Difference between Spoofing and Phishing

Spoofing is an identity theft where a person tries to use the identity of a legitimate user. Phishing, on the other hand, is a phenomenon where an attacker employs social engineering methods to steal sensitive and confidential information from a user.

Spoofing and phishing are both forms of cyber-attacks aimed at tricking you into disclosing your personal information. Both methods will be used by a criminal to gain your user names, passwords, and maybe more. Despite the fact that their final aim is the same, their techniques are not.

Read through this article to find out more about Spoofing and Phishing and how they are different from each other.

What is Spoofing?

Spoofing is a kind of computer attack where a person steals the details of a legitimate user and acts as another user. It is a kind of identity theft. This type of attack is generally used to breach the security of big systems or to steal sensitive information of users.

Many TCP/IP protocols lack methods for authenticating a message's source or destination, making them vulnerable to spoofing attacks. Maninthemiddle attacks against hosts on a computer network may be leveraged using IP spoofing and ARP spoofing in particular.

Spoofing attacks that employ TCP/IP suite protocols can be countered by using firewalls with deep packet inspection capabilities or by taking steps to authenticate the sender or recipient of a message's identity. For example, while hacking a website, hackers usually alter their IP addresses so that they cannot be traced.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a kind of social engineering attack where a person steals the sensitive information of user in a fraud manner by disguising as a legitimate person. In Phishing, an attacker sends a phony ("spoof") message to deceive a human victim into giving personal information or allowing harmful software, such as ransomware, to be installed on the victim's infrastructure.

Phishing attacks have evolved to the point that they now often transparently mirror the site being attacked, allowing the attacker to watch everything the victim does while surfing the site and cross any further security barriers alongside the victim. For example, hackers may request an OTP or secret PIN for a bank transaction via communication while posing as a bank employee, which is a kind of fraud.

Phishing is a method used by hackers to get personal information by sending an email that appears to be authentic but is meant to deceive you into clicking on a harmful link or attachment. Phishers may use a variety of methods to deceive you, including sending texts (SMiShing), using voice messages (Vishing). In order to acquire access to your sensitive information, they may even send faxes (Phaxing).

Knowing how to defend oneself from a phishing scam is critical. Follow these guidelines to defend yourself and your company from phishing attacks −

  • Check to see that your operating system and antivirus software are both up to date.
  • Verify the destination of links in emails and on websites by hovering over them.
  • Instead of clicking a link in an email message, type in the website's address.
  • Always be wary of subject lines and phrases that are sensational, such as "Must Act Now!" or contain spelling and grammatical problems.
  • If an email appears to be questionable, delete it immediately.

Differences between Spoofing and Phishing

The following table highlights the major differences between Spoofing and Phishing.

Key Spoofing Phishing
Definition Spoofing is an identity theft where a person is trying to use the identity of a legitimate user. Phishing is where a person steals the sensitive information of user like bank account details.
Category Spoofing can be phishing in part. Phishing is not a part of spoofing.
Way For Spoofing, someone has to download a malicious software in user's computer. Phishing is done using social engineering.
Purpose Spoofing is done to get a new identity. Phishing is done to get confidential information.
Examples IP Spoofing, Email Spoofing, URL Spoofing. Phone Phishing like asking OTP or getting bank account details, Clone phishing.


Phishing is a sort of computer attack in which the attacker tries to get sensitive information from users in a fraudulent manner via electronic contact while posing as a representative of a linked reputable organization. In spoofing, a hacker attempts to steal an individual's identity in order to impersonate the legitimate user.

Updated on: 11-Aug-2022

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