Opera Hooks Phishers With Latest Browser

    December 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The newest version of Opera Software’s web browser adds support from OpenDNS project PhishTank and from GeoTrust to combat phishing sites.

Opera Hooks Phishers With Latest Browser
Singing An Opera About Phishing

Full disclosure – I’ve been using Opera as my primary web browser for a number of years, and I’ve enjoyed tabbed browsing as a feature long before that was a gleam in Microsoft or Mozilla’s eye.

Opera just formally release version 9.10, with the significant addition being fraud protection. In the address bar, a question mark will appear on the right to denote a site that has not yet been checked for fraud.

Clicking the question mark brings up a dialog box for the fraud check. If the site passes, the question mark turns into a letter i. If not, Opera puts up a warning about the site.

Users can permit Opera to automatically check websites and see if they may be phishing attempts instead. This is done by checking the Enable Fraud Protection option after clicking the question mark or letter i icon in the address bar.

No less a security luminary than Bruce Schneier gave the new browser his approval in a statement about the new release:

“The key to an effective phishing defense is speed and responsiveness,” said security expert Bruce Schneier, CTO of BT Counterpane and an Opera user. “Opera’s Fraud Protection delivers both by providing the user with real-time anti-phishing detection, augmented with nearly immediate identification of suspected phishing sites.”

PhishTank was only launched a few weeks ago but has been steadily growing its community and the number of sites reported to it. PhishTank makes all phishing data it accumulates public and available via programmable APIs, which allow other software developers to incorporate the anti-phishing data into their tools.

While Opera has had security features to help detect phishing sites since version 8, the latest version works in real time to warn about the most recently reported phishing efforts.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.