Proofpoint has filed a patent for a computing platform that evaluates the maliciousness of URLs. The platform receives a request from a user device, crawls the URL to extract metadata, inputs the data into a classification model, and sends a malicious score notification to the user device. GlobalData’s report on Proofpoint gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Proofpoint, Network traffic analysis was a key innovation area identified from patents. Proofpoint's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Url classification and malicious score notification system

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Proofpoint Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230319106A1) describes a computing platform that evaluates the maliciousness of a uniform resource locator (URL) and provides a malicious score notification to the user. The computing platform includes a processor, a communication interface, and memory storing computer-readable instructions.

The platform receives a request from an enterprise user device to evaluate a URL. It then executes feature enrichment actions on the URL, such as crawling the URL to extract metadata. This process helps identify data points corresponding to the URL. The platform inputs these data points into a URL classification model, which outputs a maliciousness score indicating the degree to which the URL is malicious.

Once the maliciousness score is determined, the platform sends a malicious score notification and commands to the enterprise user device. These commands direct the device to display the malicious score notification. This allows the user to be informed about the potential maliciousness of the URL.

The feature enrichment actions performed by the computing platform include extracting information about the URL's protocol, such as whether it requires a secure connection. It also extracts information about redirects associated with the URL, including the number of redirects triggered, the redirect destination, and the type of redirection. Additionally, the platform extracts the domain age of the URL and compares it to a threshold domain age to classify the URL into different categories.

Furthermore, the platform extracts block rate information, indicating the number of times the URL was blocked and unblocked. It also extracts manual classification information corresponding to the URL. Additionally, the platform extracts information about the presence of IPv4 or IPv6 network addresses in the URL's redirect chain.

The patent also describes the platform's ability to compare the maliciousness score to a predetermined threshold. If the score exceeds the threshold, the platform can send commands to a network computing device to perform network security actions. This ensures that appropriate security measures are taken when a URL is deemed highly malicious.

In summary, the patent outlines a computing platform that evaluates the maliciousness of URLs and provides users with a malicious score notification. The platform performs various feature enrichment actions to gather data points and uses a URL classification model to determine the maliciousness score. It also includes the capability to trigger network security actions based on the score.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.