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Opera V8 Beta Browser, Like Firefox 1.0.1, Tackles Phishing and Spoofing

Anti-spoof Measures Help Users Make Educated Decisions About a Site's Validity and Security

"One of the most important measures to counter phishing attacks is the use of security certificates," said Christen Krogh, Opera Software's Vice President of Engineering, last week as Opera released the second Beta version of its next browser, which includes an answer to the recent security debate over Web site spoofing.

In this beta, the browser displays security information inside the address bar, located next to the padlock icon that indicates the level of security present on a site.

The small, yellow security bar appears on secure sites and displays the name of the organization that owns the certificate. By clicking on the bar the user has access to more information about the validity of the certificate. These anti-spoof measures help users make educated decisions about a site's validity and security.

"The challenge for browser vendors is to better explain the verification of certificates and to make the user more aware of this additional verification before entering into secure transactions," said Krogh.

To address Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) concerns, Opera's second Beta only displays localized domain names from certain top level domains (TLD). Opera selects TLDs that have established strict policies on the domain names they allow to be registered. This ensures that users who depend on IDN, for example when accessing sites under .jp or .kr, will have a favorable user experience.

Opera will regularly update its list of trusted TLDs, ensuring maximum protection and the best possible user experience.

Opera stands behind its statement made to Beta News on Feb. 18, 2005, asserting that the IDN problem is not one that can be solved alone, but rather together with other browser vendors, domain name registries, certificate authorities and other members of the Internet community. Opera has taken the initiative to assemble a group to evaluate joint solutions.

Beta 2 is available for download at http://www.opera.com/download/.

Users must be aware that a beta should be used for preview purposes only, as it is not a final product and does not contain all the features that are expected with the final release.

More Stories By Security News Desk

SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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