Thunderbird gets phishing detection

The next version of Thunderbird should give users extra protection against online fraud

Developers have created an anti-phishing tool for the open source email application Thunderbird.

Mozilla contributor Henrik Gemal said last week in a blog that the phishing detector has been added to Thunderbird. This feature is likely to be available in the next release of Thunderbird, version 1.1, according to the Mozilla bug report.

When a user clicks on a link in an email that appears to be a phishing URL, the detector will prompt the user with a dialog box before the Web site is opened, said Gemal. The detector is triggered if the URL has a numeric IP address rather than a domain name, or if the URL does not match the address displayed in the link text.

Firefox, the Mozilla Organization's browser and Mozilla Suite, its Internet application suite, can already detect some phishing scams, according to the Mozilla news site MozillaZine.org. These applications will warn users who try to visit a URL that includes an unnecessary username -- a trick used by phishers to hide the true domain name of a site.

Earlier this month, a vulnerability was discovered in Firefox that could make users of the open source browser more likely to fall for phishing scams. This article elicited a wide range of opinions -- both from fans of the open source browser and from those who were less enamoured with it.

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