Showing posts with label Phishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phishing. Show all posts

Jun 23, 2017

Catfishing, Ghosting, Phishing, and Spoofing

New  threatening online practices are showing up almost monthly. As old threats are stopped, the bad guys dream up new ones. Below are a few current schemes by bad actors to gain personal information to steal from your bank account, abruptly end a relationship, or damage your reputation.

Catfishing is being used more and more often and refers to the act of luring someone into a perceived or real relationship via an online persona that does not actually exist. It occurs in many forms, such as individuals may steal others’ photos and use them as their own, claim to have a job they do not actually have, or build an entire fictional personality from scratch in order to appear attractive to the person they are interested in.

Ghosting is a new term for breaking up with someone by completely cutting off contact with them, ignoring their attempts to get in touch, and not providing an explanation for why they ended the relationship. It is often used by people who meet online or by using social media apps. Ghosting is also used as a way to not take responsibility for a relationship and is confusing and hurtful to the person being ghosted.

Phishing is committing fraud by posing as a legitimate and often widely-known company or brand. People who are doing this, buying up domains that are closely related in spelling to a real domain, duplicating the actual brand’s website, and capturing information for the purpose of identity or other theft. Some will take payments for products and services that don’t exist, and others will infect computers with bots, spyware, and malware. Many internet service providers recommend antivirus programs that contain real-time phishing filters. These filters can block internet pages and websites that are characteristic of phishing.

Spoofing is the act of forging an email so that it appears the email came from someone other than the actual sender. This is common among crooks, who want to install programs that record and transmit keystrokes on victims’ computers in hopes of obtaining bank account information and passwords. Most email service providers have become adept at flagging these attempts. Running and maintaining antivirus and anti-malware protection is crucial to staying safe while using the internet.

Dec 5, 2014

Adware, Malware, Phishing, Spyware, Trojan Horse, Virus, and Warez

These terms show up often, especially during the holidays when more people than ever are cruising the web for bargains. Here are a few descriptions to help you understand the lingo.

Adware is typically an application that shows users an excessive amount of advertising in return for providing a service of little value. There is a grey area from most anti-virus companies as to how to handle adware, because so many applications have begun to show ads.

Malware generally is an all-encompassing term used to describe any harmful program. This includes spyware, viruses, and phishing scams.

Phishing and spyware are closely related. They work by tricking users and sending user information to a third party. A phishing application or website will pretend to be from a trusted source to try and trick a person into entering personal information.

Spyware tries to hide itself from users. It is an application that reads user information and data without the user actually knowing it - and reporting it back to a third party. This includes keystroke loggers to steal passwords or credit card information.

A trojan horse is a specific type of virus. The app pretends to be something useful, or helpful, or fun while causing harm or stealing data. This term is often used to describe spyware and phishing attacks as well.

The term virus term has mostly been replaced by malware, although there is a subtle difference. Virus typically takes control of the operating system and either damages it, or uses it for its own purposes. An example might be sending emails to everyone in the email address book.

Warez typically refers to pirated or unlicensed software. The files are stolen from the real developers.

Bottom line - Adware is aggravating, but not usually harmful. Phishing and trojan horses wear masks and steal data, while spyware hides itself and steals data. Malware is the new all-encompassing term, except for Warez. Malware aggravates or steals from us while Warez steals from developers.