December 30, 2004 10:03 AM PST

Netcraft goes fishing for phishers

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Netcraft has released an Internet Explorer plug-in that could help people avoid becoming victims of online fraud.

The Internet security company heralded the plug-in toolbar, which displays information about the Web sites a surfer is visiting, as a strong weapon against phishing attacks.

"The Netcraft Toolbar provides you with constantly updated information about the sites you visit as well as blocking dangerous sites," the company, best known for providing statistics on what software Web sites are running, stated in a posting. "This information will help you make an informed choice about the integrity of those sites."

Related feature
Have you been phished?
Check here to see whether an e-mail that appears to be from your bank or an online merchant is actually an attempt to defraud you.

The toolbar displays information about the popularity of a site, the country in which the site is hosted and the Internet address of the site. It also indicates whether other toolbar users have flagged the site as a possible phishing scam, which uses fake Web sites that look like they belong to a trusted provider, such as a bank, to fool people into handing over sensitive personal information.

The effectiveness of the toolbar will largely depend on how widely the software is adopted, Netcraft Director Mike Prettejohn said.

"If the big banks go for branded versions to give to their customers, then (it will be) very effective," he said. "It's only been public for two days, and there is already an effective community of people blocking phishing sites."

The software is available as a plug-in for Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser and can be downloaded from Netcraft. A version of the program that runs on the Firefox browser from the Mozilla Foundation is also under development, the company said.

4 comments

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Netcraft is in second place...
Mozilla.org has had SpoofStick extension available for Mozilla & Firefox for many months. It shows you the real URL your browser is visiting.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Better tool available...
NetCraft essentially copied FraudEliminator's product verbatim
(www.fraudeliminator.com). FraudEliminator still remains the
better product, as it provides several features that NetCraft
lacks, such as proactively blocking fraudulent sites as they load.

SpoofStick shows the "real" URL but nothing more and is of little
use to novice users.
Posted by sfpdiaspora (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
blocking fraudulent sites
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/lexus_ls_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/lexus_ls_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
I do not like
that they have advertising built into it. See #8 of the agreement - ad-ware!

No Thanks!
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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