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  • Author: E. Bartoli x
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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.


Modern web sites serve content that browsers fetch automatically from a number of different web servers that may be placed anywhere in the world. Such content is essential for defining the appearance and behavior of a web site and is thus a potential target for attacks. Many public administrations offer services on the web, thus we have entered a world in which web sites of public interest are continuously and systematically depending on web servers that may be located anywhere in the world and are potentially under control of other governments. In this work we focus on these issues by investigating the content included by almost 10000 web sites of the Italian Public Administration. We analyse the nature of such content, its quantity, its geographical location, the amount of dynamic variations over time. Our analyses demonstrate that the perimeter of trust of the Italian Public Administration collectively includes countries that are well beyond the control of the Italian government and provides several insights useful for implementing a centralized monitoring service aimed at detecting anomalies.