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12/19/2006
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Opera Adds Phishing Filter

Opera 9.1 relies on PhishTank, an open source-style project whose members submit suspicious URLs, then verify scams and share the resulting blacklists.

Opera Software added anti-fraud features to the newest version of its namesake Web browser Monday to match rivals Internet Explorer and Firefox, both of which included phishing filters in their October upgrades.

The free-of-charge Opera 9.1 relies on PhishTank, an open source-style project whose members submit suspicious URLs, then verify scams, and share the resulting blacklists. PhishTank is run by OpenDNS.

Opera's new Fraud Protection feature also is powered by technologies from GeoTrust, a VeriSign-owned company that specializes in digital signature verification.

"Cybercriminals are very active during the holiday season as more people venture online to shop or connect with friends and family," said Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's chief executive, in a statement. "We commit a lot of resources to ensure that our users are as safe as possible when they are online."

Opera debuted a basic phishing feature in version 8, which used the address field to show whether a site's certificate was legitimate. The new tools in 9.1, however, operate in real-time, said the Oslo-based company. Other changes to 9.1 include stability and performance improvements, easier RSS newsfeed deletions, and better handling of site logins over slow connections.

The Norwegian-built browser owns only a fraction of the browser market; according to the most recent data from Net Applications, Opera accounts for 0.67% of all browsers used worldwide. Microsoft and Mozilla, meanwhile, control 80.56% and 13.5% of the browser market, respectively.

Opera 9.1 can be downloaded in versions for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.

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