Earthlink Versus Microsoft: Phishing Contest

    August 31, 2005

Microsoft announced yesterday the launch of the first ever add-in phishing protection, currently in a beta version. It helps provide “powerful dynamic protection” against the phishermen of the net. Earthlink has a bone to pick with the Seattle slew however. They say they’ve had a free tool available for over a year.

Earthlink launched their tool back in April, the tool every knows and loves as ScamBlocker. Kevin brand, VP of product management at Earthlink had this to say:

“Today’s Microsoft announcement stating that the company’s Phishing Filter Add-in for MSN Search Toolbar is the first such technology to be integrated into a Web search toolbar is incorrect.

“In April 2004, EarthLink launched ScamBlocker, a phisher-site blocking feature that is available at no charge to all Internet users – not just EarthLink access subscribers. To date, more than 1.3 million consumers have downloaded ScamBlocker.

“Scamblocker is part of an easy-to-use, browser-based application that can be downloaded and installed as an Internet Explorer or FireFox toolbar. These toolbars also include a search engine powered by Google, as well as EarthLink’s Pop-Up Blocker. In addition, the toolbars include EarthLink’s SpyAudit, which runs an audit detailing all spyware programs residing on a user’s personal computer.

It appears we have a bit of a discrepancy here. Microsoft seems not to have done some of their research although in all fairness, one can be sure it’s the first feature custom designed for the MSN toolbar. Other than that, one would have to say Earthlink got them.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.