Phinding Phish: An Evaluation of Anti Phishing Toolbars
There are currently dozens of freely available tools to help combat phishing and other web-based scams. Many of these tools come in the form of web browser extensions that warn users when they are browsing a suspected phishing site. We used verified phishing URLs and legitimate URLs to test the effectiveness of 10 popular anti-phishing toolbars. Overall, we found that the anti-phishing toolbars that were examined in this study left a lot to be desired.
SpoofGuard did a very good job at identifying fraudulent sites, but it also incorrectly identified a large fraction of legitimate sites as fraudulent. EarthLink, Google, Netcraft, Cloudmark, and Internet Explorer 7
identified most fraudulent sites correctly and had few, if any, false positives, but they still missed more than 15% of fraudulent sites. The TrustWatch, eBay, and Netscape 8 toolbars could correctly identify less than half the fraudulent sites, and McAfee SiteAdvisor did not correctly identify any fraudulent sites. Many of the toolbars we tested were vulnerable to some simple exploits as well. In this paper we describe the anti-phishing toolbar test bed we developed, summarize our findings, and offer observations about the usability and overall effectiveness of these toolbars. Finally, we suggest ways to improve anti-phishing toolbars. View as HTML - PDF Download
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