After leaving Internet Explorer untouched for years, Microsoft is now busily talking about how great the next version of its Web browser is.
A Microsoft-sponsored study into Web browser's phishing shield shows that Internet Explorer 7 offers superior protection against the prevalent data-thieving scams, according to Microsoft.
The study was done by a company called 3 Sharp. It compared IE with seven other phishing shields provided by EarthLink, eBay, GeoTrust, Google Safe Browsing (Firefox), McAfee SiteAdvisor, Netcraft and Netscape, Microsoft said.
"We are pleased to see that Internet Explorer 7's Phishing Filter finished at the top of 3Sharp's list as most accurate anti-phishing technology," Tony Chor, a group program manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, wrote on a corporate blog.
In the study, 3Sharp tested the products' ability to catch 100 known phishing Web sites over a six-week period earlier this year, Microsoft said. 3Sharp did not use the same sources used by Microsoft for the IE 7 protection to obtain the phishing links, it said.
"They worked hard to build large enough sample sizes of actual phishing sites to draw meaningful conclusions," Chor wrote.
IE caught nearly 9 out of 10 phishing sites and it did not show warning or block errors on the 500 legitimate Web sites tested, according to Chor.
Still, Chor wrote, the phishing threat is ever evolving as are the tools to protect users. "This set of results represents only the relative performance during that period. We know we need to keep working to keep up with the changes in the attacks," he wrote.