Tobias Jarmuzek

Author Archives: Tobias Jarmuzek

Phishing Detection Using Perceptual Hashes

What are phishing attacks? 

Phishing attacks have become more prominent and prevalent in recent years. In particular, our research into the cyber threat landscape over the last few months has shown a dramatic increase in the volume of phishing campaigns observed by our customers. 

The most basic way to detect phishing is by using blacklists of phishing URLs. However, our research showed that, in many cases, the lifetime of phishing URLs is less than 24 hours, which renders the blacklist approach largely ineffective.  

At VMware, we use multiple approaches to detect phishing attacks. The one we’ve found to be the most promising uses visual representation of the website to recognize phishing. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how this approach works in greater detail. If you need an overview of the more general idea behind phishing detection using image similarity, visit our previous blog post.

Not every hash function is a cryptographic hash function 

As one part of VMware’s phishing detection, we store information about the visual representation of every analyzed URL: that is, we calculate perceptual hashes of the screenshots Continue reading