the link and provide personal or login information.” These messages are typically from reputable services like banks or social media platforms. The intention is to pilfer confidential information for dishonest purposes.

c) Website Forgery Scam

Phishers fabricate phony websites that closely resemble real ones, including email login pages or banking websites, and they send victims emails that contain links to these phony websites. When unsuspecting victims submit their credentials, the attacker takes note of them and uses them to gain unauthorized access or steal data.

Types of Phishing Attacks

S.No. Types Define
1. Spear Phishing Extremely focused attacks with tailored messaging meant to target particular people or organizations in order to maximize the chance of success.
2. Clone Phishing Attackers imitate authentic messages almost exactly in order to deceive receivers into opening attachments or clicking on nefarious links.
3. Whaling Aiming for prominent leaders in a company in order to obtain financial resources or sensitive information.
4. Vishing In phishing, scammers attempt to steal personal or financial information using voice communication, usually over the phone.
5. Smishing Phishing with text messaging: Phishers use SMS to deliver phony messages containing links or requesting personal data.
6. Pharming Manipulating DNS (Domain Name System) settings or breaching routers to send victims to bogus websites.
7. Business Email Compromise (BEC) Pretending to be an executive or reliable source in an organization in order to make requests for sensitive data or fraudulent payments.
8. Credential Harvesting Use phony login pages or forms to trick people into disclosing their login information.
9. Malware-Based Phishing Email attachments or links that include dangerous software that, when opened, infects the target device with malware in order to steal information or take over.
10. Search Engine Phishing Fake search engine results direct consumers to phony websites that look like reliable ones.
11. Ransomware Phishing Spreading ransomware by phishing emails, encrypting the victim’s data, and requesting a fee to unlock it.
12. Angler Phishing Contacting individuals on social media sites, frequently posing as employment or investment opportunities.

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear phishing is a highly focused type of phishing where fraudsters craft their misleading emails specifically for particular people or businesses. To make convincing emails that seem to come from a reliable source, they frequently get personal information, which increases the chance that the recipient would fall for the scam.

The goal of spear phishing is to infect particular, valuable targets with malware, obtain illegal access or steal confidential information.

What is Clone Phishing?

A phishing assault known as “clone phishing” occurs when an attacker makes an almost exact replica of a genuine email or message that the target has already received. Usually, the attacker slightly modifies the message to include a malicious attachment or link and then sends the email from what seems to be the same address.

The intention is to trick the receiver into opening the attachment or clicking on the malicious link, therefore jeopardizing their security.

What is Whaling?

A targeted type of phishing known as “whaling” targets prominent or senior executives in a company; these individuals are sometimes referred to as “whales.” Perpetrators construct believable, customized emails to fool these people into divulging private information, completing financial transactions, or jeopardizing the security of their company.

The goal of whaling attacks is to obtain sensitive information or make money by taking advantage of the power and access of high-ranking officials.

Mobile Phishing – The Preferred Method of Attack

Because cell phones are so widely used, mobile phishing has become a popular choice for cyberattacks. Through SMS, email, or phony apps, attackers target users, taking advantage of their tiny screens and habits to trick unsuspecting parties.

Because mobile devices are so convenient, there is a greater need to be vigilant against mobile phishing risks.

Ways to Prevent Phishing Attacks

S.No. Techniques Why?
1. Employee Training Teach staff members how to spot phishing emails and messages and how to report questionable activity.
2. Email Filtering Use effective email filtering systems to identify and stop phishing emails before they arrive in recipients’ inboxes.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) To provide an additional layer of security on top of passwords, make MFA mandatory for accessing sensitive accounts.
4. Verify Requests Encourage staff members to use a different line of contact to confirm any odd or urgent demands for funds, information, or activities.
5. Regular Updates Update operating systems, software, and antivirus software to fix vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
6. Secure Websites Make sure websites employ HTTPS and show security alerts so users can tell genuine websites from phishing replicas.
7. Endpoint Security Employ strong antivirus software and endpoint security tools to identify and stop the installation of malware.
8. Incident Response Plan Create and test an incident response strategy to effectively lessen the effects of successful phishing attempts and stop more breaches.


Phishing Attacks are one of the most common reasons for data breaches and cyberattacks. However, there’s a solution which is a cybersecurity measure that can protect against online threats. Moreover, one of the reputed institutions is Bytecode Security which offers the “1 Year Diploma in Cyber Security Course.

This training and certification program is specially designed to offer the best introduction to cybersecurity skills and techniques for IT professionals. Moreover, under the guidance of professional cybersecurity experts offered on the premises of Bytecode Security, one will get the best learning environment to nurture their honed skills and knowledge. What are you waiting for? Contact, Now!

Frequently Asked Questions

About the What is a Phishing Attack?

1. How phishing works?

Phishing is a type of cyberattack in which people are tricked into divulging private information or acting maliciously. Here’s how phishing works:

  • Deceptive Email,
  • Urgent or Tempting Message,
  • Spoofed Sender Information,
  • Malicious Links,
  • Data Entry Request,
  • Malware Distribution,
  • Social Engineering,
  • Gathering Information,
  • Evolving Techniques, and
  • Prevention and Education.

2. Is phishing illegal?

Given that phishing entails dishonest attempts to trick people and obtain their money or personal information, it is, in the majority of cases, illegal.

3. Is phishing a cybercrime?

Indeed, phishing is regarded as a cybercrime since it entails malevolent and misleading actions taken online in an attempt to deceive people or businesses.

4. How is phishing created?

Creating a phishing attack involves several key steps:

  • Target Selection,
  • Email Spoofing,
  • Crafting the Message,
  • Malicious Links or Attachments,
  • Setting Up Fake Websites,
  • Deploying the Attack,
  • Social Engineering,
  • Harvesting Information, and
  • Continuous Adaptation.

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