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Cyber Safety Glossary


Also Known As:

Spoofing, DNS Cache Poisoning.

Pharming (pronounced "farming") is a technically sophisticated scam designed to trick individuals into disclosing sensitive information such as bank account, credit card, and Social Security numbers. It is similar to Phishing, but Pharming poses risks even if you do not click a link within the email. Pharming uses malware or spyware to re-direct users from real web sites to fraudulent sites (typically through Domain Name System hijacking), even if the user enters a legitimate web address.

How to Recognize This Threat:
Pharming relies on scare tactics. If a message implies that immediate action is needed to update sensitive financial and identity information, it must be considered suspect.

What Should I Do:
The malware-based method of Pharming is stopped by maintaining up-to-date anti-virus and anti-Spyware programs on your computer as well as by having a firewall. These precautions will reduce the likelihood that a virus will redirect you to a scammer's Web site. Look for the lock or key icon at the bottom of the browser when entering a site that purports to be secure. If the site has changed since your last visit, be cautious. If you are concerned, give the organization a call and explain the