Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of sending email that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organization. This is usually combined with a threat or request for information: for example, that an account will close, a balance is due, or information is missing from an account. The email will ask the recipient to supply confidential information, such as bank account details, PINs or passwords; these details are then used by the owners of the website to conduct fraud.
  • n. The act of circumventing security with an alias.
  • v. Present participle of phish.

Etymologies

Respelling of fishing ("trying to find"). In Usenet newsgroups, cracker and pirate groups used variant spellings of phish and warez (i.e. wares) to evade scans and filters by mainstream servers policing the ARPAnet/Internet. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Spawns of phishing threats such as ´spear phishing´ - highly targeted and coordinated attacks at a specific organisation or individual designed to extract critical data - increased more than ten-fold since January of this year alone.

    IT & Security Portal» IT-Observer

  • The term phishing comes from the analogy that the fraudsters are 'fishing' for information in the sea of internet users

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • This must be how my mom feels when she marvels at me for knowing how to find things on the internet! and not click on links in phishing emails!

    We Live in the Future: TMNT Theme Song Performed by A Cappella Multitrack

  • The numbers, and a sharp increase in phishing attacks targeting nervous banking customers, reflect a recent spike in cyber-related scams over the past several weeks, Davis and others say.

    Security experts warn PC attacks on the rise

  • For most people, phishing is still something you do with a hook and a line by a river.

    Why are people so stupid? « Squash

  • Instead, this type of worm could possibly be used in phishing attempts if it were modifying the hosts file to spoof banks instead of Google.

    P2Load.A Google/MS worm

  • A particular type of spam/scam called phishing is making the news more and more lately.

    RSS to NNTP gateway

  • Without it, you probably wouldn't even recognize the terms phishing, cybercrime, data breach, or botnet.

    WN.com - Business News

  • Re: Claire, "Fishing" is an excellent angle into the problem - why don't we call phishing what it is for everyone else - attempted fraud?

    DeWitt Clinton

  • Security experts say the real worry isn't someone hacking into Obama's BlackBerry but rather more mundane issues raised by an e-mailing commander in chief, such as phishing, which is when an email sender tries to trick the recipient into thinking the message is from someone else.

    POTUS Keeps His Precious

Comments

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  • I used to have a (non-English-speaker) lecturer who would consistently pronounce this word as pissing. Try to keep a straight face.

    December 8, 2009

  • "The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information." --Webopedia

    March 12, 2009