Opera Introduces Fraud Protection for New Web Browser

Powered by GeoTrust and PhishTank, the release of a new tool expands Opera's commitment to secure browsing.

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Opera Software announced Dec. 18 the introduction of real-time fraud protection for its Web browser Opera 9.1. The Fraud Protection tool includes technology from GeoTrust, a digital certificate provider, and PhishTank, a collaborative clearinghouse for data and information about phishing on the Internet.

Fraud Protection extends the original anti-phishing capability in Opera, company officials said. The tool adds a new level of online safety by working in real time to protect Opera users from the latest phishing attacks, officials added.

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"Cyber-criminals are very active during the holiday season as more people venture online to shop or connect with friends and family," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of the Oslo, Norway, company, in a statement. "At Opera, we work very hard to protect the users of our products. We commit a lot of resources to ensure that our users are as safe as possible when they are online. Operas Fraud Protection tool is something we have created with our partners to help users protect themselves."

Phishing is a form of online fraud in which someone convinces users to visit a forged Web site. That site is designed to mimic a trusted site in order to steal personal information from users, such as credit card numbers or bank account details.

According to PhishTank, there were more than 9,628 unique phishing attacks in November alone. Since most phishing sites are taken down quickly, only real-time protection holds the key to consistent safety, Opera officials said.

"We are thrilled that Opera chose PhishTank among all of the available sources of phishing data," said PhishTank founder David Ulevitch in the same statement. "Opera has long been a leader in innovation and usability, and we hope Opera users find the addition of Fraud Protection from PhishTank in Opera to be of value."

PhishTank, operated by San Francisco-based OpenDNS and community members, enables anyone to submit, verify, track and openly share phishing data. The open access of PhishTank and the use of PhishTank data in Opera is intended to encourage the sharing of information and increase the chance of eliminating phishing all together, officials said.

Security expert and Opera user Bruce Schneier said the key to defending against phishing attacks is a quick response.

"Operas Fraud Protection delivers both by providing the user with real-time anti-phishing detection, augmented with nearly immediate identification of suspected phishing sites," said Schneier, founder and chief technology officer of BT Counterpane, in Mountain View, Calif., in the same statement.

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