The Internet service provider is adding intelligence on phishing from security vendor Cyota to its ScamBlocker toolbar. Additionally, EarthLink customers later this year will be offered anti-spyware protection from Aluria Software, which EarthLink believes is superior to its current spyware-fighting tool.
EarthLink has offered spyware protection as part of its TotalAccess software. The anti-phishing ScamBlocker toolbar for Internet Explorer was in April 2004.
"We have been working since the launch of both products for ways to improve on them," Scott Mecredy, a senior product manager at EarthLink, said Friday.
Cyota and Aluria are expected to announce their relationships with EarthLink on Monday.
TotalAccess is for EarthLink subscribers only, while ScamBlocker is available to all Internet users at no cost. The anti-spyware part of TotalAccess had been used by 941,295 EarthLink users as of the end of April, while ScamBlocker has been downloaded about 1.2 million times, the company said. EarthLink has 5.4 million customers.
ScamBlocker warns people when they access known or suspected phishing sites and redirects them to an EarthLink Web page with additional information about phishing and similar scams. It also describes further actions people can take to protect their systems. Cyota's data on phishing attacks will improve the product, Mecredy said.
is a prevalent type of online fraud that attempts to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. The schemes typically combine spam e-mail and fraudulent Web pages that look like legitimate sites.
is software that can produce pop-up ads on PC screens and track browsing habits or log keystrokes. The applications are often installed surreptitiously and can be a resource hog on PCs. The market for anti-spyware tools has
The Aluria anti-spyware tool provides better protection and fits better with EarthLink's plans, Mecredy said. For now, customers will be able to continue to use the existing Webroot product that is part of TotalAccess, but eventually that will be phased out, he said.
Webroot Chief Executive David Moll disputes EarthLink's assertion on product quality. "We provide the best technology in the industry," he said. The companies parted because EarthLink would not pay what Webroot was asking. "They were trying to buy a Porsche on a budget," he said.