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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.

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Even with legal crackdown on mobile spammers, SMS spam and SMiShing continue to grow at a rapid pace, as there are billions of mobile phone subscribers who use text messaging," said Thomas Lippert, product management, Sophos.
As more phishing scams continue to surface, Bank Windhoek has warned its clients against a new SMS scam also referred to as SmiShing (SMS and Phishing).
Survey results indicate that banks are constantly being exposed to sophisticated, organised and financially motivated threats and customers are being targeted through phishing, vishing and smishing attacks.
The integration of a telephone component to attacks, or vishing, became more visible in Q4 2007 as well as phishing through SMS (text messaging), or SMishing.
The report analyzes major mobile threats due to malware, phishing, smishing, website spoofing, and lost/stolen device, vulnerabilities of the mobile browser and native app, and specific weaknesses of Android, Apple iPhone, Windows, and Blackberry platforms.
Police are investigating 19 cases that have happened since last July, conning people via emails, phone calls or texts in scams known as phishing, vishing and smishing.
And nine out of 10 are not confident they could identify tactics like phishing and smishing - scams where crooks convince people to hand over personal details or money by sending social media messages or texts.
Among the techniques hackers use to gain credential access are phishing and smishing (SMS based phishing), credential cracking with brute force, man in the middle attacks, and insider theft.
The drive focuses on financial frauds directly targeting customers, such as email deception, known as phishing, and phone and text-based scams, known as vishing and smishing.
There is also smishing or SMS phishing, which also involves password recovery.