Predicting phishing websites based on self-structuring neural network

Rami M. Mohammad, Fadi Thabtah, Lee McCluskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Citations (Scopus)


Internet has become an essential component of our everyday social and financial activities. Nevertheless, internet users may be vulnerable to different types of web threats, which may cause financial damages, identity theft, loss of private information, brand reputation damage and loss of customer’s confidence in e-commerce and online banking. Phishing is considered as a form of web threats that is defined as the art of impersonating a website of an honest enterprise aiming to obtain confidential information such as usernames, passwords and social security number. So far, there is no single solution that can capture every phishing attack. In this article, we proposed an intelligent model for predicting phishing attacks based on artificial neural network particularly self-structuring neural networks. Phishing is a continuous problem where features significant in determining the type of web pages are constantly changing. Thus, we need to constantly improve the network structure in order to cope with these changes. Our model solves this problem by automating the process of structuring the network and shows high acceptance for noisy data, fault tolerance and high prediction accuracy. Several experiments were conducted in our research, and the number of epochs differs in each experiment. From the results, we find that all produced structures have high generalization ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalNeural Computing and Applications
Issue number2
Early online date21 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2013


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