Link Manipulation- The risky Black Hat Process

The other name for link manipulation is Phishing or you can say link manipulation is a type of phishing attack done generally to mislead the user to a replica website or a “look-a-like” of some well-known site. The main trick used in this kind of phishing is the use of sub-domains. These are the technicalities which are not acquainted with Non-I.T users and hence they are the major targets of the black hats.

The Process:

Link manipulation is the method in which the phisher sends a link to a website. When the victim clicks on the misleading link, it opens up the phisher’s look-a-like website instead of the website mentioned in the link. And when the victim provides there his/her valuable information like user name, password and bank details, the information is sent back to the attacker and the page is redirected to an original website showing an error message. One of the anti-phishing trick used to avoid link manipulation is to move the mouse over the link to view the real address. There are a lot of phishing techniques, below are some popular phishing techniques…

  • DECEPTIVE LINK MANIPULATION:

Black hat SEO techniques- TheWebomania
Deceptive Phishing- A Black hat SEO technique

Deceptive link manipulation is an attack by which attackers fake a legitimate company. Then try to steal people’s sensitive information or login details. Those emails commonly use threats and a sense of urgency to panic users into doing the attackers’ bidding.

For an example, PayPal fraudsters might send out an attack email that instructs them to click on a link in order to resolve a problem with their account. In reality, the link leads to a replica PayPal login page that gathers a user’s login credentials and sends them to the attackers.

  • SPEAR LINK MANIPULATION:

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Spear Phishing link manipulation

Not all phishing attacks lack personalization – some use it rather heavily.

In this type of link manipulation, the attackers customize the attack emails with the target’s name, designation, company, phone number and other information in an effort to trick the victim into believing that they have a connection with the sender.

The objective is the same as deceptive link manipulation, here the victim clicks on a fake URL or email attachment so that they will give up their personal data. Spear link manipulation is generally common on social platforms like LinkedIn, where attackers can use different sources of information to craft a targeted attack email.

  • SESSION HIJACKING:

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Session Hijacking- A Link manipulation

In session hijacking, the attacker exploits the web session control mechanism to take information from the victim. A simple session hacking technique is known as session sniffing, where the attacker can use a sniffer to interrupt significant information so that he or she can enter the Web server illegally.

  • CONTENT INJECTION:

Content injection
Content Injection link manipulation

Content injection is the method where the attacker changes a portion of the content on the page of a trustworthy website. This is done to mislead the user to go to a page outside the genuine website where the user is then asked to enter important information.

  • DROPBOX LINK MANIPULATION :

Black hat SEO link manipulation
Dropbox link manipulation

While some hackers no longer bait their targets, others have customized their attack emails according to a specific company or service.

For example, take Dropbox. Millions of people use Dropbox each day to back up, access and share their files. It’s no surprise, therefore, that attackers would attempt to capitalize on the platform’s reputation by targeting users with phishing emails.

One attack operation, for example, tried to trap users into entering their login authorizations on a replica Dropbox sign-in page hosted on Dropbox itself.

  • PHARMING:

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Pharming- A link manipulation
Link manipulation- TheWebomania
How Pharming Works?

As users become savvier to traditional phishing attacks, some fraudsters are leaving the idea of “baiting” their victims completely. Instead, they are resorting to pharming – a type of attack which stalks from domain name system (DNS) cache poisoning.

The Internet’s naming system uses DNS servers to translate alphabetical website names, such as “www.microsoft.com,” to numerical IP addresses used for finding computer services and devices.

Under a DNS cache poisoning attack, an attacker targets a DNS server and changes the IP address linked to an alphabetical website name. That means an attacker can send users to a malicious website of their choice even if the victims entered in the accurate website name.

Precautions:

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Precautions to avoid link manipulation
  • Be guarded of emails from financial institutions or other organizations that ask you to provide personal data online. Reliable firms never ask for information in this way.
  • Look carefully for clues to fake emails like a lack of personal greetings and spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  • Verify a telephone number before calling it – if someone left you a message or sent an email appearing to be from your financial institution, make sure you check that the number is the one provided on the credit card or your bank statement.
  • Check the basis of information from incoming mail.
  • Never ever go to Your Bank’s Website by Clicking on Links Contained within Emails.
  • Improve the security of your computer.
  • Enter your personal data in secure websites only, the URL must begin with ‘https://’ and your browser should show an icon of a closed lock and ‘https://’ is in green colour.
Duplicate link manipulation- TheWebomania
How does link manipulation work?

 

“Have the Least Doubt, Do Not Risk It”

 

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