Drive-By Pharming

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What Does Drive-By Pharming Mean?

Drive-by pharming is a specific type of outside attack on a local network that targets a vulnerable and local IP router or similar hardware device. According to Web security experts, it is easy for hackers to locally attack small IP networks and redirect user traffic or infiltrate systems with malware.

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Techopedia Explains Drive-By Pharming

In drive-by pharming, the design of the attack is often based on the factory setting of most routers that are sold to consumers. Many of these routers come with factory default passwords to control access. Hackers can exploit this security hole and introduce a malicious JavaScript (JS) code that redirects URLs and leads users to perilous websites. This type of attack is common to low-end routers and products of more sophisticated hardware providers, like Cisco.

In drive-by pharming, the term pharming is used, in contrast to phishing – another common type of hacking. Pharming refers to the use of URL takeovers to access private data.

Experts have noted that drive-by pharming may be used to simultaneously affect many local networks. In other words, it is a less labor-intensive form of hacking than others.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.