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DeepNet 1.3 browser to contain anti-phishing features

The next version of the free browser will warn users if a Web site appears to be a phishing scam - DeepNet claims it will be 'the most secure browser'

DeepNet Technologies will release its DeepNet 1.3 browser on 1 December, and says it will contain functionality to combat the ever-growing threat of phishing.

The free browser is already available in beta, although the anti-phishing functionality will not be incorporated until the final version, according to Yurong Lin, CEO of DeepNet.

"We are adding a scam blocker," said Lin. "It will try to automatically detect scam Web sites, and if it decides it is a scam, it will warn the user."

Phishing sites are usually doctored versions of an organisation's legitimate Web site. Victims are often lured to the sites using sophisticated emails and many are fooled into disclosing online passwords, user names and other personal information.

Lin said the blocker works by using both a blacklist of known phishing sites and by analysing the URL and Web site. For example, it will be able to detect insecure Web sites used in some phishing scams.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said it could be useful, but that users should not rely on it as it will not be able to detect all phishing sites.

"It's not to say it isn't a good idea, but it is dangerous for people to rely on it," said Cluley. "It will be possible for the browser to pick up on some things, but hackers could tweak the phishing Web site so that it doesn't trigger it."

The browser will be unable to detect the next generation of phishing attacks, which happen on legitimate sites, said Cluley. Last week a Trojan horse was found that can steal e-banking details when users log into legitimate banking sites.

The DeepNet browser has already attracted considerable interest since it released its first browser in June, according to Lin. He said it is currently experiencing 1,500 to 2,000 downloads per day, and is talking to various companies including Google, to work on partnerships which will generate revenue for the company.

One of the main reasons why people are choosing to switch to DeepNet is security, said Lin.

"We believe it is the most secure browser -- it is even more secure than Mozilla," said Lin. "For example, IE and Mozilla support plug-ins, which are one of the sources of malware and spyware. We don't support third-party plug-ins."

The new browser is available from DeepNet's Web site.