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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Attempts Phishing Slowdown

Microsoft has launched new add-ins to its MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search, including an anti-phishing tool to detect Web sites employing the scams.

Redmond said the tool, which was released earlier this month as a beta, will help users of its Internet Explorer browser (IE) slow down phishing attacks by making a security tool available that warns about possible scams.

The anti-phishing filter was originally slated to run exclusively with the Internet Explorer 7 browser, but with that version still in beta, the tool was pushed out to offer the protection to users of Internet Explorer 6, Justin Osmer, an MSN product manager, said.

The same underlying technology is being used to run on systems running Windows XP, with the Service Pack 2 security upgrade from last year, Osmer said.

The tool is designed to stop scammers from faking their way into users e-mail accounts and convincing them to give up sensitive information like passwords or other personal data.

A report issued earlier this year said the bogus attempts at getting passwords, credit card information and other personal data cost $1.2 billion in damage to U.S. banks and credit card issuers in 2004.