Monday, March 10, 2008

Should Safari Join The Rat Race?

Few weeks ago, PayPal published a frequently asked question guide about "Safer Web Browsers". The news maker part is this:

Which browser have anti-phishing features?
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or later
- Mozilla Firefox 2 or later
- Opera 9.1 or later

Yes, this is true Safari 3.1 is not capable of detecting phishing site and this is where PayPal is most worried about - because they are always targeted by phishers.

Notice the two screenshots above, obviously Safari does not recognize anything while Firefox displays an alert message.

Base from last year report, Anti-Phishing Working Group receives an average of 25,000 new phishing sites per month and 91.7% of this attacks are related to Financial Services.

This is the reason why we will be seeing more security features integrating to web browsers just like Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 - which was released last week. There are two significant security features in this version:

Safety Filter - It prevents known malicious sites from loading. However, this feature does not work in my testing. Perhaps, they are still working on it.

Domain Name Highlighting - As shown in the example below, the real domain name is not instead it is Absolutely, a phishing site! This feature is also available in Mozilla plug-in "Locationbar&sup2".

Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 1 was previously announced and this version provides more security features including "Malware Protection", "Anti-virus Integration" and "One-click site info". Check the full release notes here.

The continuous proliferation of threats in the internet has escalated user's security awareness. And this, factors into users' expectation that softwares and application should provide security features. Beating up threats is just like a rat race and whether this is users' problem or not, the trend is now pressuring Safari to blend in.