Thursday, 7 July 2011

Microsoft: Thou Shall Trust in Internet Explorer 7!

According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 7 is the best solution available to browser users that are looking to steer clear of phishing attacks. Unlike IE6 which is virtually barefoot when it comes down to shielding users from the risks associated with spoofed websites, IE7 packs a tad more firepower via the dynamic Phishing protection and Extended Validation SSL Certificate support. Data released by the Redmond company point out that iE7 manages to block well in excess of 1 million phishing attacks per week, and that it is all thanks to the dynamic protection opt-in service that is integrated into the browser.

EV SSL Certificate

But, even though IE7 comes with heuristic technology that permits it to analyze a web page in real time as it loads, on top of the data updates served to the browser and of SSL certificates, phishers can still bypass the protections and trick the user into thinking that a spoofed website is genuine. This is why phishing protection was taken one step further with the introduction of the Extended Validation SSL Certificates.

"EV SSL leverages proven SSL technology, and adds a new process for vetting the identity of the business that is requesting the certificate, offering an improved level of authentication for securing transactions on their Web sites. Given the standardization and rigorousness of the process used, users can realize a higher level of online trust and confidence. Internet Explorer 7 is the first browser to fully support EV SSL", Craig Spiezle, Director of Online Security and Safety for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

In the adjacent screenshot, you will be able to see the way that Internet Explorer reacts to a genuine website with a valid EV SSL Certificate. Microsoft informed that a total of 3,500 websites, at this point in time, have deployed EV SSL certificates, designed to increase the consumers' trust in online operations, be them financial transfers or account registration. EV SSL is a definite step forward compared with the traditional SSL certificates that only managed to guarantee a secure connection, but not the validity of the website accessed.

"This is great news for Internet users: they now have an easy and reliable way to verify that they are on the correct site, and they don't have to worry as much about phishing attacks or deceptive website, as long as EV SSL is used. Furthermore, when they are transacting with a new website that uses EV SSL Certificate, they can easily identify the company behind the website, which helps them legally pursue their claim if the site doesn't deliver as promised, helping add an element of accountability to the web. Remember that most sites will use a secure connection, only when you are about to exchange with the sensitive information, such as when you login, or are about to check out your cart", Spiezle added.

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