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What is URL phishing

Phishing is one of the most effective and efficient ways for attackers to exploit their victims. Phishing is when hackers get your personal information. URL phishing is a social engineering attack used to steal user information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. This happens when an attacker pretends to be a trusted source and tricks the victim into opening a text message, instant text message, or email. While opening a message, recipients are tricked into clicking on a malicious link that could lead to their system being attacked with ransomware, install a virus, or reveal personal and financial information such as credit card information use.

URL phishing attacks are only successful when the person opens a malicious link to a website and provides sensitive information. Usually, perpetrators disguise these malicious URLs as identity confirmations or password resets. Hackers can even clone an entire website to create a phishing site so that the victim thinks it’s a legitimate website. These fake websites are so similar to the real website that users may not notice any difference.

URL phishing attacks are occurring with increasing success rates and are becoming increasingly difficult to identify. Intel research shows that 97% of security professionals cannot detect a phishing email from a real email. Imagine how easily ordinary email users can be fooled by such scams, even if they pay attention to email account details.

Phishing attacks often manipulate victims to impersonate a trusted person or business. While experts struggle to detect phishing emails, the software has been developed to detect phishing and trap malicious messages.

Example of Phishing URL Attack

A malicious person distributes a fake email disguised as to faculty members of the university. The body of the email indicates that the user’s password expiration date is approaching. The notice recommends that you renew your password within 2 hours by clicking the following link:

If a user clicks on a malicious link, one or more of the following can happen:

The user is redirected to a fake page on the renewal site that contains an exact copy of the real renewal page. It will prompt the user for an existing password and a new password. The author, hidden behind this fake website, accesses confidential information such as the original password and uses it to access the university’s secure network. The user is redirected to the initial password renewal page, but a malicious script fires in the background to hack the user’s session cookie. Thus, it provides attackers with a backdoor into a restricted network of universities.

Once hackers are inside a university’s network, they can wreak all sorts of havoc, from deleting databases to accessing files containing sensitive faculty and student information, doing decline the university’s legitimate website.

URL Phishing Techniques

The rise in URL phishing attacks poses a significant threat to all businesses and organizations. The following two phishing techniques are common for URL phishing:

Email Phishing – The most common type of URL phishing. An author sends a mass phishing email to a large number of users. Even if only a small percentage of recipients respond to the spoofed emails, the attacker will gain significant amounts of personal information and money. First, perpetrators create phishing emails by copying real emails from a legitimate organization. They use the same logos, fonts, phrases and signatures to make the email look real and fool the user. The attacker then adds a sense of urgency in the message to prompt the user to take immediate action, such as an expired account notification or even a warning that the recipient’s account may have been hacked. . The hacker then creates a malicious URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that looks like the real counterpart and looks like a trusted domain. To an unsuspecting user, the message, the origin of the emails, and where the link sent them all appear legitimate, leaving the user vulnerable. Spear Phishing – A URL phishing version that asks for details about an organization. It allows attackers to impersonate a trusted person and trick users into clicking a fake link in a fake email, instant message, or text message. When the link was clicked, the victim unwittingly revealed personal information to the hacker.

How to identify URL phishing attacks

Individuals and businesses can take steps to prevent URL phishing. Individuals can prevent it by being vigilant. A phishing message or phishing email often includes minor errors that can reveal its true identity. These errors can be simple typos (i.e. Google vs. goggle) or minor changes in the structure of the URL. For example, you should check the web address displayed in the address bar of your browser to see if it matches the actual domain name and the security certificate (https protocol) by clicking the padlock icon. help detect malicious and phishing websites. . URLs.

Organizations can protect themselves from URL phishing attacks in a number of ways:

A security-conscious company should enforce strict password management policies and provide Security awareness training for all employees. They should require employees to change passwords frequently and not use the same password for multiple platforms. However, these measures are contingent on employees complying with the policies. People are who they are, even the best policies are only as good as those who follow them.