Saturday, November 25, 2006

Antiphishing Filter - Firefox 2 Vs IE 7

Late in September Microsoft released its own data that IE7’s phishing filter is superior to competitive offerings, including those from Mozilla, McAfee Inc. and Earthlink Inc. This data was based on the tests by an independent research group.

Mozilla Corp. fired a shot back at Microsoft Corp. in the browser war's that the antiphishing filter in Firefox 2 more accurately flags potential phishing attacks than the one in Internet Explorer 7.

Mozilla tapped independent consulting firm Smart Ware Consulting in Herndon, Va., to test the effectiveness of Firefox 2's Phishing Protection feature, the company said. According to Mozilla, Smart Ware’s testing found that Firefox's antiphishing feature is "more effective" than IE7's.

Out of a total of 1,040 sites, Firefox blocked 820 when running in local mode, with 78.85% accuracy, the study found. Local mode checks a list of known phishing URLs stored locally in the browser. When running through Ask Google, which can check URL phishing site lists that are updated online, Firefox 2 blocked 848 sites, for 81.5% accuracy.

When running in a mode with the antiphishing filter's autocheck turned off, IE7 blocked 16 phishing sites for 1.54% accuracy, according to Mozilla's study. With autocheck turned on, IE7 blocked 690 sites, with 66.35% accuracy.

Further, there were 243 instances where Firefox blocked sites and IE did not, and 117 instances where IE blocked sites but Firefox did not, the study found. There were 65 instances where neither browser's antiphishing filter blocked phishing URLs.

The comparison tests between Firefox 2 and IE7 were conducted over two weeks, from Oct. 19 to Nov. 11, using phishing URLs from a service called PhishTank via its public XML feed of phishing URLs. PhishTank is a service that allows community participants to submit and verify phishing URLs. For the test, the feed was downloaded once per hour, and any new phishing URLs found were added to the testing database.


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