I was going to make something of the name “Pharmer Giles” but I think that is too British considering most of you visitors are from the States.
Anyway, I digress.
Hopefully by now you all have a very good idea of what phishing is?
If not then you should read ‘What Exactly Is Phishing?‘
So what is pharming then?
Pharming has the same goal as phishing, namely to steal your personal details, either for instant fraud profits or, worse, to steal your identity with.
Pharming is a little more involved, dare I say “professional” than phishing.
Phishing inherently relies on victims ignorance or plain stupidity to work – getting someone to click on a false link to take them to a site that will harvest their details, or tricking them into emailing said information direct to the scammer.
Pharming, however, will use a malicious piece of code on the target’s computer to surrepticiously redirect them when they enter a url into their browser.
For example, when the victim types in the url for their favourite online auction site they will be taken there, or so it seems.
The site will look and behave just as it should, even though it is a fake.
This deception makes it far more likely that the victim will type their details into the site, thereby giving the scammer all that they need.
As ever, don’t click on links in emails, even if they look like they are taking you to a site you trust, keep your computer protected via the latest antivirus packages and install a firewall.
Also, never trust a pop up window with your sensitive information.