There are many cyber attacks that we can find on the network, so it is necessary to be aware of how they develop and know how to act against these threats. Pharming is one of them, so read carefully.
PHARMING: WHAT IS IT?
Computer Pharming manages to capture victims’ confidential information by creating fake websites. The hacker builds fraudulent websites that will be practically the same as the official website that he is copying.
In this way, users will access the site thinking it is the original website. They will be able to insert personal data such as username, password, ID, or bank details, which the cybercriminal will then steal.
Its name comes from English, specifically from the terms “farm” (farm), because hackers work with large servers where they create fake websites, and “Phishing,” since it is a variant of this type of cyber attack that has the purpose of data theft.
Pharming is also characterized by installing malware on the victims’ computers that will be installed when the affected person accesses the fake website. This type of cyber attack tricks the victim and can also mislead the laptop.
TYPES OF PHARMING
To carry out a Pharming attack, the cybercriminal will need an access route, and this will be either the installation of malware or DNS poisoning:
Unlike Phishing, Pharming does not occur through an email but requires malicious software to access our computer. The hacker attacks the computer’s host file and redirects traffic from legitimate pages to malicious websites.
The host file contains all the addresses that we are going to visit with the names of the website and the IP, and what the cybercriminal is going to do is modify this “agenda” so that we directly access the falsified websites.
So the victim will end up, without knowing it, on a site that was not the one they expected and could insert confidential data that will later steal.
PHARMING BY DNS POISONING
The DNS performs a function very similar to that of the host file, and it acts as a telephone book with domain names and IP addresses. The hacker will attack the DNS server directly; for that, they must detect some vulnerability in the server, or they can poison the cache.
As with malware-based pharming, they will get the victim to access websites of their choosing directly.
HOW TO AVOID A PHARMING ATTACK?
Every time cybercriminals find new ways to attack our computers and thus be able to steal data to gain access to bank accounts or credit cards. For this reason, it is essential to guarantee good protection on our computers and be cautious when browsing the web:
INSTALL ENDPOINTS OR ANTIVIRUS
Installing an antivirus solution or endpoints will make it easier to block malware from entering the system; in this way, we will protect the computer and prevent the danger from spreading.
CHECK THE URL
Before inserting essential data on any website, it is necessary to ensure that it is a secure site to avoid a Pharming attack. We will have to look at the URL since they are often misspelled. Cybercriminals can change just one letter and make it barely noticeable; for example, instead of “ka.com,” they write “ca.com.”
It is also essential to check that the URL begins with HTTPS and contains the letter “S,” indicating that the website is secure. If we do not find HTTPS in the search bar, we can look for a lock that will mean the same thing.
MAKE BACKUP COPIES
Every business should back up regularly. Thanks to this, they will be able to preserve the data and recover it in the event of a cyber attack. If we do not have backup copies and lose the data, cybercriminals can blackmail and demand a financial ransom for that information, which will aggravate the problem.
If our equipment is not updated, it will have specific vulnerabilities that cybercriminals will take advantage of to access the system, so it is essential to keep the equipment updated and the latest versions.
Pharming attacks are only a tiny part of all the types of cyberattacks out there, which is why protecting our computers from any cyberattack is becoming more and more important.