Firefox Users Fight Phishing



Firefox Users Fight Phishing

Netcraft says users of the alternative browser have been flocking to
its antiphishing toolbar.

Scarlet Pruitt, IDG News Service
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Users of the Firefox Web browser have been flocking to Netcraft's Web
site to download the security company's new antiphishing toolbar, a
company representative says.

The free toolbar, released Tuesday, was downloaded more than 60,000
times within hours of its release, according to Netcraft Internet
Services Developer Paul Mutton. By comparison, the company's
antiphishing toolbar for Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser
has been downloaded around 100,000 times since its release earlier
this year, he says.

"This seems to indicate that the Firefox community is more interested
in security," Mutton says.

An increase in phishing attacks has been grabbing the attention of
Internet merchants, end users and security providers alike. Phishing
is a type of online fraud in which criminals send emails that entice
users into visiting Webs sites designed to look like those of a
legitimate company, such as a bank or auction provider, for example.
Users are asked to enter sensitive information such as a credit card
number or passwords.

The scam is currently one of the most prevalent Internet threats,
according to security researchers. And given the profit potential,
online criminals are becoming more cunning in their attacks, by
targeting scams at users of particular banks, or by geographical
location, Mutton says.

Netcraft's antiphishing toolbar seeks to thwart these kinds of threats
by blocking access to reported phishing sites. Once the first
recipients of a phishing email report the URL of a fake site, the site
is blocked for toolbar users.

Netcraft, in Bath, England, checks each reported site to verify that
it is phony, in order to avoid blocking legitimate sites, Mutton says.

The toolbar also displays the hosting location and a risk rating for
each site visited. While the product is free for Internet users,
Netcraft licenses a version to organizations such as banks to put
their own brand on.

More Popular

Netcraft has no current plans to offer versions of the toolbar for
other browsers.

"There's no other browser as popular as Firefox right now," Mutton
says. The open source browser, offered by the Mozilla Organization,
has nowhere near the market share of IE, but has been steadily gaining
users. As of February 18, IE had a market share in the U.S. of 89.9
percent, down from 92.9 percent in November, according to analytics
firm WebSideStory.

Firefox, meanwhile, had grabbed 5.7 percent of the U.S. market as of
February, up from 3 percent in November. Internet companies have taken
note of its rising popularity. Yahoo began offering a toolbar for
Firefox earlier this year, and Google has snapped up one of its key
developers. But with success has come a downside: Security researchers
are reporting an increase in threats aimed at the alternative browser.

When it comes to phishing, at least, Netcraft hopes to have an answer.
"People are showing a lot of interest in the Firefox toolbar," Mutton

"Until last October, Christ had a very limited involvement in my life. I believed in God; I just never had to prove I believed. Belief is an absence of proof."
-- Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling




Firefox Users Fight Phishing

Netcraft says users of the alternative browser have been flocking to
its antiphishing toolbar.

wouldn't know. download didn't work at all.


John Fitzsimons

Try the excellent Spoofstick for Firefox.


I find that Spoofstick works fine. Probably just as well. After I read
about the above at ;

Regards, John.
,-._|\ (A.C.F FAQ)
/ Oz \ John Fitzsimons - Melbourne, Australia.


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