How Phishing Pages Look Like?
Alberto Bartoli, Andrea De Lorenzo, , Fabiano Tarlao
Cybernetics and Information Technologies (CIT)
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Recent phishing campaigns are increasingly targeted to specific, small population of users and last for increasingly shorter life spans. There is thus an urgent need for developing defense mechanisms that do not rely on any forms of blacklisting or reputation: there is simply no time for detecting novel phishing campaigns and notify all interested organizations quickly enough. Such mechanisms should be close to browsers and based solely on the visual appearance of the rendered page. One of the major impediments to research in this area is the lack of systematic knowledge about how phishing pages actually look like. In this work we describe the technical challenges in collecting a large and diverse collection of screenshots of phishing pages and propose practical solutions. We also analyze systematically the visual similarity between phishing pages and pages of targeted organizations, from the point of view of a similarity metric that has been proposed as a foundation for visual phishing detection and from the point of view of a human operator.