What is Phishing Attack? How it Works & How to Prevent Yourself?

Phishing Attack is the most simple and effective attack for hackers to steal credentials like username, password, social security number, organization secrets, or credit card details. Sometimes phishing is also used to spread malware inside a network. In general, Phishing involves Social engineering as well as Spoofing.

Social engineering is all about collecting information about a target person or an organization which includes mobile numbers, email ids, frequently used domains, food habits, pet names, family details, business partners, network reports, etc.

This information gives you the complete detailed analysis of the target which will make it easier when it comes to spoofing.

Spoofing is all about imitating as a legitimate source so that, the target believes it is legitimate. Hackers use social engineering to study the target and use spoofing to lure the victim in downloading malware or entering a phishing website.


Most of the phishing attack are done using emails. Phishing emails will pose as an original sender which a user would believe and tricks the user into downloading malware, giving out his details or entering a malicious link.

Starting from the most dangerous viruses like ILOVEYOU, Wannacry Ransomware, Doomsday, GandCrab, Emotet etc were spread using phishing emails. Hackers compromised systems by Spoofing as a legitimate sender which the target believed and downloaded the virus attachment.

Stealing passwords are done using Phishing websites. Phishing websites will look exactly like a legitimate website but with some changes which normal computer users don’t notice. Hackers will send a spoofed email which will contain a phishing link.

If the user clicks and enters the website, it will look exactly like the legitimate website which(it is not) the user often visits. It usually contains the username and password fields. If the bait works with the user, hackers will have his credentials by the moment he submits the username and password. This trick can give access to an organization’s database for hackers.

Attacking with Phishing emails have been in practice for several years. Investment of millions of dollars on security, but hackers are still able to bypass a network with one phishing email. Less Cyber Security knowledge with employees makes it easier to compromise all security measures.

How Does Phishing Attack Works?

Phishing emails are always sent with a subject that states a sense of urgency, expired passwords, Credit card bills, Loan approved, or Account under attack.

These subjects will make the target panic and make them open the link or attachment as soon as he sees. A normal computer user wouldn’t know the difference between a spoofed email and the original email. Or in other words, they wouldn’t notice the sender address.

As soon as the victim clicks and executes the attachment, phishing would have been successfully executed.

How to Prevent it?

Phishing emails can be prevented by using email gateways like Comodo KoruMail which will filter Phishing emails from reaching the target. Other methods include,

  • Teaching the employees about email security
  • Updating the software now and then.
  • Getting updates about everyday Cyber Security news from sites like GBHackers, Bleepingcomputer, Threatpost
  • Conducting frequent security audits(at least twice a year) will help in securing the weakest link.
  • Read here the complete phishing attack prevention.

Being updated in the Cyber Security news will help in protecting ourselves. Whether it be an individual or an organization.


Phishing Attack

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BALAJI is a Former Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


  1. […] Phishing attacks are an infamous threat to organizations and individuals, the act of sending targeted phishing attacks known as spear phishing. […]

  2. […] Phishing attacks are an infamous threat to organizations and individuals, the act of sending targeted phishing attacks known as spear phishing. […]

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