Phishing module

This module is designed to report about potentially phished URL’s.

Principles of phishing detection

Rspamd tries to detect phished URL’s merely in HTML text parts. First, it get URL from href or src attribute and then tries to find the text enclosed within this link tag. If some url is also enclosed in the specific tag then rspamd decides to compare whether these two URL’s are related, namely if they belong to the same top level domain. Here are examples of urls that are considered to be non-phished:

<a href=""></a>
<a href=""></a>

And the following URLs are considered as phished:

<a href=""></a>
<a href=""></a>
<a href=""></a>

Configuration of phishing module

Here is an example of full module configuration.

phishing {
	symbol = "R_PHISHING"; # Default symbol

	# Check only domains from this list
	domains = "file:///path/to/map";

	# Make exclusions for known redirectors
	# Entry format: URL/path for map, colon, name of symbol
	redirector_domains = [
	# For certain domains from the specified strict maps
	# use another symbol for phishing plugin
	strict_domains = [

If an anchoring (actual as opposed to phished) domain is found in a map referenced by the redirector_domains setting then the related symbol is yielded and the URL is not checked further. This allows making exclusions for known redirectors, especially ESPs.

Further to this, if the phished domain is found in a map referenced by strict_domains the related symbol is yielded and the URL not checked further. This allows fine-grained control to avoid false positives and enforce some really bad phishing mails, such as bank phishing or other payments system phishing.

Finally, the default symbol is yielded- if domains is specified then only if the phished domain is found in the related map.

Maps for this module can consist of effective second level domain parts (eSLD) or whole domain parts of the URLs (FQDN) as well.

Openphish support

Since version 1.3, there is openphish support in rspamd. Now rspamd can load this public feed as a map (using HTTPS) and check URLs in messages using openphish list. If any match is found, then rspamd adds symbol PHISHED_OPENPHISH.

If you use research or commercial data feed, rspamd can also use its data and gives more details about URLs found: their sector (e.g. ‘Finance’), brand name (e.g. ‘Bank of Zimbabwe’) and other useful information.

There are couple of options available to configure openphish module:

phishing {
	# Enable openphish support (default disabled)
	openphish_enabled = true;
	# URL of feed, default is public url:
	openphish_map = "";
	# For premium feed, change that to your personal URL, e.g.
	# openphish_map = "";

	# Change this to true if premium feed is enabled
	openphish_premium = false;

Phishtank support

There is also phishtank support in rspamd since 1.3. Since 1.8 phishtank is enabled in stock configuration and queries via DNS.

On previous versions, you have to set up phishtank_map. This feed is quite large (about 50Mb) so you might want to setup some reverse proxy (e.g. nginx) to cache that data among rspamd instances:

proxy_cache_path /data/nginx/cache levels=1:2 keys_zone=phish:10m;

server {
    listen 8080;
    location / {
        proxy_cache phish;
        proxy_cache_lock on;
        proxy_cache_valid 200 302 10m;

To enable phishtank feed, you can edit local.d/phishing.conf file and add the following lines there:

# Enable phishtank (default disabled)
phishtank_enabled = true;
# Where nginx is installed
phishtank_map = "http://localhost:8080/data/online-valid.json";

Rspamd also provides local mirror of phishtank updated hourly. This mirror is compressed using zstd which is supported since 1.4. Compression helps to save both memory and bandwidth while it doesn’t significantly affect the loading time. To use Rspamd local mirror, you can use the default configuration for 1.4:

# local.d/phishing.conf
phishtank_enabled = true;
phishtank_map = "";

Please note that compressed maps are NOT supported prior to Rspamd 1.4.