o enhance the protection offered by Microsoft Phishing Filter and Microsoft SmartScreen Technology, the company has roped in three new data providers, Cyota, Internet Identity and MarkMonitor. These companies will regularly provide Microsoft with information on confirmed phishing Web sites.
Microsoft Phishing Filter, introduced in July 2005, helps protect customers from phishing scams when they are browsing the Internet, and is available via the Phishing Filter Add-in for the MSN Search Toolbar, which launched in final release yesterday; and the upcoming release of Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Vista, and Windows XP Service Pack 2, both currently in beta 1 testing.
The Microsoft Phishing Filter provides consumers with a dynamic online warning and protection system against phishing attacks in their browser, and a way to report possible phishing Web sites.
The phishing information provided by the phishing data providers, will also be used to help Microsoft SmartScreen Technology detect phishing scams in e-mail sent to MSN Hotmail and Windows Live Mail beta customers.
Phishing, a fast-growing class of online fraud and identity theft, often uses fake Web sites that resemble those of legitimate businesses, financial institutions or other trusted organizations, to trick victims into disclosing sensitive personal and financial information that can then be used for criminal activity. Phishing sites can often last as little as a few hours or a few days before they are shut down, making real-time browser protection critical to help effectively safeguard users.
Cyota, Internet Identity and MarkMonitor are now helping to bolster both the Microsoft Phishing Filter’s URL reputation service and SmartScreen Technology, with data feeds from their own unique sets of customers.
Cyota helps provide anti-fraud and online authentication solutions, Internet Identity helps provide early detection and rapid response de-activation of phishing attacks for clients ranging from banks and online services to credit unions, while MarkMonitor s fraud detection and response services monitor the Internet to help detect and confirm phish attacks and other online fraud on behalf of financial institutions and other corporations.
John L Scarrow, general manager – anti-spam and anti-phishing team, Microsoft Technology Care and Safety Group, said, “There is of course no silver bullet that can stop phishing, but we believe that the Microsoft Phishing Filter and SmartScreen Technology, when armed with continuously updated data from both great partners and our own users, can help make a significant difference for our customers worldwide. We are excited to be working with leading companies like Cyota, Internet Identity and MarkMonitor, to better protect our MSN and Windows Live and Windows customers, and help them feel more confident in their online safety.”
Although recent industry reports indicate that the spam problem may be on the decline worldwide, the threat of phishing continues to rise and has increased more than six-fold in the past year.