What is privatization and why is it dangerous?

In this article, the administrator will discuss what is counterfeiting, the difference between phishing and fraud? How do we prevent these counterfeit attacks?

Phishing is a type of cyber attack that involves redirecting web traffic from legitimate sites to fake sites. This is designed to make the fake site look like a legitimate site, so that users are tricked into logging in and typing their details. These details are then taken by the “perpetrators” and used in illegal activities.

Like phishing, spoofing aims to collect user information such as usernames, passwords or banking details. Although compared to phishing, scams are more complex and intimidating. This can lead to a wider network, affect more users in a short period of time, and cost the company millions of dollars.

Read also: What is Social Engineering: How It Works, Types, and Examples

The difference between phishing and counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is often considered by some people as “phishing”. It is actually more dangerous than phishing and has a different operating system. Many users, including some who are familiar with common phishing tactics, won’t know what hit them until they see an unusual transaction in their account.

While phishing involves luring users by sending a link to a fake website either by email or text message, fraud on the other hand is much more difficult to detect.

It can attack computers without the user’s knowledge or in some cases it can also attack DNS (Domain Name System) servers to redirect website traffic from legitimate websites and redirect users to fake websites controlled by hackers.

Exchange types

To better understand how these cyber attacks work, it is important to know the two types of spoofing attacks.

Malware-based counterfeiting

One of the ways hackers attack is through Trojans that you get from malicious emails, file attachments, or contaminated apps that you download. It goes to your computer’s hosts file to redirect traffic from the regular URL to that copy of the website.

Think of your computer’s hosts file as your local address book. This address book contains the hostnames of the websites you visit and their corresponding IP addresses. The hostname is the words you type into your browser such as www.google.com or www.mybank.com.

After typing a website’s hostname, the computer then checks the hosts file to see if it contains the appropriate IP address for the website and then connects you to the website.

When your device is infected with phishing malware, cybercriminals make secret changes to your computer’s hosts file. By changing entries in your local hosts file or “address book,” cybercriminals can redirect you to fake websites that might look exactly like the ones you normally visit. So when you type www.facebook.com for example, you will be redirected to a fake Facebook page.

DNS poisoning

In some cases, cybercriminals target DNS servers instead. DNS servers are similar to phonebooks or larger directories with appropriate domain names and IP addresses. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities and infiltrate DNS servers and then corrupt the DNS cache by entering fake DNS entries.

By doing so, the attacker diverts website traffic from a legitimate site, usually online banking or e-commerce, and redirects the user to a cloned website.

Corrupting the DNS results in a much larger network as it can affect hundreds if not thousands of users. Even worse, it can infect other servers, hence the term “poisoning”.

In 2017, for example, a sophisticated drug attack targeted about 50 financial institutions and affected more than 3,000 computers over a three-day period. Customers from Europe, US and Asia Pacific are drawn to fake websites where their account login information is collected by cybercriminals.

Also, DNS corruption is more difficult to detect. Your computer may look fine and free of malware after the scan but if the DNS server is compromised, you will still be directed to fake websites.

It is not as common as phishing and other forms of cyber attacks, as it requires more work for the attacker. Phishing is more prevalent because it is easier to send a link to a fake website and expect an unsuspecting victim to click on it than to hack a computer or DNS server.

But just because it’s uncommon, doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Learning how you can protect yourself from these types of attacks will save you a lot of trouble in the future.

How to protect yourself from Pharming attacks

Now that you know how these cyber attacks work, it’s time to protect yourself with some tips and precautions to save yourself from a dangerous fraud attack.

Make sure the website is secure

Before typing sensitive information like username, password or any other personal information, make sure that the website is using an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) connection. This means that an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate has been issued that protects the information you enter.

How do you know that the site is secure? You can look in your browser’s address bar and make sure there is a small “lock” icon and its text secure connection. The address must also begin with “https”, not just “http”.

Don’t click without checking the source

False malware can come in the form of Trojans that secretly hide behind seemingly harmless files or programs. It can hide and run in the background of your computer. So double check if the source of the file, link or email is legitimate.

Use reliable and up-to-date anti-malware software

For your antivirus to be effective against the latest threats, you need to update it regularly. Cyber ​​attackers often exploit vulnerabilities in a computer or server and updates are intended to fix those vulnerabilities.

Updating the operating system and antivirus applications is the first line of defense against phishing software.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best ways to protect your online accounts. You should use this specifically on websites that handle your financial information.

When two-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled, you will be prompted for a code separate from your login and password. This code is sent to your phone or email, so even if hackers get your username and password, they won’t be able to sign into your account again because they need the verification code.

Check for grammatical errors on the website

Since the goal of hackers is to collect your information, they do not spend much time polishing the content. Watch out for grammatical errors, long sentences, and phrases that seem incorrect. This often gives you clues about the legitimacy of the site.


So, while content forgery attacks are not as common as phishing because they are more difficult to implement and involve more sophisticated techniques, they are more annoying and dangerous.

Because it can attack the users without their knowledge because even if the user sees the correct URL in the address bar, they can still be redirected to a fake website that might look like the official one.

It can also launch repeated attacks on a single user if malware is installed on their machines or repeated attacks on multiple users as in the case of DNS poisoning.

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