Phishing attack

What are phishing attacks?

These are attempts to capture sensitive information by cybercriminals masquerading as banks, social media platforms, and other official entities.

How phishing attacks work

A typical phishing attack might entail email spoofing whereby the attacker poses as a reputable organization. The email will typically include a link that takes users to a fake website, which continues the masquerade of posing as an authoritative entity. On the website, one might be asked to reset a password or enter a social security, credit card, or phone number. The cybercriminal then captures these confidential data.

Alternatively, the phishing email might include an attachment. When the attachment is clicked on, a malicious file is downloaded from the Internet. The file then infects a user’s device.

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The Avira Security Wordbook

Search our threat glossary for clarifications on frequently used terms in IT security.