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Home » Hacking News » Opera beefs up browser to thwart phishers

Opera beefs up browser to thwart phishers

by Nikola Strahija on March 4th, 2005 Opera is trying to close the net on phishers with the release of a second beta of its forthcoming Opera 8 browser. It is designed to display the name of an organisation that owns the certificate of a site inside an address bar, located next to the padlock icon that indicates the security of a site.


By clicking on the bar, surfers can find out who issued a certificate. That approach helps users decide about the security validity of a site. An unintended result of the IDN standard means domain names can be registered with certain international characters, which look like other commonly-used characters, in order to hoodwink users into believing they are on a different, trusted site. As such, the feature creates a new field for phishing attacks.

Opera selects TLDs that have established strict policies on the domain names they allow to be registered. Outside of trusted domain, Beta 2 will display IDN domains in punycode, which transcribes international characters into ASCII.

In Opera they think that restricting the use of IDNs is a sensible approach in Western Europe but fails to work well in the rest of the world. They are talking to other browser manufacturers, digital certificate firms and registration bodies with the aim of thrashing out a unified approach to the IDN problem


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