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Pharm's Way

Learn how to protect yourself from the latest internet attack.

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This story appears in the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just when you finally figured out how to deal with viruses, worms, spam and phishing, along comes pharming. Pharming is like phishing on steroids. A pharming attack maliciously redirects a web browser to a spoof site that harvests personal information. Banking sites are top targets. "It's less of a visible threat, because there is no e-mail. It operates behind the scenes," says Scott Chasin, chief technology officer with Denver-based e-mail security company MX Logic. Unlike phishing, pharming has no social engineering lure. That makes it a more dangerous and stealthy method of attack.

Chasin cites several ways pharming can take place. DNS-cache poisoning, which exploits faults in DNS servers, and malware are the main vehicles that have been identified so far. And a Trojan was identified earlier this year that targeted several major banks.

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