Many Internet users do not realize how dangerous phishing can be. They receive emails which claim to come from their bank, a shopping website or another trusted service and trust those emails almost blindly. Many are unaware of the dangers and will do whatever is being asked of them in the email, be it the installation of a new security patch on their system or following a link to a fake website where they enter account credentials or other personal information.
Not all Internet users fall for phishing attacks but those who do often enter a world of trouble and often monetary issues when attackers get hold of private or critical information.
Installing a software that protects the computer against most forms of phishing is one option to block the majority of phishing related attacks. The positive thing about this is that users do not need to be experts to use these kind of programs, as they run mostly automated.
Delphish is a free anti-phishing extension for Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. It adds a new toolbar to the email client with several new options. The most important button in that toolbar is the Check for Phishing button which analyzes the mail in two steps. The first step is a comparison with an online database that contains known phishing emails. If that check is positive the result will be shown and the mail will be moved into the phishing folder.
If the first comparison is negative Delphish will analyze the contents of the mail to determine factors that are normally used in phishing emails. A whitepaper that is available on the Delphish website details that process but should be left for the interested that have a technological and mathematical background. Some of the factors that play a role in determine if the mail is a phishing email are: Geolocation, link analysis, context analysis and reputation analysis.
Even with the extension installed common sense should be used as well. You can use Delphish as a first layer of defense against phishing but should make sure that you are able to analyze the mails by yourself as well.
Update: Please note that the software is no longer available for free. You can download a 30-day free test version but afterwards you need to pay a monthly fee to continue using it.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.