Our Phishing Filter is Better Than Yours!

Our phish-catchers are better.

That’s the word from the folks behind Mozilla’s Firefox 2 browser. They claim it is better at detecting phishing scam sites than the anti-phishing check in Microsoft’s latest Internet Explorer 7.

They also clearly have an issue with a recent third party study by 3Sharp. It said security features in Microsoft’s IE 7 led the pack of anti-phishing utilities from Netcraft, Google, eBay and Geotrust. Since Microsoft sponsored that study, Mozilla decided to go get one of its own.

According to the Mozilla study, remote checking on Firefox 2 blocked nearly 82 percent of phishing sites as compared to IE 7 with Auto Check On, which blocked just over 66 percent.

Firefox 2 has a local and remote phishing list capability, which enables users to either rely on a local list or to check the site their visiting against one maintained and updated by Google. IE 7 simply has a feature for Auto Check On or off, which attempts to identify whether a phish is, well, circling in Web waters.

Using local lists Firefox 2 blocked nearly 79 percent of phishing sites, while IE 7 with Auto Check off blocked 1.5 percent, the study said.

Phishing filters, designed to identify and alert users that a site they’re visiting could be a potential phishing site or an exploit, are built into both IE 7 and Firefox 2 as standard features.

In the case of Firefox, the technology is not home grown but is actually an integration of the Google Safe Browsing extension. Mozilla first integrated the formerly standalone Google technology into Firefox 2.0, beginning with the alpha 3 release in May of this year.

Google’s Safe Browsing is now offered by Google as an integrated part of the Google Toolbar for Firefox as well, though it is not currently part of the IE version of the toolbar.

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