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What is Smishing in cyber security?

2 minute read
Smishing is a form of phishing that uses a mobile phone as the attack platform. Cyberattacks are carried out by criminals with the goal of obtaining personal data such as payment card numbers. Smishing is a type of illegal assault that is carried out using SMS or text messages.
By, Jack Wong

Smishing is a form of phishing that uses a mobile phone as the attack platform. Criminals carry out cyberattacks intending to obtain personal data such as payment card numbers. Smishing in cyber security is an illegal assault using SMS or text messages.

How does a Smishing attack work?

As users grow more overwhelmed by constant emails and suspicious of spam, text messages have become a more attractive attack vector exploiting the more intimate relationships we have with our smart devices. In addition, people are often unaware of suspicious messages on their phones rather than on their computers. Generally, their devices need the type of security available on corporate computers. Therefore, smishing is becoming increasingly widespread.

Types of Smishing in cyber security 

Text Smishing 

The hackers could attempt a variety of phishing with a text message. This involves pretending to be a bank employee and trying to convince you to give up a username, password or other confidential information they can use to log into one of your online accounts. They could try to get you to click on a link in the text message to connect to your bank’s website and verify a recent suspicious charge.

Cell Phone Smishing 

An offer from your provider offering a special discount on a service or phone upgrade illustrates a smishing attack. The message encourages you to click the provided link to activate the deal. When you land on a fraudulent webpage that looks like your provider’s website, the site requests confirmation of your payment card number, address, etc. Bear in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it generally is.

Instant messaging smishing 

Sometimes, messenger software like Facebook, WeChat, WhatsApp or Instagram are tools for smishing. Similar to phishing, instant message smishing aims to get you to provide personal data, including passwords and credit card numbers. In the meantime, attackers might entice you with a deal or something of value in exchange for this information. With such offerings, a clickable link is frequently present. Also, please be alert when you receive a message from a stranger. It is often a good sign of a possible instant message smishing scheme, as these attacks can appear to come from someone you know and are already connected to.

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