Difference between Phishing and Pharming In 4 Easy Points


The difference between Phishing and Pharming will be elaborated in this blog. Fishing and Farming is something that you may have studied about in school and understood to be a great money earning source. You would be surprised to find out that it is this earning source that is now replicated into phishing and pharming in cyber theft. With the technical advancement today, technology isn’t just creating a path to offer an efficient resource for work; it is also forming a way for cybercriminals to misuse technology.

Cybercriminals are improving their skills to compete with the latest in technology and the advanced security systems that are indeed creating havoc in cyberspace. Phishing as well as pharming are the two main cyber theft kinds that are being used to manipulate users to key in their confidential information. Both the phishing and pharming tactics are used to let the users to key in their sensitive information. Both of these methods work differently. To know more about what phishing and pharming are and the difference between phishing and pharming, continue to read below.

  1. What Is Pharming?
  2. What is Phishing?
  3. What Is The Main Difference Between Phishing and Pharming?
  4. Things To Keep In Mind To Avoid Cyber Attacks

1) What Is Pharming?

Here is the pharming definition. Pharming is a practice of scamming where a malicious code is installed on the computer system or the server that misdirects the users into some fraud websites without their knowledge. These are fraudulent websites that look like legitimate ones and misguides the targeted user. The goal is to steal personal information like financial information, login details, and personal data. Even by clicking an authentic link, the user can fall a victim to the pharming site if the DNS or the domain name of the website is hijacked by the hacker.

Pharming as well as phishing attacks are dangerous for online users because in this era where the scams of social engineering are common the chances of finding the lurking danger are low. This is a hidden threat because the target never even gets to know if the website is or is not hijacked before he hands over his personal request information.

In pharming, the attackers create a fake website that looks like the original. Users access this website which requests for username, password, and other credentials.

2) What is Phishing?

The phishing attacks are social engineering that targets its users with the idea of conning them to reveal their confidential and personal information. In this method of attack, the hackers will send the spoofed email with a legitimate source name to the victim and then trick them to click on the malicious attachment or link which lets the hackers steal the target’s personal information.

In many of these instances, the phishing scam will make use of software or security vulnerabilities. This is to install malicious software in the device of the target user.

Phishing attacks are not restricted to email phishing only because phishers make use of SMS which is called smishing and voice messages or vishing to indulge their target victims to provide information by acting as a legitimate source. Phishing attacks have now become common and they have accounted for a huge amount of data breaches in the past.

Some of the examples of phishing are a banking fraud. Here the hackers try to get your bank details by acting as a bank employee. They communicate and steal the information in a fraudulent way.

3) What Is The Main Difference Between Phishing and Pharming?

Now let us understand the difference between phishing and pharming. While phishing and pharming are both kinds of cyber-attacks there is some difference between them. To understand the differences between phishing and pharming, we need to first understand the DNS.

To carry out a pharming scam the hackers will misuse the system of DNS and use it as the main weapon. The phishing attempt is done using websites that are spoofed and which appear to have some kind of a legitimate entity. Pharming believes in the server level of the DNS.

Pharming does not use any bait like fake links to trick users. This is something that is used in phishing. Pharming instead negotiates on the DNS server and then redirects the user to a website that is stimulated even if the user has input the correct website address. So in case, the hacker has been capable of launching a successful DNS attack it alters the fundamental flow of the web traffic towards the target’s website.

Phishing makes use of some other techniques too like vishing, smishing, and fax phishing. Pharming will make use of techniques like DNS hijacking, DNS spoofing, and DNS cache poisoning. Both these methods of data theft are a form of online robbery that leads any organization to a devastating consequence.

Pharming is trickier than phishing because it manipulates the DNS level which makes it difficult for the users to identify it. Phishing tops the list of social engineering art that lures the victims to submit their sensitive information on the phished website that they get misdirected to. The above explanation helps to make the phishing vs pharming differences clear.

4) Things To Keep In Mind To Avoid Cyber Attacks

Phishing and pharming are serious threats to cybersecurity for any organization. Regardless of what their differences may be these cybercrimes are dangerous as it steals confidential data and puts it to malicious use. To secure your company from these attacks it is important to look for the HTTPS in the URLs and check out if the emails look suspicious. It is also important that your employees go through the cybersecurity awareness training that guides them to identify these potential threats. Keeping track of how your brand is getting represented online and avoiding clicking on the links are other ways to prevent the frim from being exposed to cybercrimes.


Cyber-attacks can be expensive for any organization. Why should you pay towards recovering from these damages when you can invest in cybersecurity solutions and pay a much lesser price? Secure your network and your email domain and do not fall prey to these cybercriminals.

Pharming and phishing cyber thefts are now becoming even more complex. These are threats that endanger any organization. Educating yourself and your employees about these criminal activities can save your organization from being exposed to the gimmick of cybercriminals.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.


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