Understanding, Reporting, Disrupting, and Mitigating Phishing Attacks

Initially published with CentralNic Partner News, March 2024.

Understanding, Reporting, Disrupting, and Mitigating Phishing Attacks

In the continuously evolving landscape of online harms, phishing remains among the most common forms of cyberattacks and often results in a significant gross loss to victims. Common phishing attacks are intentionally deceptive websites that are employed to deceive victims to secure sensitive information such as personal data and financial information.

When tackling phishing attacks, rapid detection and disruption are key for mitigation. Reports of phishing domains are the most common type of abuse that CleanDNS receives. CleanDNS validates abuse claims and works with clients to disrupt and mitigate well-evidenced reports of abuse. With this evidence-based approach to rapid mitigation, phishing websites are quickly dealt with using effective disruption strategies; this rapid response is critical in preventing further victimisation.

The lifespan of phishing websites is a critical point in their aim to lure victims. Phishing websites are often designed to be ephemeral and to entrap a user discreetly. Bad actors set up malicious domains to operate for a brief period, attempting to evade detection and disruption; the lifespan of a phishing website is typically short, ranging from a few hours to a few days. This fleeting nature is a strategic choice to attempt to stay one step ahead of cybersecurity defences.

Some of the most important factors in fighting phishing attacks are user awareness and industry collaboration. As part of CleanDNS’s Trusted Reporter program, CleanDNS receives well-evidenced reports from cybersecurity companies, nonprofits, governments, and individuals around the world, to mitigate and disrupt online harms quickly. This brevity is a result of the concerted efforts of cybersecurity professionals, service providers, automated systems, and vigilant internet users, working together to report phishing websites and prevent further victimisation.

Staying informed and cautious remains our collective best defence against phishing attacks, and continuing to offer a platform to report phishing websites for mitigation and disruption remains our best defence for creating a better, safer Internet. Collaboration, education, and continued vigilance of industry and community members is vital in reducing victimisation of phishing attacks and other forms of DNS abuse.