Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to secure sensitive information, such as personal identity and credit card details, while masquerading as a legitimate operation or individual.

Websites that have been ‘hijacked’ for this purpose include PayPal, eBay, MSN and Yahoo!, to mention just a few. However, hackers can also ‘hijack’ personal email accounts to attempt to trick the recipient into opening the content.


The term ‘phishing’ is derived from the concept of sending mass email to ‘bait’, assuming some will ‘bite’.


Updated February 2023