Netcraft Joins the Anti-Phishing Brigades

Netcraft, a company known for its statistical analysis of a vast number of Web sites, has joined those groups who attempt to prevent phishing scams by releasing a new toolbar for Internet Explorer. The toolbar performs checks on URLs and enforces behavior changes in the Web browser.

According to data on its Web site, the toolbar looks for, and traps, cross-site scripting attempts and URLs that contain characters commonly used to deceive users and enforces the display of all toolbars, navigation controls, and the address bar in all browser windows. The toolbar also displays a given site's location (including country) to help users determine if a site they are visiting might be fraudulent.

The toolbar also helps users report phishing scams so that other users of the toolbar will become aware of them. Netcraft said this functionality effectively allows the toolbar to help users participate in a community watch program, which is designed to protect everyone in the community.

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Netcraft toolbar is a valuable contribution to the Internet community, however it currently only runs in Internet Explorer. Firefox users can use Spoofstick from CoreStreet, which runs on Firefox and Internet Explorer and is similar to Netcraft's toolbar, however Spoofstick has less functionality than the Netcraft toolbar because the Netcraft toolbar is able to leverage Netcraft's huge database of Web site information.

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