Phreeked Out, Gone Phishing

March 30, 2010 · 7 comments

The first time I ever heard the English alphabet letter F replaced with Ph was when some kid in the office used the word phat. He kept referring to both human and non-human things as fat. One day we were alone, just a couple of guys, when I asked, “What the do you mean calling all these things fat? If your girlfriend is fat, do you actually say that to her? ”
“It’s phat with a ph”, he told me. “And it means I like it, or its good.”
“Sounds kinda phreeky to me”, I said. And since I was old enough to be his father I promptly forgot anything else he ever said as phar-phetched and phubared.

In those days we worked with UNIX systems; I didn’t pay much attention to home computing during this time. Later, I bought an Atari, but it nearly caused my daughter to have a nervous breakdown. She became addicted to pac-man and some other games. I promptly got rid of the thing. Then Windows happened.

Like millions of others, I was drawn to Windows like a W.A.S.P. to Starbucks. My daughter had left for college, so I could have this all to myself and develop my own nervous condition. I don’t remember the first time I saw the word “phishing” except it was in the nineties. According to this History of Phishing it was in 1997. In the same article there is a reference to “Phreaks”, hacking telephone systems. So what is all the phuss about?

Phrankly, there is so much information about phishing it is redundant to rehash it. But of course I will. Phishing is the practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email [or other digital communication] with the real organization’s logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or introduce a virus attack; the creation of a Web site replica for fooling unsuspecting Internet users into submitting personal or financial information or passwords.

It’s always best to keep things phresh in your mind, especially for old pharts like me. Everyone should have a working definition of phishing by now. The issue is, how to avoid phishing scams. The answer is easy. Don’t trust any email, DM (Direct Message) or other digital communication that contains a link in it. You don’t know whether someone’s computer, or online service has been compromised or not. Always type in a URL rather than click it. Its that simple.

If a link has been shortened, or you don’t know what it is, just don’t go there. Better to miss that wonky YouTube video than risk your computer, your identity or expose your phriends to phraudulant risk.

If you’re are not phed up with phishing, this has been an exercise in phutility. I phervently hope that the phormidable consequences of phishing is anything but phunny. Let this be a reminder, don’t be phaked out, phreeked or a phatality of phishing.

Photo courtesy The Morgue File

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

missy March 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

Seriously phunny. How many times did you have to prooph read this to catch all of your eph words?

Randy Murray March 30, 2010 at 11:21 am


Trust no one.

Oh, and use a Mac (except that's for virus – won't help you against phishing – damn).

Hal Brown March 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

Actually, it just sorta phloped out of me. Speaking of eph words, it was so tempting, but I resisted. Thanks Missy.

Hal Brown March 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

LOL! Thanks Randy.

Aditya @ TechRavings April 1, 2010 at 6:43 am

It is amazing to see that we have been taught about such an important security issue in such simple words. Great work Hal. I am your Phan (Fan) :)

Hal Brown April 1, 2010 at 9:49 am

Thank Aditya. You always have something phabulous to say. :)

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