What are Phishing Kits?
Jackie here. When you want quick and easy… buy a kit. We use kits for making salads, DIY crafts, etc. Scammers use kits for something much more sinister… stealing your information. Phishing kits are an inexpensive way for thieves to launch information stealing campaigns. Let’s take a look at what phishing kits are and how you can protect yourself from phishing attacks.
What Are Phishing Kits?
Phishing kits enable scammers to quickly and easily steal your information. Little technical knowledge or expertise is needed when using a kit. Scammers simply buy the kit (sometimes for as little as $2) and install it, no programming needed. This allows thieves to jump in and start stealing information quickly. Unfortunately for those of us that aren’t thieves, phishing kits are bad news because they make the process of stealing information much simpler.
Phishing kits are often loaded on to legitimate blogs and websites when hackers compromise these sites. This makes having up to date anti-virus software even more important because you don’t have to be visiting dodgy websites to be at risk.
How Do They Work?
Phishing kits can snatch your login information when you visit websites. It might look just like the login page for your bank, but it might not be. When you enter your username and password, the phishing kit gathers the information and sends it back to the scammer. Sometimes you’ll even be successfully logged into the site (using a trick where scammers input the information for you on the legitimate site) to keep you from realizing you’ve been compromised.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Protecting yourself from phishing kits requires diligence. While there isn’t a 100% guarantee you can protect your computer, here are a few tips that can reduce your risk:
Be Cautious with Links- Stop and think before you click that link. Hovering over a link to see where it is headed it always a good idea.
Watch for Bad Grammar- If you notice blatantly bad grammar in an email, send it to the trash. Scammers often use bad spelling and grammar in their phishing emails. Phishing is getting more sophisticated these days, so watch for strange requests for personal information in unsolicited emails.
Update Your Computer- Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Also update your various software programs. Thieves often exploit vulnerabilities in programs, which software updates may correct.
Check the Reputation- You can check the reputation of a site before you visit. This reputation checker from Norton is one tool that can help.
Try an Incorrect Password- If you’re unsure whether a login page is legitimate, try the wrong password first. Often, phishing pages won’t return an error message.
Phishing kits are scary business, but if you follow smart browsing principles, you can do a lot to protect yourself.