Pharming is essentially a phishing scam that can infect numerous users simultaneous by redirecting them from a legitimate website to a fake site. The fake website can be used to install virus’s or trojans on the user’s computer to obtain personal information such as bank account details which could be utilised for identity theft.
Pharming attacks can be achieved by malicious code being installed which infects the user’s device trojan that can change files on your computer to direct traffic from its intended target towards a fake website. The second common pharming attack method can occur through a malicious actor poisoning a DNS server, meaning that users can have no malware on their devices and still be a victim of pharming attacks. Therefore, anyone who visits the legitimate website by clicking on a link in a web browser will be redirected to the fake site.
To combat pharming attacks, it is imperative that you use a reputable anti-virus software and ensure it remains up to as well as it could flag the fraudulent website up as not safe. However, you need to ensure you take precaution especially when visiting websites that contain highly sensitive or personal information. If the website you visit looks strange, or if the site asks for an usual amount of personal information, check to ensure there is a green padlock present in the address bar and that the URL is spelt correctly.
If you see any suspicious web-links on forums or e-mails, do not click on the link, instead type it out yourself, or hover over the link as it will show you where it is redirecting to.