Computer Crime Research Center


Netscape: Anti-phishing bundled

Date: February 02, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: CCRC staff

Netscape, a unit of Time Warner subsidiary AOL, plans to release a test version of a web browser designed to resist phishing schemes.

Using a list of known malicious Web sites, the new Netscape 8 browser will automatically adjust security settings to protect the user. A blacklist of Web sites will be stored on the user's PC and updated frequently. AOL is currently in negotiations with various security companies to supply the information, sources close to AOL said.

In phishing schemes, fraudsters lure victims to websites faked to look like they belong to trusted providers such as banks. They then attempt to persuade the victims to hand over sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers.

The advent of Mozilla's Firefox browser, which has seen more than 22 million downloads since its November launch, has pushed IE's numbers down incrementally but steadily in the past several months.

The spectacle of IE's vulnerability - particularly on security issues - has encouraged Netscape and other browsing software makers to make security their main selling point.

With IE commanding such a huge share of the market, Microsoft clearly has the most to lose in the new battle of the browsers. But Firefox and Netscape also will have to compete against each other for crucial markets as corporate customers and consumers contemplate their options.

Concerning this issue many questions will come abroad:

1. Who will maintain the blacklist of malicious sites?
Who guarantees this list will not be abused to business reasons?
2. What response we must to expect from Microsoft ?
3. What about growing numbers of Linux users? They are also phished.
4. Could Netscape return user's trust ?

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