iGCSE Computer Science - Distance Learning

Tutor Marked Assignment 6
Tutor Marked Assignment 8 (Programming)

Phishing, Pharming, & DoS

All three of these attacks on computer systems are targetted & malicious attacks on data or whole systems, but take on different forms.


Phishing and Pharming are two types of Social Engineering. All types of social engineering attempt to make people behave in a way that they would not usually do. Phishing usually happens by email and attempts to trick someone into disclosing their personal data.


Like phishing, pharming attacks attempt to get people to hand over their personal data but in a more sophisticated way. A pharming website, creates a spoof website that looks very much like the one they are pretending to be and attempts to trick the user into entering in personal data.


Watch the video below & create a list of ways that you can avoid a phishing or pharming scam.

Denial of Service (DoS)

A DoS attack attempts to block access to a website or online service through sending multiple malicious requests to the server that overwhelm the site and prevet legitimate requests from getting through.

Often a DoS attack comes from many sources and the users may not know that they are part of the attack as they are part of a malware infection. This malware creates a botnet where many computers are controlled by the original attacker.

The video below explains how a DoS attack works and why they are so difficult to prevent.


Download and complete our seasonal worksheet on identifying scams & threats and how to address them.