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Rajib Singha
Pharming – What is it and How Can you Dodge it?
May 17, 2017

pharming

If someday you intend to go to a mall but end up in a fish market, then that’s a case of bad directional sense. In the digital world, however, we call it pharming!

How Does Pharming Work?

Phishing is an online fraud where a scammer sends fraudulent emails to the targeted victim. The emails pose as genuine communication from a trusted enterprise such as a bank. The aim of these emails is to trick the victim into visiting a fake website and giving out sensitive information like bank account details.

Now, phishing has a sneakier cousin called pharming; it is more difficult to detect and is a greater threat to a person’s identity and their financial assets. Unlike phishing, it does not use a lure such as emails, but secretly redirects the victim to a fake website, even if they have manually typed in the genuine web address. In most cases, the fake website is designed to look like the legitimate one, for example a bank’s website. And if the user falls for it, then they might give away their confidential personal or bank account details, which would be then exploited by the scammer.

To execute pharming, a pharmer may either compromise your computer by installing malicious software in it, or by infecting the server connected to your computer.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Pharming

 1. Whenever you visit a banking or e-commerce website, look for a “locked padlock” icon somewhere in the window of the browser, and ensure that the site’s URL begins with “https”. Presence of these two elements signify that you are on a secured website.

2. It is also crucial to ensure that the website has a valid certificate of authority by a trusted service like VeriSign, Inc., Entrust, Inc., GeoTrust, Inc., etc. The certificate must display the correct name of the website you are in. You can check this certificate by clicking on the “padlock” icon in the browser’s address bar, as you can see in the screenshots below.

(Click on the images for an enlarged view)

On Mozilla Firefox

secure-website-browser

On Internet Explorer

secure-website-browser2

On Google Chrome

secure-website-browser3

3. After you land on a website, check its URL. For instance, if you type in “www.google.com” and land up on the Google homepage but with a URL “www.goglee.com”, then suspect it as a pharming activity. Do not go any further.

4. Note that, pharming websites usually ask for “extra” information. For instance, if your bank’s website requests for your user id, password, ATM pin, debit card number, transaction password, etc. all at once, then it is most likely to be a pharming site.

5. Keep a close track of your bank statements every month.

6. Use multilayer protection for your computer, and always keep the security software up to date. Also, use the latest version of your browser, as they come with fixes for recently detected security vulnerabilities.

7. Keep yourself updated about the latest security threats and updates.

Although pharming is not as old or common as phishing, it provides a bigger avenue for cyber criminals to target their victims. Quick Heal security solutions provide extensive protection against phishing, pharming and several other cyber security threats, across desktop and mobile platforms.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rajib Singha
About Rajib Singha
Rajib is a Physics graduate and a technology enthusiast. Besides having a keen interest in the latest gadgets, he is also into IT security and all that it...
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35 Comments

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  1. Rituraj MishraMay 30, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Excellent QH information centre. It was protective & useful. Keep saving people by educating. Great…

    Reply
  2. Thanks 4 the useful hints !!

    Reply
  3. RAGHUNANDANMay 30, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    VERY GOOD AND EYE OPENING INFORMATION. PLEASE CONTINUE SUCH INFORMATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL

    Reply
  4. Anil Kumar SharafMay 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Very useful new information. Thanx.

    Reply
  5. Thanx For The Tips

    Reply
  6. Prabhat SinghMay 30, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    this is good

    Thanku you for help

    Reply
  7. www.quizvook.comMay 30, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Thanks a lot for this very good information admin..

    Reply
  8. Balram BhadeMay 30, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Thanks….This is very useful..!!!

    Reply
  9. Suresh SeshanMay 30, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  10. excellent info for those of us who work at home and do not have much contact with outside world of cyber activity.thanks ,you r doing a good service

    Reply
  11. Anil GuptaMay 30, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Thank you so much for providing such a informative article in a simple language.

    Reply
  12. D.avinashMay 31, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    This is so much information .Thanks 4 the useful hints !!

    Reply
  13. Sajjad QuraishiMay 31, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Thank you for the information. I will follow the instructions mentioned by you

    Reply
  14. MUKESH COMMUNICATIONMay 31, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    THANKS FOR YOUR INFORMATION

    Reply
  15. thanks – its a very useful

    Reply
  16. saroj kumar routMay 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    thanks

    Reply
  17. Madhukar SukulMay 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Thanks a ton QH….

    The info shared is of great help..!!

    Reply
  18. Very good news

    Reply
  19. Thanks for updating..

    Reply
  20. R Lakshmi NarayanaMay 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Thank you for sharing this useful information. We should be cautious about such transactions in net browsing.

    Reply
  21. Manish ShahMay 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Ramesh GuptaMay 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Thanks!, This is a very useful information.

    Reply
  23. Thank u for the information
    Mohan

    Reply
  24. That’s good info Rajib. Keep it up.

    Reply
  25. Shimul MondalMay 31, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I am using Quick Heal since 2008. The anti malware,PC Tuner and the firewall protection provides a great security to my Laptop.And Yes I suggest Quick Heal to all PC and Laptop users ,and thnx Quick Heal for Your Info

    Reply
  26. Jeet SainiMay 31, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Really very valuable information

    Reply
  27. Jeet SainiMay 31, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Really very valuable information.

    Reply
  28. Hi I am a managed IT services provider and we use about 12 Server licenses and about 180 Total Security licences, purchased and renews thru your Melbourne partner pard technologies. We really like QH and recommend it every day.
    I would like to re-post this, with permission, and acknowledging the author, on our website’s blog. Please confirm by reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Patrick

      We appreciate your trust, and we’ll do our best to continue to give you service beyond your expectations. Yes, you can re-post this but do mention the source and the author.

      Thanks and regards,

      Reply
  29. Jai DhabaliaMay 31, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Thank u very much for this useful info. & tips. It can help a lot..

    Reply
  30. Subrata SenguptaMay 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    These are important warnings for the many
    ‘hit and try’ internet users like us.
    Thank you indeed, Rajib.

    Reply
  31. Thanks for inform..

    Reply
  32. lizd WoodJune 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Thank you for very important info

    Reply
  33. rajib its very informative, I am learning out of your articles. keep posting such articles. three thumps up to you.

    Reply
  34. Rajesh YadavFebruary 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Quick heal is the most powerful security guard for your device. I like quick heal total security app.

    Reply