PhishTime: Continuous Longitudinal Measurement of the Effectiveness of Anti-phishing Blacklists
Adam Oest, Yeganeh Safaei, and Penghui Zhang, Arizona State University; Brad Wardman and Kevin Tyers, PayPal; Yan Shoshitaishvili and Adam Doupé, Arizona State University; Gail-Joon Ahn, Arizona State University, Samsung Research
Due to their ubiquity in modern web browsers, anti-phishing blacklists are a key defense against large-scale phishing attacks. However, sophistication in phishing websites—such as evasion techniques that seek to defeat these blacklists—continues to grow. Yet, the effectiveness of blacklists against evasive websites is difficult to measure, and there have been no methodical efforts to make and track such measurements, at the ecosystem level, over time.
We propose a framework for continuously identifying unmitigated phishing websites in the wild, replicating key aspects of their configuration in a controlled setting, and generating longitudinal experiments to measure the ecosystem’s protection. In six experiment deployments over nine months, we systematically launch and report 2,862 new (innocuous) phishing websites to evaluate the performance (speed and coverage) and consistency of blacklists, with the goal of improving them.
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