Difference Between Phishing and Spoofing (With Table)

It would not be an understatement to say that the world is not revolving around technology, but the world is literally being consumed by technology gradually, and this sentence is proved right whenever something comes up about the threats that are present in the world of virtual technology. Phishing and spoofing are two types of cyber threats that are very common all across the world, but there are many differences that lie between these two terms. 

Phishing vs Spoofing 

The main difference between Phishing and Spoofing is that the former refers to a specific kind of cyber threat in which the purpose happens to steal some valuable information from the victim, but in the latter, the information plays no role, and the main purpose happens to attain a new identity. Apart from this, many other differences can be drawn between these two threats. 

The term fishing is used whenever an incident occurs in which the hacker intense to commit theft upon some valuable information of the user by way of fraud etc. This information can be anything from the banking passwords of the victim to the address of his house as well. Usually, this act is done after placing the victim in the circle of trust by the accused. 

But on the other hand, the term spoofing is used when the intention of the hacker happens to attain a new identity by way of any system of cyber hacking. In this event, the hacker does not intend to steal any kind of information from the user to take any beneficial use of it, but instead, he wishes to attain the identity of the user due to any reason. 

Comparison Table Between Phishing and Spoofing 

Parameters of Comparison Phishing  Spoofing  
Meaning  A cyber threat in which valuable information is stolen a cyber threat in which identity is stolen 
Purpose  the hacker intends to steal some valuable information from the accused in order to derive some dishonest benefit the hacker intends to steal the identity of the user to become someone that he’s not 
Types  Phone phishing, clone phishing IP spoofing, email spoofing 
Theft of  property identity 
Element of trust trust plays an important role and the hacker makes the victim believe that he is someone who can be trusted the element of trust is immaterial 
Involvement of fraud fraud is always involved fraud need not be involved mandatorily 

What is Phishing? 

The term phishing refers to a specific variety of cyber-attacks in which the person who commits the attack aims towards any valuable information or property of the person upon whom the attack is being committed so as to derive some dishonest benefit out of that information or property.  

Whenever fishing is committed, it is presumed that the accused made the victim believe that he belongs to a trustworthy position or organization so as to persuade the victim to give some valuable information to him even though he is not entitled to derive any of such information.  

In most cases, this act is done against the banking and economic records of an individual so as to transfer valuable amounts from his account to the account of the attacker, but this threat is not just limited to money-related matters, and it can be something very serious end of criminal nature as well. To commit this kind of crime, there is no need to install any kind of service or software on the mobile phone or computer of the victim. Mere persuasion by the accused is enough. 

What is Spoofing? 

Spoofing is a very specific and unique kind of crime in the world of cyber technology because, in this crime, the accused does not derive any dishonest benefit out of any property or information of the victim. Rather, he attains the digital or physical identity of the victim upon whom he is attacking. 

It can be said that this crime is an act against the identity of a person and therefore happens to be very serious in nature because such actions can cause a lot of law-and-order situations as the person becomes very hard to get identified after changing his identity frequently. Whenever this crime is committed, in most cases, it is found that the attacker tries to install some kind of software on the device belonging to the victim so as to enable the victim to fill in his personal data into the software related to his identity.  

These threats have become a very common way of getting away with serious crimes as the criminals use spoofing for getting new identities in a world of many billion people, and it becomes very hard to recognize these people from a crowd of thousands of people. 

Main Differences Between Phishing and Spoofing 

  1. Phishing is basically a crime against information or property, while on the other hand, Spoofing it’s basically a crime against identity. 
  2. Phishing involves fraud as a necessary element, while on the other hand, Spoofing need not involve fraud sometimes. 
  3. Phishing involves specific crimes such as phone fishing and clone fishing, while on the other hand, Spoofing can be IP spoofing and email spoofing. 
  4. Phishing is done to attain some valuable information, while on the other hand, Spoofing is done to attain a new identity. 
  5. Phishing is done by someone who makes the victim trust him, while on the other hand, Spoofing can be done by anyone, and trust is immaterial. 

Conclusion 

Cyber threats have become very common these days, and laws all over the world are trying very hard to fight these kinds of evil practices in society so that a safe environment can be ensured for users who are living virtually in a welfare state. Some major cyber threats can be categorized into two categories, namely phishing, and spoofing, and for any person, it can be very easy to get confused between these two terms as they involve a lot of technicalities when it comes to differences.  

Phishing is basically a crime against the information or the property of the person against whom it is committed, but on the other hand, spoofing is a crime in which the person who commits it tries to get a new identity for himself due to any reason he may have. In a scenario like today, it becomes very crucial to know the exact differences between these two terms to stay alert against these threats. 

References  

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1124772.1124861 
  1. http://php.iai.heig-vd.ch/~lzo/biomed/refs/Spoofing%20and%20Anti-Spoofing%20Measures%20-%202002_Schuckers.pdf  

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Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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