Phishing has become increasingly common in recent years. Statistics show that over four in five businesses experience at least one phishing attack at any given year. A form of social engineering, it can leave businesses vulnerable to data breaches. If a phishing attack is successful, a hacker may steal a business’s sensitive information. In addition to phishing, however, there’s also vishing. Phishing and fishing are undoubtedly similar. Nonetheless, they aren’t necessarily the same. What’s the difference between phishing and fishing exactly?

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a form of social engineering in which an attacker tricks an individual into voluntarily providing him or her with sensitive information. The goal of phishing is to entice the victim into revealing sensitive information, such as his or her login credentials to an online account.

There are phishing emails, for instance, that are designed for this purpose. You may receive a phishing email that looks like it was sent from a legitimate company. The phishing email may include a link to log in to an account. Upon clicking this link and entering your username and password, though, the hacker behind the attack will know your login credentials. Therefore, your online will be compromised.

What Is Vishing?

Vishing is a specific type of phishing. Also known as voice phishing, it’s characterized by the platform on which it’s carried out. While phishing attacks can be carried out on all platforms, vishing attacks are exclusively carried on the phone.

Most vishing attacks involve the use of a voice-over-IP (VOIP) system. Hackers use VOIP systems to automatically call their targets while trying to entice them to divulge sensitive information. In many cases, they’ll use spoofed numbers for this purpose. In other words, the phone number from which the hacker calls isn’t real; it’s a fake number that’s generated via a computer program.

Differences Between Phishing and Vishing

Phishing and vishing are both forms of social engineering, and they are both designed to trick victims into divulging sensitive information. Phishing is simply a broad category of social engineering attacks that encompasses a variety of platforms. Its most commonly performed via email, but phishing can be performed via websites, direct mail and other platforms.

Vishing, on the other hand, specifically involves the use of calls. Most vishing attacks are carried out with a VOIP system. Hackers use VOIP systems — which include a spoofed number — to call their victims. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the differences between phishing and vishing.

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