Look up the hosting providers for any website

How does Phish Report identify hosting providers?

Phish Report uses a combination of WHOIS data, RDAP (Registration Data Access Protocol), and a manually curated list of shared hosting providers to automatically identify website hosting providers. This combined approach improves the accuracy and reliability of the identification process.

WHOIS data provides valuable details about domain ownership and registration. By querying the WHOIS database, Phish Report can extract information such as the domain registrar, registrant organization, and administrative contact. This data can be used to uncover the hosting provider associated with the domain, as hosting providers are often responsible for domain registration as well.

In addition to WHOIS data, RDAP offers a more standardized and comprehensive way to access registration data. RDAP provides a machine-readable format for retrieving domain registration information, including hosting provider details. By querying RDAP, Phish Report can gather up-to-date and consistent information from domain registries, enabling more accurate identification of hosting providers.

To further enhance the identification process, Phish Report incorporates a manually curated list of shared hosting providers. This list is compiled based on extensive research and knowledge of common hosting platforms and services. By comparing the gathered WHOIS and RDAP data with this curated list, Phish Report can identify if a website is hosted on a shared hosting platform and pinpoint the specific provider.

Combining these three approaches lets Phish Report more efficiently and accurately identify website hosting providers. This helps security professionals and organizations in their efforts to investigate and mitigate potential phishing attacks.

Why is it difficult to identifying hosting providers?

Identifying the hosting provider of a website can be a challenging and laborious task when done manually:

Large number of hosting providers. The number of hosting providers available today is vast and continues to grow. From well-known global providers to smaller regional ones, the market is highly diverse. Each hosting provider may have its own unique infrastructure, server configurations, and hosting plans, making it challenging to identify the specific provider.

Dynamic hosting arrangements. Many websites do not directly reveal their hosting provider information, especially if they are using third-party services or content delivery networks (CDNs). These arrangements can add layers of complexity and obscurity to the identification process. Additionally, some websites may change their hosting provider over time, further complicating the task of identification.

CDNs and masking techniques. Websites can use services like CDNs or DDoS protection to hide their true hosting provider. These configurations mean traffic is first routed to the CDN who will then privately route the request to the real hosting provider. Such setups can make it extremely challenging to trace the actual hosting provider.

Lack of standardization. There is no standardized format or repository for hosting provider information. While some websites may include explicit mentions or branding of their hosting provider, many others do not provide any easily identifiable clues. The absence of a centralized database or a uniform naming convention adds to the complexity of manually identifying the hosting provider.