What is pharming?

Pharming is the (generally malicious) attempt to redirect a user to an imposter website, either by altering a file on the user’s computer or by attacking the DNS server which converts URLs into IP addresses. See also ‘DNS’.

How does pharming work?

Users of eCommerce and banking sites are the most common targets of pharming. Users should look for a verified HTTPS certificate to authenticate the identity of a real website. This is often indicated by a green, closed lock icon and the letters “https” in the browser URL bar.

Antivirus and antimalware can often protect against pharming attempts that alter host files on the local computer, but they cannot protect against compromised DNS servers. A “poisoned” DNS server has been altered to direct users to a pharming website.

Back to Glossary