What is Smishing?

Smishing is a phishing message sent via text. The word Smishing is the combination of the words SMS (aka texting) and Phishing. See definitions below.

What Technology Is Most Commonly Used For Texting?

Texting can be accomplished using several different technologies but the oldest and most common is Short Message Service which is reduced to the acronym SMS.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a communication (usually email) sent by a malicious actor (aka: threat actor, hacker, bad guy) to mislead the recipient into voluntarily providing private information.

hacker scammer worried user looking over laptop

Phishing can be done by phone, text, fax, email or even old paper mail, and uses Social Engineering to trick the recipient.

The term phishing is the combination of the word Fishing and Phreaks, which is what hackers in the 1990’s called themselves.

There are many sub-types of phishing including Spear Phishing which are highly targeted messages sent to just one person rather than the more generic mass emails. Whaling is just Spear Phishing a high profile or high value target like a CEO or very popular actor.

What is a Phishing Kit?

Phishing is highly lucrative form of fraud that now has unscrupulous IT companies providing phishing-as-a-service, services. These companies provide hackers with prebuilt phishing campaigns and servers operate their nasty business with ease.

Think of a Phishing Kit the same way you think of Gmail or Yahoo mail, in that it used to require software, systems and complex configurations to send and receive your email, and now all you have to do is log in to get email to work.

What is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering is the art of misleading someone into providing confidential information. Bad guys are really good at Social Engineering because they have had years of practice to learn what works and what does not.

Social Engineering communications (email, phone calls, …) nearly always have two elements:

  1. pretending to be someone else like a senior company official, grand child, government agency, courier company, collections agency…
  2. urgent action required for example:
    • grand child in jail and needs bail money
    • company has a deal closing in 4 hours and needs money / information right now


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