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Difference Between Phishing and Pharming

Phishing Vs. Pharming: In this tutorial, we will learn about phishing and pharming and the key differences between phishing and pharming. By IncludeHelp Last updated : June 07, 2023

In today's digital world, cyber threats are increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, targeting both novice users and seasoned professionals alike. Among these threats, phishing and pharming stand out as two common yet distinct types of cyberattacks that manipulate users into revealing sensitive information.

Phishing and pharming are two common yet distinct types of cyberattacks that aim to steal sensitive information. Both are two prevalent cyberattacks aimed at obtaining sensitive user information. Both attacks employ deception tactics intending to trick users into revealing their data voluntarily.

Let's understand both in detail.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that entices users through electronic communication channels such as email, instant messaging, and text messages. For example, attackers may send fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate sources like banks or online service providers to deceive recipients into sharing their login credentials or other sensitive data on fake websites mimicking the real ones.

What is Pharming?

Pharming is an advanced form of DNS hijacking or poisoning wherein cybercriminals manipulate the domain name system (DNS) by redirecting users from authentic websites to malicious duplicates without their knowledge.

Difference between Phishing and Pharming

The key differences between phishing and pharming are as follows:

S.No. Phishing Pharming
1 Phishing involves illegally obtaining sensitive user information through electronic communication, such as email or instant messages. Pharming seeks to acquire the personal and financial information of users by redirecting them to a malicious website that appears legitimate.
2 Phishing relies on victims failing to recognize they are being scammed and voluntarily providing sensitive information in response to a fraudulent message. Pharming operates on a much larger scale, often targeting multiple users at once by exploiting vulnerabilities in the Domain Name System (DNS) to redirect users to fake websites.
3 Vishing, a type of phishing, uses phone calls or voice messages to trick victims into providing sensitive information. Pharming does not rely on direct communication with victims and works by manipulating the technical infrastructure of the internet.
4 Phishing attacks can be avoided by carefully examining electronic communications and looking for signs of fraud, such as poor grammar, requests for personal information, or suspicious sender addresses. Pharming attacks can be thwarted by keeping software up-to-date, using secure and encrypted connections (HTTPS), and regularly checking for signs of DNS tampering.
5 Phishing involves tricking users into revealing their data voluntarily through electronic communication channels. Pharming manipulates the domain name system (DNS) by redirecting users to malicious duplicates without their knowledge.

By familiarizing oneself with these differences, individuals and businesses can better protect themselves from falling victim to both phishing and pharming attacks.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between phishing and pharming is crucial to maintaining online security. Phishing attacks involve tricking users into revealing sensitive information through fraudulent messages or bait, while pharming seeks to obtain personal and financial information by redirecting users to simulated websites.

Both attacks can be identified and prevented through common signs and best practices for website authentication and online identity theft prevention. By staying vigilant and aware of these types of cyber fraud, we can protect ourselves from internet scams, malware, and identity theft.

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