For these attacks, users are groomed socially by someone who possesses credentials for a target social network, typically their personal Gmail account. They are asked to visit a spoofed website that is a clone of their site. The site is designed to look and feel authentic, using the identity of the site publisher as the site owner.
This approach is most common for big accounts; in these cases, the user is typically asked to confirm their account ownership by supplying their password to an authentication challenge. In that way, the attacker gains access to the target account with little or no risk of being caught. Password reset attacks generally can't be prevented, as there are many methods by which a user might initially gain access to their account. There are several proposals for combating password reset attacks. They are generally based on preventing the reset code from getting to the end user; in other words, from being sent to their phone email address.
When a user enters their information, all of it is securely handled within the site, and no information is sent off-site. Once they have the chance, they should confirm and change their password immediately; if it's changed, the password reset link will expire and the attack is foiled.
Social engineering is also used by attackers to get unsuspecting users to visit a fake website and reset passwords on their social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) using Password Reset features that look like authentic browser prompts.
Once the site gets the user's email address, the attacker may target that email address for other malicious operations. Some security programs will block messages from spoofed email addresses. However, that can cause a phishing victim to not receive critical emails.
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