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Microsoft Bake-off Missing Key Ingredients

Created: 29 Sep 2006 07:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:56:27 GMT
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Yesterday, Microsoft announced the results of a commissioned analysis of anti-phishing solutions (http://www.3sharp.com/projects/antiphishing/gone-phishing.pdf). Being an active member of the anti-phishing community, we were surprised that the report did not look at Symantec's new heuristic anti-phishing protection features. These are included in Norton Internet Security 2007 and the upcoming Norton Confidential.

For many reasons, we are excited about these advanced anti-phishing capabilities, but were disappointed that 3Sharp LLC, the company that conducted the analysis on behalf of Microsoft, did not include at least one of our solutions in the comparison mix. Our underlying heuristic detection technology comes from WholeSecurity, a leading innovator of behavioral security solutions that Symantec acquired in October 2005. WholeSecurity learned early on that the best protection against rapid new phishing attacks has to go beyond a simple reactive, blocklist-based approach.

Our internal testing has shown that our anti-phishing protection capabilities, based on pro-active behavioral detection techniques in combination with traditional block list feeds, beats all other solutions in the marketplace (whether in beta and in production). We would have welcomed the anticipated validation of our results from this third party test.

Savvy readers of the 3Sharp report will have noticed that the test lineup included the eBay Toolbar with Account Guard protection. This feature leverages behavioral technology from WholeSecurity. However, the eBay toolbar is designed to protect users against eBay and Paypal phishing attacks specifically, not against other brand attacks. Therefore, we believe that the eBay toolbar should have been excluded from the ranking because it was tested for capabilities that were not included by design.

In the future, we will comment further on how we believe phishing solutions should be properly tested and compared. In the meantime, we invite people to test our advanced phishing protection in Norton Internet Security, or Norton Confidential.