Netskope named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge. Get the Report.

  • Products

    Netskope products are built on the Netskope Security Cloud.

  • Platform

    Unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection on the world's largest security private cloud.

Netskope Named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for SSE Report

Get the report Go to Products Overview
Netskope gartner mq 2022 sse leader

Netskope delivers a modern cloud security stack, with unified capabilities for data and threat protection, plus secure private access.

Explore our platform
Birds eye view metropolitan city

Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn more
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks

Prevent threats that often evade other security solutions using a single-pass SSE framework.

Learn more
Lighting storm over metropolitan area

Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn more
Boat driving through open sea

Netskope enables a safe, cloud-smart, and fast journey to adopt cloud services, apps, and public cloud infrastructure.

Learn more
Wind turbines along cliffside
  • Our Customers

    Netskope serves more than 2,000 customers worldwide including more than 25 of the Fortune 100

  • Customer Solutions

    We are here for you and with you every step of the way, ensuring your success with Netskope.

  • Training and Certification

    Netskope training will help you become a cloud security expert.

We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our Customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window

Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn more
Netskope Professional Services

Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn more
Group of young professionals working
  • Resources

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE).

  • Events & Workshops

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

Episode 15: Building Permanent Security Awareness

Play the podcast
Black man sitting in conference meeting

Read the latest on how Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky

SASE Week

Netskope is positioned to help you begin your journey and discover where Security, Networking, and Zero Trust fit in the SASE world.

Learn more
SASE Week

What is Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn more
Four-way roundabout
  • Company

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Why Netskope

    Cloud transformation and work from anywhere have changed how security needs to work.

  • Leadership

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Partners

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

Netskope enables the future of work.

Find out more
Curvy road through wooded area

Netskope is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply Zero Trust principles to protect data.

Learn more
Switchback road atop a cliffside

Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain

Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn more
Group of diverse young professionals smiling

Deep Learning for Phishing Website Detection

Nov 15 2022

Introduction

Phishing is one of the most common online security threats. A phishing website tries to mimic a legitimate page in order to obtain sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, or financial and health-related information from potential victims. 

Machine learning (ML) algorithms have been used to detect phishing websites, as a complementary approach to signature matching and heuristics. They usually rely on a set of “domain knowledge” features, for example, the number of days the security certificate in the header is valid, the number of domains under the certificate, the host information, etc. However, many of the domain knowledge features are not available for inline processing, and they can be easily circumvented by sophisticated attackers.

To address the shortcomings of the domain knowledge features and detect zero-day phishing attacks in real time, at Netskope we use the latest deep learning techniques to implicitly learn the patterns of phishing websites. This includes using deep learning-based encoders on the textual content of the HTML page, Javascript and CSS code. We have been awarded three U.S. patents (Patent # 11,336,689, 11,438,377 and 11,444,978) for our innovative approach to phishing detection. 

HTML Encoder

We have developed an HTML encoder to learn the proper representation of the entire HTML content (including the text body, Javascript, and CSS scripts) associated with the phishing detection use case. The HTML encoder is trained with the transformer-based deep learning architecture. This is inspired by the recent success of state-of-the-art language models, such as BERT and GPT transformer models. Similar to other transformer-based generative pre-training, we use a large number of web pages to train the HTML encoder in an unsupervised fashion. Unlike the BERT and GPT language models, however, the output of the HTML encoder is a two-dimensional ML-generated image. We chose the image output because phishing attacks are designed to use web pages that look similar to the real login pages. The ML-generated images appear to be effective in capturing features relevant to phishing and ignoring irrelevant parts of a web page. Below is an example of an HTML page and the corresponding ML-generated image from the HTML encoder.

The following GIF file shows more examples of the images generated by the HTML encoder. We should keep in mind that our objective is not to generate realistic images from the HTML content. Instead, it is to learn the suitable HTML representation that will be used to train the classification model for phishing detection.

Classification – phishing or not

Once we generate a suitable numerical representation (a vector of numbers) from the HTML content of a web page using the HTML encoder, we then combine it with the embedding of the URL string characters. The resulting numerical values are used as input features and fed into a neural network for final classification. We have collected millions of known phishing web pages and benign pages to train the binary classification model. Since we don’t keep the encoder parameters frozen, the HTML encoder will be fine-tuned toward phishing classification. The trained classifier will determine whether a new web page is phishing or not.

Netskope Threat Protection

The patented phishing website classifier is now part of Netskope Threat Protection, a comprehensive, multi-layered threat protection system powered by AI and machine learning. It enables us to block phishing web pages in real time, because it only needs the page URL string and the HTML content as input, which is readily available in the web traffic that goes through the Netskope secure access service edge (SASE) platform. The phishing classifier has the capability to detect unknown and zero-day phishing attacks, complementing other heuristic and signature-based engines. This classifier has been optimized to scan web pages inline, with an average runtime of less than 10 milliseconds.

To learn more about the multiple layers of threat capabilities that deliver comprehensive threat protection for cloud and web services, please visit Netskope Threat Protection.

The authors would like to acknowledge the significant contributions from Senior Research Scientist Najmeh Miramirkhani on this project. 

author image
Yihua Liao
Dr. Yihua Liao is the Director of Data Science at Netskope. His team Develops cutting-edge AI/ML technology to tackle many challenging problems in cloud security, including data loss prevention, malware and threat protection, and user/entity behavior analytics. Previously, he led data science teams at Uber and Facebook.
author image
Ari Azarafrooz
Dr. Ari Azarafrooz has 8+ years experience of applying machine learning to network security problems. He has several publications in the top machine learning conferences of NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR and AAAI.