iTrustPage: a user-assisted anti-phishing tool


Despite the many solutions proposed by industry and the research community to address phishing attacks, this problem continues to cause enormous damage. Because of our inability to deter phishing attacks, the research community needs to develop new approaches to anti-phishing solutions. Most of today’s anti-phishing technologies focus on automatically detecting and preventing phishing attacks. While automation makes anti-phishing tools user-friendly, automation also makes them suffer from false positives, false negatives, and various practical hurdles. As a result, attackers often find simple ways to escape automatic detection.

This paper presents iTrustPage - an anti-phishing tool that does not rely completely on automation to detect phishing. Instead, iTrustPage relies on user input and external repositories of information to prevent users from filling out phishing Web forms. With iTrustPage, users help to decide whether or not a Web page is legitimate. Because iTrustPage is user-assisted, iTrustPage avoids the false positives and the false negatives associated with automatic phishing detection. We implemented iTrustPage as a downloadable extension to FireFox. After being featured on the Mozilla website for FireFox extensions, iTrustPage was downloaded by more than 5,000 users in a two week period. We present an analysis of our tool’s effectiveness and ease of use based on our examination of usage logs collected from the 2,050 users who used iTrustPage for more than two weeks. Based on these logs, we find that iTrustPage disrupts users on fewer than 2% of the pages they visit, and the number of disruptions decreases over time.

Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGOPS/EuroSys European Conference on Computer Systems