Artificial intelligence

How to Prevent Phishing Using Visual AI

Various researchers and organizations concerned with cybercrime understand the severity of the increase in phishing attacks. Therefore, phishing awareness training and detection are two of the best ways to prevent the most significant cause of data breaches globally.

According to the latest research, not only have 81% of organizations experienced an increase in phishing attacks, but ~90% of data breaches involve phishing, vishing, SMiShing, and pharming.

Data from Google Safe Browsing shows that phishing sites outnumber malware sites by 75%. Other data from APWG shows that 34.7% of these attacks targeted webmail and SaaS users, and business email attacks from free webmail providers jumped from 61% to 72%.

This is all happening despite huge investments in R&D by cyber security companies, so it’s clear that there is a gap in the current approach. But a new approach is starting to gain traction and is allowing phishing detection platforms to detect more phishing attempts than ever before. VISUA’s tuned Computer Vision (or Visual-AI) for phishing detection extracts visual signals at machine speed to “see” and flag high-risk elements.

VISUA Detects Threatening Signals

Bad actors are constantly finding ways to evade detection by trying to outpace the advancement of prevention technologies. So VISUA uses a different approach to the traditional analysis of code or using fingerprints. Its method is to look at an email or web page with “human eyes” but exponentially faster, allowing it to see visual threat signals in near real-time.

VISUA’s phishing prevention and detection with computer vision presents several advantages. Besides being easy to integrate with other existing AI-based detection systems on platforms, it works in harmony with them, providing an early warning system. In addition, the proprietary technological stack performs at scale to offer trusted results for accurate business intelligence.

The phishing detection search includes looking for visual signs, logo and mark detection, text detection, and other custom object detection like sign-in buttons and forms. Adding these signals to the traditional analysis conducted by phishing detection platforms, allows for more accurate and timely detection of threats.

Cybercriminals Use Graphical Attack Vectors

Any technique used to deceive someone through a network or system is known as an attack vector. This has traditionally involved using coding techniques to obfuscate text or other elements in the email/web page.  But recently attackers have started weaponizing graphics or visuals to confuse the victims, build trust, and deceive detection systems.

They use diverse ways to weaponize the visual/graphics; the most obvious is to include the logo or a favicon of a company most people trust. Sometimes, a less capable system might not notice that the scammers have modified these or used older versions.

Carefully placed authoritative marks like the padlock icon, SSL Secure, or Certified Partner icons used in the body of the communication to trick users into thinking the communication comes from a genuine and safe source.

Scammers also convert elements like keywords, URLs, complete forms, and other features into graphics to hide them from analysis and detection.

By combining various elements, including a pixel-perfect reproduction of a legitimate web page or email, they manage to create pages that recipients trust enough to click on and enter the details or take the action, the scammers need.

Visual-AI, or computer vision, maximizes the number of signals it detects, combining them for perfect analysis based on volume, types, and combinations. Visual-AI complements any detection system’s workflow, typically sitting in the pre-processing and pre-triage stage, allowing enhanced threat scoring and better ultimate decision-making.

VISUA – Putting an End to Evasion Techniques

VISUA’s computer vision approach differs from others since it does not just analyze visual elements within the code of emails or web pages. Since social engineering attackers know how to evade detection like this, Visual-AI’s training means it can detect evasion techniques specially designed for less visibility.

By combining four technologies, VISUA exploits a fundamental flaw in every attack by exposing it to the intended victim. From the moment it collects an image, it captures it, sends it for fast visual processing, and compares them to other known good and bad versions. The image processing includes logo/mark detection, object/scene detection, text detection, and a visual search before aggregating all the discovered risk elements.

Bottom Line

VISUA’s Visual-AI is a powerful phishing and fraud detection process for platforms and service providers. The visual processing of threats offers scale, speed, and accuracy, and the system can integrate completely with other systems already in use. Furthermore, platforms can implement the system in the cloud, on-premises, or combine both. As a result, getting rid of the ever-pervasive threat of ruthless phishing attacks has become easier than ever with VISUA’s effective and fast visual phishing detection technology.

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