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Thu 2 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Firefox toolbar for phishing Web sites

An anti-phishing toolbar has now been made available for Firefox. Internet services company Netcraft has announced releasing the plug-in device, which the company claims can help users of the Firefox Web browser avoid phishing scams.

An anti-phishing toolbar has now been made available for Firefox. Internet services company Netcraft has announced releasing the plug-in device, which the company claims can help users of the Firefox Web browser avoid phishing scams.

The Netcraft Toolbar blocks phishing Web sites that have been reported by other users. A version of the plug-in for Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has been available since December of last year. More than 7,000 phishing sites have been detected and blocked since then, said Netcraft.

Internet phishing is a prevalent type of scam where phony emails are sent out, appearing to come from some of the Web's biggest sites, including eBay, PayPal, MSN, Yahoo, BestBuy, and America Online, in an effort to phish (illegally gather) personal and financial information from the recipient. The attacks typically combine spam e-mail and fraudulent Web pages that look like legitimate sites.

In addition to blocking phishing sites, the Netcraft toolbar includes other features to help users be more security-aware when surfing. Such features include, a risk rating for Web sites, as well as information about the popularity of a site and the country in which the site is hosted, according to the Netcraft site.

The toolbar will also "trap" suspicious Web addresses based on the characters used and enforces display of the browser navigation buttons to defend against pop-up windows that may attempt to hide those buttons, Netcraft said.

The Firefox toolbar runs on any operating system supported by Firefox and is available for free download from Netcraft.

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