Opera updates browser with phishing filter

Version 9.1 protects users from being duped by phishers

Opera Software ASA has added a filter that blocks phishing sites to its Web browser software, following the example set by rivals Microsoft and Mozilla.

In version 9.1 of the Opera Web browser released Monday, the company introduced a phishing filter that uses information from PhishTank and GeoTrust to help protect users from being duped by phishers.

PhishTank, overseen by open-source group OpenDNS, is a collaborative clearinghouse that allows anyone to submit and track data about phishing sites. GeoTrust provides digital certificates.

Phishing is a form of online fraud in which miscreants use forged Web sites that often look like sites of banks or other trusted financial institutions to trick users into giving up personal information. Filters such as the one in Opera 9.1 alert users when they may be visiting a known phishing site so they can proceed with caution and choose not to provide requested information to that site.

Opera's 9.1 browser is available for free at www.opera.com.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) and Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 browsers also include filters that block phishing sites. Microsoft released IE 7 for Windows XP in October, the same month Mozilla released Firefox 2.0.

IE 7 also will be included in the consumer version of Windows Vista due for release on Jan. 30. Microsoft recently patched a flaw in the antiphishing filter in IE 7 for XP and plans to patch the same flaw for Vista upon its consumer release.

Opera's Web browser has not been adopted widely by computer users, who still predominantly use IE as their primary browser. However, the Oslo company has had substantial success in distributing its Opera Mini browser on mobile devices through partnerships with device providers around the world.

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