Pharm-a-con

Give an old attack a snazzy new name and, behold, the new threat of 'pharming.'

First there was phreaking. And then there was phishing. Now, a security company has decided that we need another phonetically challenged threat: pharming.

That's the new threat to consumer identity information, according to security firm MX Logic. The threat, redirecting people from a legitimate site to a malicious site designed to grab their information, is not widespread and few, if any, examples exist, the company admits.

Yet, for some reason there is need to call attention to the danger. Nevermind that such an attack already has a name, or actually several names, depending on how it is accomplished. The most common scenario, known as DNS poisoning, is that an attacker somehow overwrites the registration information of a domain name, directing people to a site different from what was expected.

Renaming such threats is a tact used by media-savvy companies to give some attacks greater prestige. Why don't we start with some hard data first about which threat needs to be highlighted? That would certainly help the cause of security more.

About the author

    Robert Lemos
    covers viruses, worms and other security threats.
     

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