Down on the pharm

Facing a diminishing catch, hackers are turning away from phishing and towards pharming, according to network security companies.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  March 10, 2005

Hackers are taking phishing to a new level with a new technique known as pharming. “Pharming is a next-generation phishing attack,” says Scott Chasin, CTO of MX Logic. While phishing uses e-mails to lure users into entering data into spoofed online banking Web sites, pharming interferes with the name resolution process on the internet, so that when a web users enter addresses, they get re-directed to bogus sites. Each web is converted into a numeric IP address as 62.14.63.187. This is known as name resolution, and the task is performed by DNS (Domain Name System) servers. These servers store tables with the IP address of each domain name. Pharming is a new application of well-known security weaknesses. It highlights security loopholes that can only be partly addressed by better browser security. Improved browser security to prevent address spoofing or crypto plug-in to verify the digital certificates of sites might help.

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