Keep Yourself “Off The Hook”

-History of Phishing

Phishing originated sometime around 1995. It was not until around 2005, everyday people heard or knew about it. People all over the globe fall victim to phishing scams every minute of every day. To avoid being a part of the statistics, it is smart to do some research to understand how phishing works.

Phishing scams use fake emails and websites to lure people using links and/or prompts for use in fooling the user to provide personal/sensitive information. The earliest hackers were called “phreaks.” Phreaking is a term to describe the underground communities which explore and study different telecommunication systems. This is the reason the “ph” is used in place of the “f” in the spelling.

“America Online” is the first known case of criminal issues regarding Phishing. As per record on the internet, the first event using the term “phishing” occurred in a Usenet newsgroup called alt.online-service.america-online and was recorded on January 2, 1996.

In 2001, phishing attention was targeted at online payment systems. The first recorded attack is known to be E-Gold in June, 2001, which was not considered successful. By 2003, phishers used email worms and spoofed email to PayPal customers, leading these people to sites that requested them to update credit card information. These phishers had dozens of  registered domains that appeared legitimate using eBay and PayPal. By 2004, phishers graduated to banking sites and their customers. Since then, more sophisticated ploys and methods have been executed and deployed.

The best defense is knowledge and awareness. if you think you have been the victim of phishing or identify theft, please contact the following agencies:

Report all phishing activity to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or call  (877) IDTHEFT

Major Credit Bureaus:

Equifax (800) 525-6285

P.O. Box 740250

Atlanta, GA 30374

www.equifax.com

Experian (888) 397-3742

P.O. Box 1017

Allen, TX 75013

www.experian.com

TransUnion (800) 680-7289

P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, CA 92634

www.transunion.com

                                                                               “History of Phishing,” n.a, n.p, Phishing.org, © 2012

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