(redirected from Phisher)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Phisher: identity theft, fissure


The illegal practice of attempting to steal an identity by setting up a website and encouraging people to input credit card or other personal information. Phishing often purports to present a legitimate web business and asks the "customer" to give personal information in order to receive fictitious products. Alternatively, phishing may involve a criminal sending out e-mail purporting to be from a bank or credit card company asking for information as part of an "urgent" request. Phishers then steal the identity directly or sell to another party for illegal purposes.


Phishing is one way that identity thieves use the Internet to retrieve your personal information, such as passwords and account numbers.

The thieves' techniques include sending hoax emails claiming to originate from legitimate businesses and establishing phony websites designed to capture your personal information.

For example, you may receive an urgent email claiming to come from your bank and directing you to a website where you're asked to update or verify your account number or password. By responding you give identity thieves an opportunity to steal your confidential information.

Phishing is difficult to detect because the fraudulent emails and websites are often indistinguishable from legitimate ones and the perpetrators change identities regularly.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Phishing is the latest crime of the 21st century: Understanding the techniques and technologies phishers use can help you protect against them.
With ScamBlocker, users are warned about accessing known or suspected phisher sites and are redirected to an EarthLink-generated Web page that provides additional information about phishers and similar online scams, and what actions subscribers can take to further protect themselves.
The number of targeted institutions has dropped; phishers continue to target larger or more popular targets.
Suzy Clarke, ASB Bank, New Zealand, noted, "The APWG advisory offers a step by step approach that every IT department can use as a foundation from which to build their own incident response and recovery plans if they find their web site has been compromised by phishers.
EarthLink is arming Internet users with the information they need to protect themselves in the battle against phisher con artists -- online thieves who aim to steal your money, credit or identity," said Michael Strutton, director, product management, EarthLink.
The wide-spread use of subdomain registration services by phishers is a challenging development for the industry," said Mr.
In the most recent scam, the phishers used a combination of phishing and hacking to launch their attack, according to Ramsey.
The November analysis reports the number of corporate and government identities being exploited by phishers was up 2.
Phishers have increased the volume and improved the solicitation techniques for messages they send out requesting sensitive information from internet users.
We have seen cases where the phisher will put thousands of URLs on the same domain.
The traditional technique of a phisher (who is also a spammer) is to rotate domain names very quickly for phishing sites and e-mail messages, and to also rotate the locations from which sites and e-mails originate.