CatchPhish: detection of phishing websites by inspecting URLs

Routhu Srinivasa Rao, Tatti Vaishnavi, Alwyn Roshan Pais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (SciVal)


There exists many anti-phishing techniques which use source code-based features and third party services to detect the phishing sites. These techniques have some limitations and one of them is that they fail to handle drive-by-downloads. They also use third-party services for the detection of phishing URLs which delay the classification process. Hence, in this paper, we propose a light-weight application, CatchPhish which predicts the URL legitimacy without visiting the website. The proposed technique uses hostname, full URL, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) features and phish-hinted words from the suspicious URL for the classification using the Random forest classifier. The proposed model with only TF-IDF features on our dataset achieved an accuracy of 93.25%. Experiment with TF-IDF and hand-crafted features achieved a significant accuracy of 94.26% on our dataset and an accuracy of 98.25%, 97.49% on benchmark datasets which is much better than the existing baseline models.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)


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