Pharming – What is it and How Does it Affect Users on the Internet? 

Hackers keep coming up with new and improved ways to steal sensitive information that could be the login details of the user. The extent can even go up-to serious security thefts like identity stealing and stealing the credit and debit card details of the user. That said, it doesn’t mean that there’s no hope left and every device present on the web will essentially be hacked. If you can follow cybersecurity techniques, then the chances that your data will even be stolen and misused can be slashed substantially.  

Now, the first thing that you have to understand is, what are the ways that hackers use so that you can safeguard the most sensitive data. To be precise, hackers generally use phishing attacks to force their way inside a system. 

Phishing, that has existed for decades, is an extremely deceptive way of launching cyber attacks. On top of that, hackers from the dark side keep modifying the phishing techniques to make them more lethal than before. Earlier it was spear phishing that they started using and now, the newest and the most serious form of phishing is pharming. 

What is Pharming? 

A very serious and advanced form of phishing, Pharming is tricking users into clicking on a malicious website. Here’s how it works:

  • When a user feeds an IP address in the search engine, the computer checks the IP address of the website and redirects the user’s system towards the website with the matching IP.

Now, in order to make the pharming attack successful, a hacker designs another website that looks like an exact replica of the original/real website. Which means that the malicious website has to be so legit that the DNS will end up not identifying it as the fake replica of the original one. It is then that the DNS ends up redirecting the user’s laptop to the website that contains malware. 

  • As soon as the user clicks on the malicious website, the login credentials are stolen. 
  • Filling sensitive information like your card details result in monetary theft. 
  • Last, but not the least, the malware enters in the system and corrupts all files that are not encrypted or are not password protected. 

Since such an advanced form of stealing credentials, the techniques used to protect a system and limit the damage caused by pharming have to be advanced too. 

The ones that are most effective and suggested by cybersecurity experts globally are listed below.

  • Always patch the router by installing updates. Whilst new routers are being developed with the auto-update option, if you have an older one that doesn’t notify when an update is released, make it a habit of manually checking for updates once or twice every week. 
  • Focus on using new system protection tricks like multi-factor or 2-factor authentication. 

On a closing note, it’s important that you game up your online security if you want to protect yourself from becoming the next victim of hacking. 

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